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Thought Records

The cognitive model assumes that cognitions (thoughts and images) are responsible for emotions. Cognitions are automatic, habitual, and believable. Unfortunately, they are also prone to bias: misappraisals of events and situations underpin many common problems, including anxiety and depression. Thought records are tools used by cognitive behavioral therapists to help their patients capture, evaluate, and restructure their negative automatic thoughts. Recording and evaluating thoughts allows us to test the accuracy of our thinking, and oftentimes feel better by identifying and correcting bias or inaccuracies. One objective when using thought records in CBT is to encourage more balanced thinking. Thought records vary considerably and include: simple forms that assist patients to capture their negative automatic thoughts; thought challenging records that guide patients through the process of disputing their negative cognitions; and disorder-specific forms that encourage the capture of specific types of cognitive content. Psychology Tools has created a variety of thought records to suit the needs of a broad range of cognitive therapists. Read more

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51 of 51 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

Thought Record (Evidence For And Against)

CBT Thought Records exist in multiple variants, depending on the needs and abilities of the client. This Thought Record (Evidence For And Against) is ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-evidence-for-and-against

Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Archived)

NOTE: Two improved versions of this resource are available here: Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Common) and Cognitive Disto ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unhelpful-thinking-styles-archived

Examining Your Negative Thoughts

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

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

Thought Distortion Monitoring Record

Thinking is often biased in particular ways and individuals often have their own characteristic patterns of bias. The Thought Distortion Monitoring Re ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-distortion-monitoring-record

Anxiety - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anxiety-self-monitoring-record

OCD Diary

Self-monitoring of thoughts, feelings and symptoms is an essential skill for clients engaged in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Clients will find ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ocd-diary

Compassionate Thought Challenging Record

Thought challenging records are commonly used in CBT to help people to evaluate their negative automatic thoughts for accuracy and bias. This Compassi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/compassionate-thought-challenging-record

Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts

The Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts guide is written for clients who struggle with negative automatic thoughts. It provides a comprehensive in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/evaluating-unhelpful-automatic-thoughts

Decatastrophizing

Catastrophic thinking (magnification) is characteristic of many anxiety problems. This CBT worksheet for decatastrophizing is a tool for cognitive res ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/decatastrophizing

Simple Thought Record

Self-monitoring of thoughts, feelings, and symptoms is an essential skill in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This Simple Thought Record is an exce ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/simple-thought-record

CBT Appraisal Model

The CBT Appraisal Model worksheet is a transdiagnostic formulation tool. The centrality of appraisals underpins all of the disorder-specific cognitive ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cbt-appraisal-model

CBT Thought Record Portrait

The CBT Thought Record is an essential tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. Thought challenging records help people to evaluate their negative automa ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cbt-thought-record-portrait

Thought Record (Considered Response)

Thought records exist in multiple variants, depending on the needs and abilities of the client. This Thought Record (Considered Response) is a cogniti ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-considered-response

Worry Thought Record

Anxiety stems from negative predictions about the future (and also from assumptions that one will not be able to cope with the magnitude of the threat ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/worry-thought-record

Thought Record – Courtroom Trial

Thought records are commonly used in CBT to help people to evaluate their negative automatic thoughts for accuracy and bias. The Thought Record – Co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-courtroom-trial

Negative Thoughts - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/negative-thoughts-self-monitoring-record

Boundaries - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/boundaries-self-monitoring-record

Self Critical Thought Challenging Record

Disputing thoughts is a critical skill in cognitive therapy. The Self-Critical Thought Challenging Record helps clients to identify and challenge thei ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/self-critical-thought-challenging-record

Catching Your Thoughts (CYP)

Before thoughts can be examined or challenged they must be ‘caught’ – they must be noticed and distinguished from events and feelings. The Catch ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/catching-your-thoughts-cyp

Self-Monitoring Record (Universal)

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/self-monitoring-record-universal

Depression - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/depression-self-monitoring-record

Health Anxiety - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/health-anxiety-self-monitoring-record

Rumination - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/rumination-self-monitoring-record

