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Theory A / Theory B (Edition 1)

“The most effective way of changing a misinterpretation … is to help the person come up with an alternative, less threatening interpretation of his or her experience” (Salkovskis, 1996). Theory A Theory B is a method for reframing a problem in a less threatening way.

NOTE: There is an improved version of the Theory A / Theory B worksheet available here.

Worksheet

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Full resource pack (PDF)

Everything you could need: a PDF of the resource, therapist instructions, and description with theoretical context and references. Where appropriate, case examples and annotations are also included.

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Worksheet only (PDF)

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Fillable version (PDF)

A fillable version of the resource. This can be edited and saved in Adobe Acrobat, or other PDF editing software.

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Editable version (PPT)

An editable Microsoft PowerPoint version of the resource.

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Translation Template

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Description

Theory A / Theory B has been variously described as a ‘dual model strategy’ (Wells, 1997) and ‘Hypothesis A / Hypnothesis B’ (Salkovskis & Bass, 1997). This is a method for reframing a problem as being a result of a belief or worry, rather than as a result of a situation or fact. This worksheet pack includes 2 different versions of the worksheet, and two worked examples illustrating how to use it. “The most effective way of changing a misinterpretation … is to help the person come up with an alternative, less threatening interpretation of his or her experience” (Salkovskis, 1996).

References

  • Wells, A. (1997). Cognitive therapy for anxiety disorders. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Salkovskis, P. M., Bass, C. (1997). Hypochondriasis. In The Science and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (eds Clark & Fairburn). Oxford: Oxford University Press.