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Information handouts

Did you know that 40 to 80% of medical information is immediately forgotten by patients (Kessels, 2003)? The same is probably true of therapy and counseling, so clients will almost always benefit from having access to additional written information. Psychology Tools information handouts provide clear, concise, and reliable information, which will empower your clients to take an active role in their treatment. Learning about their mental health, helpful strategies and techniques, and other psychoeducation topics helps clients better understand and overcome their difficulties. Moreover, clients who understand the process and content of therapy are more likely to invest in the process and commit to making positive changes.
Information handouts
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"Should" Statements

“Should” statements (sometimes referred to as ‘musturbation’, ‘necessitous thinking’, ‘self-commands’, and ‘injunctions’) are char ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/should-statements

Activity Menu

Helping clients to choose which activities to target during behavioral activation (BA) can be accomplished in a variety of ways: activity monitoring c ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/activity-menu

All-Or-Nothing Thinking

All-or-nothing thinking (often also referred to as ‘black and white thinking’, ‘dichotomous thinking’, ‘absolutist thinking’, or ‘binary ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/all-or-nothing-thinking

Arbitrary Inference

Arbitrary inference is one of the earliest and broadest cognitive disotortions described in CBT. Beck defines it as "the process of forming an interpr ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/arbitrary-inference

Assertive Communication

Communicating and acting assertively is an interpersonal skill that helps people to maintain healthy relationships, resolve interpersonal conflict, an ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/assertive-communication

Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) automatically regulates the function of body systems outside of voluntary control. The Autonomic Nervous System han ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/autonomic-nervous-system

Balance

Our sense of balance is the result of a complex system which receives visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive inputs. This Balance client information h ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/balance

Barriers Abusers Overcome In Order To Abuse

Individuals who have experienced abuse often focus on their own actions (or inactions) and blame themselves for their own abuse. This client informati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/barriers-abusers-overcome-in-order-to-abuse

Catastrophizing

The Catastrophizing information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series. It is designed to help clients and therapists to work more eff ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/catastrophizing

Checking Certainty And Doubt

Psychologists have discovered interesting relationships between Checking, Certainty, And Doubt. This information handout contains an exercise helpful ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/checking-certainty-and-doubt

Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning is a process by which stimuli become associated with responses. This information handout describes key principles of Classical ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/classical-conditioning

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Anorexia Nervosa (Fairburn, Cooper, Shafran, 2003)

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by restriction of energy intake and intense fear of gaining weight. For women, the lifetime preva ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-anorexia-nervosa-fairburn-cooper-shafran-2003

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD: Veale, 2004)

Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) experience distress associated with their body image. The Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Body Dysmorphi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd-veale-2004

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Bulimia Nervosa (Fairburn, Cooper, Shafran, 2003)

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging. Among young women, the point prevalence of bulimia is about 1 ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-bulimia-nervosa-fairburn-cooper-shafran-2003

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Clinical Perfectionism (Shafran, Cooper, Fairburn, 2002)

People with perfectionism pursue high standards in one or more areas of their life and base their self-worth on their ability to achieve these standar ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-clinical-perfectionism-shafran-cooper-fairburn-2002

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Depersonalization (Hunter, Phillips, Chalder, Sierra, David, 2003)

Depersonalization is an experience where an individual feels a sense of detachment from themselves, or estrangement from their perceptions, actions, a ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-depersonalization-hunter-phillips-chalder-sierra-david-2003

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Fear Of Body Sensations

Fear of bodily sensations is present in a number of conditions, most notably panic disorder. The Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Fear Of Bodily Sensatio ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-fear-of-body-sensations

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD: Dugas, Gagnon, Ladouceur, Freeston, 1998)

Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) report significant worry which they find difficult to control and experience as distressing. Numer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad-dugas-gagnon-ladouceur-freeston-1998

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Health Anxiety (Salkovskis, Warwick, Deale, 2003)

Health anxiety is characterized by a preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness, and a high level of anxiety about health. People with h ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-health-anxiety-salkovskis-warwick-deale-2003

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Insomnia (Harvey, 2002)

Insomnia is a highly prevalent sleep disorder characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or having non-restorative sleep for at leas ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-insomnia-harvey-2002