Prompts For Challenging Negative Thinking (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Prompts For Challenging Negative Thinking. Older versions of a resource may be arch ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/prompts-for-challenging-negative-thinking-archived

Hotspot Record

Enhanced 'reliving' in trauma-focused CBT for PTSD involves addressing the meaning associated with 'hot spots' of traumatic memory. This Hotspot Recor ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/hotspot-record

Anger Thought Challenging Record

Evaluating and disputing thoughts is a fundamental skill taught by cognitive therapists to their clients. The Anger Thought Challenging Record can hel ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anger-thought-challenging-record

Challenging Your Negative Thinking (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts. Older versions of a resource may be archived in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/challenging-your-negative-thinking

Intrusion Record

What differentiates intrusive congitions in OCD is the meaning that clients with OCD attach to them. The Intrusion Record is a CBT worksheet for captu ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/intrusion-record

Panic Diary

The Panic Diary is a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) diary for panic symptoms. Clients can record panic attack frequency along with information abo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/panic-diary

Court Trial Thought Challenging Record (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Thought Record - Courtroom Trial. Older versions of a resource may be archived in the ev ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/court-trial-thought-challenging-record

Dissociation - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/dissociation-self-monitoring-record

Anger - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anger-self-monitoring-record

Dysfunctional Thought Record

The Dysfunctional Thought Record is a worksheet to record and challenge dysfunctional thoughts. It encourages clients to identify the involvement of a ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/dysfunctional-thought-record

Self-Criticism - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/self-criticism-self-monitoring-record

Health Anxiety Thought Record

Individuals with health anxiety experience clinically significant distress associated with health concerns. This thought-challenging record enables cl ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/health-anxiety-thought-record

Urges – Self-Monitoring Record

The Urges – Self-Monitoring Record worksheet is designed to help clients capture information about their urges and cravings. It includes columns to ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/urges-self-monitoring-record

Panic Attack Record

Self-monitoring of thoughts, feelings, and symptoms is an essential skill for clients engaged in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The Panic Attack ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/panic-attack-record

Panic - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/panic-self-monitoring-record

Perfectionism Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/perfectionism-self-monitoring-record

Simple Thought Challenging Record

Disputing thoughts is a critical skill in cognitive therapy. The Simple Thought Challenging Record encourages clients to identify alternative perspect ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/simple-thought-challenging-record

Flashbacks - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/flashbacks-self-monitoring-record

Perspective-Taking

Cognitive restructuring techniques in CBT teach clients ways of analyzing situations in ways that might initially be unfamiliar. A simple way of intro ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/perspective-taking

Attention - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/attention-self-monitoring-record

Identifying The Meaning Of Body Sensations

Some anxiety disorders (including panic and health anxiety), are concerned with body sensations and symptoms. The Identifying The Meaning Of Body Sens ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/identifying-the-meaning-of-body-sensations

Thoughts In CBT (Psychology Tools For Living Well)

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help your clients to live happier and more fulfilling lives. Psychology Tools for Living Well is a self-help course ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thoughts-in-cbt-psychology-tools-for-living-well

Permissive Thinking – Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/permissive-thinking-self-monitoring-record

Belief-O-Meter (CYP)

The Belief-O-Meter is an engaging way of helping children and adolescents to relate to their thoughts differently. It is a form of cognitive restructu ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/belief-o-meter-cyp

Rumination Diary (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Rumination – Self-Monitoring Record. Older versions of a resource may be archived ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/rumination-diary-archived

Meaning In Tinnitus

The psychological approach to tinnitus proposes that it is the meaning attached to perceptions which gives rise to distress - this is similar to the a ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/meaning-in-tinnitus

Links to external resources

Psychology Tools makes every effort to check external links and review their content. However, we are not responsible for the quality or content of external links and cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time.

Recommended Reading

  • Bennett-Levy, J. (2003). Mechanisms of change in cognitive therapy: The case of automatic thought records and behavioural experiments.Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy,31(3), 261-277.

What Are CBT Thought Records?

Types of CBT Thought Records

References

  • Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.