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Pie Charts (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Responsibility Pie Chart. Older versions of a resource may be archived in the event that they are available in multiple languages, or where data indicates that the resource continues to be frequently used by clinicians.

A common cognitive bias is to take an egocentric approach to events. When applied to negative events this can result in an exaggerated sense of responsibility and feelings of guilt or shame. Pie charts are a helpful tool for helping clients to appreciate allocentric contributory factors to an event.


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Professional version

A PDF of the resource, theoretical background, suggested therapist questions and prompts.

Client version

A PDF of the resource plus client-friendly instructions where appropriate.

Editable version (PPT)

An editable Microsoft PowerPoint version of the resource.


Pie Charts are a helpful cognitive restructuring tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. They are particularly useful for working with problems where a patient has an inflated sense of responsibility. They can help to 'even-out' biased ways of thinking by graphically presenting the client's weighted opinions about contributing factors to a given event.


  • Greenberger, D., Padesky, C. A. (1995). Mind over mood. Guilford