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Low Self-Esteem (Fennell, 1997)

Low self-esteem is characterized as a negative sense of the self and co-occurs with many other mental health problems. Although not formally represent ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-low-self-esteem-fennell-1997

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD: Salkovskis, Forrester, Richards, 1998)

The essential insight of the cognitive behavioral model of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is that it is the client’s interpretation of the intr ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-salkovskis-forrester-richards-1998

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Panic (Clark, 1986)

The Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Panic identifies catastrophic misinterpretation of body sensations as a criticial maintenance factor which serves to ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-panic-clark-1986

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD: Whalley, Cane, 2017)

Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness (PPPD) is a form of dizziness which is thought to be maintained by psychological factors. This is a Cognitive ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-persistent-postural-perceptual-dizziness-pppd-whalley-cane-2017

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD: Ehlers & Clark, 2000)

Anke Ehlers' & David Clark's Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an influential account of the condition. The ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd-ehlers-clark-2000

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Social Phobia (Clark, Wells, 1995)

People suffering from social anxiety disorder (previously known as social phobia) experience persistent fear or anxiety concerning social or performan ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-social-phobia-clark-wells-1995

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of The Relapse Process (Marlatt & Gordon, 1985)

Marlatt & Gordon’s cognitive behavioral model of relapse (1985) conceptualizes relapse as a “transitional process, a series of events that unf ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioural-model-of-the-relapse-process-marlatt-gordon-1985

Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Tinnitus (McKenna, Handscombe, Hoare, Hall, 2014)

The Cognitive Behavioral Model Of Tinnitus identifies cognitive, behavioral, and perceptual changes which operate to maintain tinnitus perception and ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-behavioral-model-of-tinnitus-mckenna-handscombe-hoare-hall-2014

Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Common)

Cognitive distortions (or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’) are ways that our thoughts become biased. Different cognitive biases are associated with di ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-distortions-unhelpful-thinking-styles-common

Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Extended)

Cognitive distortions (or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’) are ways that our thoughts become biased. Different cognitive biases are associated with di ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-distortions-unhelpful-thinking-styles-extended

Core Belief Magnet Metaphor

Core beliefs (schemas) are self-sustaining. They act to 'attract' confirmatory evidence and 'repel' (or distort) disconfirmatory evidence. This inform ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/core-belief-magnet-metaphor

Critical Care And PTSD

The Critical Care And PTSD information handout is designed to help clients to learn about the properties of critical care that can increase the likeli ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/critical-care-and-ptsd

Developing Psychological Flexibility

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) proposes that suffering is associated with psychological inflexibility. ACT suggests that to increase psycholo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/developing-psychological-flexibility

Discounting In Perfectionism – The Ratchet Effect

When individuals with perfectionism successfully meet their demanding standards, these accomplishments are often discounted as “easy to do,” “no ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/discounting-in-perfectionism-the-ratchet-effect

Disqualifying Others

This Disqualifying Others information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more eff ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/disqualifying-others

Disqualifying The Positive

This Disqualifying the Positive information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists work more ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/disqualifying-the-positive

Eating And Your Energy Levels

The Eating and Your Energy Levels handout provides an overview of the relationship between food intake and energy levels. It graphically illustrates h ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/eating-and-your-energy-levels

EMDR Cognitions

The standard protocol in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) requires the identification of a target image and a negative cognition. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emdr-cognitions

Emotional Reasoning

The Emotional Reasoning information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effec ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emotional-reasoning

Emotions

Many people find it hard to label their emotional states or reactions. This information handout provides a list of emotions, categorizing them as basi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emotions

Emotions Motivate Actions

Many clients find it helpful to recognize the range of actions that are motivated by different emotional states. This worksheet encourages clients to ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emotions-motivate-actions

Everyday 'Unusual' Experiences

Everyone has powerful experiences from time to time, and there are many very ordinary reasons why people have experiences that are considered ‘unusu ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/everyday-unusual-experiences

Exercise For Mental Health

Exercise is an evidence-based treatment for depression and anxiety and research suggests that, in the treatment of depression, exercise interventions ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exercise-for-mental-health

Exposures For Fear Of Appearing Anxious

Concerns about appearing anxious in front of others plays a central role in social anxiety. Exposure is an effective treatment for tackling these fear ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-appearing-anxious

