Worry is a particular form of thinking. Worry about the future often involves an implicit assumption, or prediction, about how the future will turn out. 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). The Worry Thought Record is a thought challenging record for worry. It encourages clients to record worries, predictions associated with worries, and then evidence for and against the prediction. This thought record helps clients to make their future-oriented predictions explicit, which can be followed by reality-testing.
- Identify the situation in which the worry occurred (this can help to prompt client’s memories for the event)
- Identify the worry thought
- Clearly identify the prediction that is being made & rate the client’s confidence in that event occurring (0-100%)
- Record the emotion associated with the worry (typically anxiety – other emotional reactions can prompt exploration by the therapist)
- Record the evidence for and against the prediction (evidence which indicates the predicted events are likely to occur or not).
- Consider whether an event like that predicted has ever happened before, how often it tends to happen, what circumstances it tends to happen in, and whether those circumstances apply to this situation
- Re-rate the confidence in the likelihood of the predicted event occurring (0-100%)
- Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press