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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.

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100 of 188 resources

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

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

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

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

How Your Past Affects Your Present (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) describes three levels of cognition – automatic thoughts, assumptions, and core beliefs – which are influenced ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-your-past-affects-your-present-cbt

Coping Styles And Responses (Schema Therapy)

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/coping-styles-and-responses-schema-therapy

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

Abandonment

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/abandonment

Window Of Tolerance

The window of tolerance concept was coined by Dan Siegel in his 1999 book The Developing Mind. Siegel proposes that everyone has a range of intensitie ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/window-of-tolerance

Failure To Achieve

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/failure-to-achieve

Enmeshment

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/enmeshment

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

Unmet Emotional Needs

Unmet emotional needs can give rise to early maladaptive schemas, and other forms of maladaptive coping. This Unmet Emotional Needs handout forms part ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unmet-emotional-needs

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

How Your Past Affects Your Present (Schema Therapy)

Schema therapy posits that many longstanding psychological difficulties stem from unmet core emotional needs, the early maladaptive schemas (EMS) they ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-your-past-affects-your-present-schema-therapy

Emotional Deprivation

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emotional-deprivation

What Are Schemas?

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and peoples’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-are-schemas

Entitlement

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/entitlement

Approval-/Admiration-Seeking

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/approval-admiration-seeking

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

Emotional Inhibition

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emotional-inhibition

Defectiveness

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/defectiveness

Dependence / Incompetence

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/dependence-incompetence

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

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

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is fundamentally concerned with the meanings which people make of their experiences. The insight of the CBT model i ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-cbt-worksheet-handout

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

Responses To Threat: Freeze, Appease, Flight, Fight

Human beings are programmed to respond automatically in a variety of ways to a threat including freezing, escaping, and dissociation. Traumatized indi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/responses-to-threat-freeze-appease-flight-fight

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

"Should" Statements

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

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

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

Self-Blame

The Self-Blame information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effectively wi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/self-blame

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

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

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

What Keeps Generalized Anxiety And Worry Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-generalized-anxiety-and-worry-going

What Keeps Low Self-Esteem Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-low-self-esteem-going

What Is Worry?

Worrying is a form of thinking about the future, defined as thinking about future events in a way that leaves you feeling anxious or apprehensive. Cli ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-worry

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

What Keeps Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Going?

The "What Keeps It Going?" series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concise, t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-going

What Is Rumination?

Rumination and repetitive thought is a transdiagnostic maintenance process underpinning a range of difficulties. This information sheet explores the c ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-rumination

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

Types Of Dissociation

The Types Of Dissociation information handout is designed for clients who have experienced trauma and describes dissociation using accessible terminol ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/types-of-dissociation

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

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

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

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

Thought-Action Fusion

The Thought-Action Fusion information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more eff ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-action-fusion

What Keeps Depression Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-depression-going

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

What Is A Panic Attack?

Panic attacks are single episodes of intense fear or discomfort that begin suddenly and reach a peak within minutes. The cognitive behavioral model of ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-a-panic-attack

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

Social Comparison

The Social Comparison information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effecti ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/social-comparison

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

Thought Suppression And Intrusive Thoughts

Suppression is a common approach to unwanted thoughts, worriers, doubts, or urges. Unfortunately, there are good reasons why this strategy fails. This ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-suppression-and-intrusive-thoughts

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

What Is Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)?

Compassion focused therapy (CFT) was developed to work with issues of shame and self-criticism. The CFT model complements and expands the traditional ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-compassion-focused-therapy-cft

Thoughts And Depression

Depression is associated with cognitive biases, one of which is a failure to notice positive information. This information handout presents this conce ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thoughts-and-depression

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness meditation is a traditional Buddhist practice. It is now commonly taught as a practice helpful in the management of a variety of mental he ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-mindfulness

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

What Keeps Social Anxiety Going?

The "What Keeps It Going?" series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concise, t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-social-anxiety-going

What Keeps Health Anxiety Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-health-anxiety-going

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Our ‘What Is … ?’ series is a collection of one-page information handouts for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, handout ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad

Safety Behaviors

Safety behaviors are actions carried out with the intention of preventing a feared catastrophe. In the short-term they often give a sense of relief, b ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/safety-behaviors

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

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

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

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

Stages Of Change

The Stages Of Change model is helpful for conceptualizing the mental states of individuals at different stages of their change journey. This informati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/stages-of-change

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

Recognizing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by the presence of persistent and repeated obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions are intrusi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/recognizing-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd

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

EMDR Negative And Positive Cognitions

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emdr-negative-and-positive-cogntions

What Keeps Death Anxiety Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-death-anxiety-going

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

What Keeps Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Going?

The "What Keeps It Going?" series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concise, t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd-going

Schema Bias

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/schema-bias

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

Your Stone Age Brain

Your Stone Age Brain is an information handout which describes the freeze-flight-fight response: a set of evolutionary adaptations that increase the c ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/your-stone-age-brain

What Is EMDR? (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based treatment for trauma. Its theoretical basis is described by the adaptive inf ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-emdr

Schema Metaphors

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/schema-metaphors

What Keeps Panic Going?

The "What Keeps It Going?" series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concise, t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-panic-going

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

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

What Is Imagery Rescripting?

Unwanted images are a feature common to a variety of problems including PTSD and depression. Imagery rescripting is an evidence-based treatment techni ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-imagery-rescripting

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

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

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

What Is Exposure Therapy?

Exposure is an effective evidence-based treatment for fear. This information handout describes the key principles of Exposure Therapy. Clients who are ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-exposure-therapy

What Keeps Perfectionism Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-perfectionism-going

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

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 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

Selective Attention

Selective attention can be conceptualized as a maintaining process (mechanism) within CBT. Biases in perception can lead to biases in information proc ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/selective-attention

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

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

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