Exposures For Fear Of Body Sensations

Fearful responses to physical sensations are common in several disorders. Interoceptive exposure (or ‘symptom induction’) is an effective treatmen ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-body-sensations

Exposures For Fear Of Breathlessness

Fearful responses to benign physical sensations such as breathlessness are common in several disorders, most notably panic disorder (with and without ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-breathlessness

Exposures For Fear Of Death

Fear of death is common, and is associated with a variety of psychological disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, depression, panic disorde ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-death

Exposures For Fear Of Flying

Fear of flying is a very common fear, affecting up to 18% of individuals, and is characterized by intense and persistent fear during, or in anticipati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-flying

Exposures For Fear Of Heights

Fear of heights is a very common fear, characterized by an avoidance of high places including staircases, tall buildings, and bridges. Exposure is an ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-heights

Exposures For Fear Of Illness

Fear of illness is a common and persistent fear that can result in significant functional impairment. Exposure is an effective treatment for health-re ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-illness

Exposures For Fear Of Losing Control Of Your Mind

Fearful responses to benign physical sensations are common in several disorders, and interoceptive exposure (or ‘symptom induction’) is an effecti ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-losing-control-of-your-mind

Exposures For Fear Of Uncertainty

Fear of uncertainty is commonly associated with many psychological difficulties, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive di ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-uncertainty

Exposures For Fear Of Vomiting

Fear of vomiting is a chronic and distressing difficulty that is associated with significant impairment. Exposure is an effective treatment for addres ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-vomiting

Externalizing

The Externalizing information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effectively ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/externalizing

Fair Fighting Rules For Resolving Conflict

Fair fighting is a collection of rules that individuals can use to manage conflict effectively, so that it is ‘fair’ and works towards a resolutio ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fair-fighting-rules-for-resolving-conflict

Fight or Flight (CYP)

The Fight Or Flight (CYP) information handout has been specifically designed for younger children and includes carefully simplified language. The prof ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-cyp

Fight Or Flight Response

The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threa ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-response

Forgiveness Is

Forgiveness is an effective treatment for anger and relieving hurt. Sadly, many people dismiss forgiveness due to misconceptions regarding its nature. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/forgiveness-is

Forgiveness Methods

Forgiveness is an effective treatment for anger and the relief of hurt. This information handout describes techniques for forgiveness and the steps in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/forgiveness-methods

Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness takes courage and strength. Clients often struggle with the concept of forgiveness because of unhelpful misconceptions. The Forgiveness Qu ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/forgiveness-quotes

Fortune Telling

The Fortune Telling information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effective ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fortune-telling

Grounding Techniques Menu

Dissociation can be described as a shift of a person’s attention away from the present moment. When working with traumatized clients, this shift oft ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-techniques-menu

Guidelines For Better Sleep

Some sleep experts recommend that sleep hygiene issues be attended to as one component of treatment for poor sleep. This sleep hygiene information wor ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/guidelines-for-better-sleep

Habituation

The Habituation information sheets are designed to help clinicians to explain the concept of habituation and its role in exposure therapy. The handout ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/habituation

Health Anxiety Formulation

Health anxiety is characterized by a preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness, and a high level of anxiety about health. People with h ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/health-anxiety-formulation

Hindsight Bias

Hindsight bias describes the tendency that people have – once an outcome is known – to believe that they predicted (or could have predicted) an ou ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/hindsight-bias

How Breathing Affects Feelings

Normal, anxious, and exercise breathing have significant effects upon our physiology and our emotions. This information handout explains the physiolog ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-breathing-affects-feelings

How Trauma Can Affect You (CYP)

Trauma can result in a wide variety of symptoms, experiences, and behaviors. As well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prevalence rates of oth ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-trauma-can-affect-you-cyp

How We Hear Sounds

Clients with tinnitus often have a very medicalized understanding of their condition. Understanding the processing steps involved in normal hearing ca ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-we-hear-sounds

How Your Body Responds To Stress

Many clients identify with the concept of ‘stress’ more readily than ‘threat’ and the The How Your Body Responds To Stress information handou ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-your-body-responds-to-stress

Intolerance Of Uncertainty

Uncertainty is a normal part of life – we can never be 100% sure about what will happen next. Many people feel good about uncertainty and live lives ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/intolerance-of-uncertainty

Jumping To Conclusions

The Jumping to Conclusions information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more ef ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/jumping-to-conclusions

Labeling

Identifying negative automatic thoughts and reappraising unhelpful thinking is a core element of cognitive therapy. Teaching clients to recognize the ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/labeling

Magnification And Minimization

The Magnification And Minimization information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/magnification-and-minimization

Maximizing The Effectiveness Of Exposure Therapy

Despite its position as the leading treatment technique for anxiety disorders, not all clients respond to exposure therapy and some individuals relaps ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/maximizing-the-effectiveness-of-exposure-therapy

Mental Filter

The Mental Filter information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effectively ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mental-filter

Mind Reading

The Mind Reading information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effectively ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mind-reading

Motivational Systems (Emotional Regulation Systems)

At the heart of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is an evolutionary model of human motivational systems. Developed by Paul Gilbert it is a helpful len ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/motivational-systems-emotional-regulation-systems

Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning / instrumental learning is a mechanism by which behaviors can be strengthened or weakened over time. This information handout des ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/operant-conditioning

Overgeneralization

The Overgeneralization information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effect ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/overgeneralization

Overview Of CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental and physical health conditions. This information handout des ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/overview-of-cbt

Performance And The Yerkes-Dodson Law

The Yerkes-Dodson Law suggests that performance increases with mental arousal (stress) but only up to a point: when an individuals’ level of stress ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/performance-and-the-yerkes-dodson-law

Permissive Thinking

The Permissive Thinking information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effec ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/permissive-thinking

Personalizing

The Personalizing information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effectively ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/personalizing

Process Model Of Supervision

Hawkins & Shohet proposed a helpful structure for reflecting upon the focus of a supervision session. This information sheet includes example ques ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/process-model-of-supervision

Progress In Therapy

The Progress In Therapy information handout graphically illustrates metaphors for trajectories of progress (or how progress might be subjectively expe ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/progress-in-therapy

Prompts For Challenging Your Negative Thinking

Cognitive restructuring is an evidence-based intervention that involves identifying, evaluating, and modifying maladaptive cognitions, including negat ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/prompts-for-challenging-your-negative-thinking

Properties Of Trauma Memories

Important properties of trauma memories include involuntary recall, 'nowness', vividness, and immutability. People who have experienced trauma report ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/properties-of-trauma-memories

PTSD And Memory

Alterations in the way the brain processes 'normal' vs. 'traumatic' material are thought to be responsible for the intrusive nature of memories in con ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ptsd-and-memory

PTSD Film Projection Metaphor

Treatment for trauma often involves exposure to traumatic thoughts and memories, and many clients are understandably reluctant to attempt this. The PT ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ptsd-film-projection-metaphor

PTSD Linen Cupboard Metaphor

Treatment for trauma often involves exposure to traumatic thoughts and memories, and many clients are understandably reluctant to attempt this. The PT ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ptsd-linen-cupboard-metaphor

Reactions To Trauma

Traumatic events are shocking and it is normal to feel overwhelmed. Not everybody reacts in the same way though and there is no ‘right’ way to res ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/reactions-to-trauma

Recognizing Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is characterized by marked and excessive fear of situations such as open or public spaces where escape or help might not be available, and ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-agoraphobia

Recognizing Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by the restriction of energy intake, leading to a severely low weight in the context of an individual’s age, heigh ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-anorexia-nervosa

Recognizing Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by frequent and recurrent episodes of binge eating, which is defined as a period of time in which the individua ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-binge-eating-disorder

Recognizing Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is characterized by the persistent preoccupation with defects or flaws in one’s appearance that are either unnoticeable or ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-body-dysmorphic-disorder

Recognizing Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by frequent and recurrent episodes of binge eating, which are defined as a period of time in which the individual exp ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-bulimia-nervosa

Recognizing Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Complex PTSD) may develop after exposure to an event (or series of events) of an extremely threatening or horr ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder

Recognizing Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder (DPD)

Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder is characterized by experiences of unreality and detachment from oneself and the world. Experiences of depers ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-depersonalization-derealization-disorder-dpd