Anger Self-Monitoring Record
Self-monitoring is a fundamental tool in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This Anger Self-Monitoring Record is designed to help clients to better understand their angry thoughts and responses.
Self-monitoring is a fundamental tool in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Self-monitoring can be used to:
- Identify negative automatic thoughts (NATs)
- Help clients understand the links between thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and responses
This Anger Self-Monitoring Record is designed to help clients to better understand their angry thoughts and responses.
- Clients should be instructed to record specific instances in which angry thoughts, feelings, or responses were prompted.
- In the first column (Situation) clients should be instructed to record what they were doing when they started to notice a significant change in how they were feeling. Training clients to record specific details (such as who they were with, where they were, and what had just happened) is often helpful when later elaborating a memory for an event, or simply in understanding the reasons for subsequent thoughts and responses
- In the second column (Angry thoughts) clients should be directed to record any automatic cognitions. They should be reminded that cognitions can take the form of verbal thoughts, but can also take the form of images, or memories. If a recorded cognition is an image (e.g. “I had a picture in my mind of him smiling as he pushed in”) clients should be directed to question what that image means to them (e.g “It means he knows that he’s taking advantage, that he thinks I’m weak”) and to record that idiosyncratic meaning.
- In the third column (Emotions and body sensations) clients should be instructed to record their emotional reactions in that moment (which can typically be described using single words, e.g. angry, annoyed, frustrated) and associated body sensations (e.g. tightness in my stomach). Clients should be encouraged to rate the intensity of these sensations on 0–100% scale.
- In the fourth column (Responses) clients should be instructed to record what they did in response to the angry thought and feeling. Did they make efforts to express or suppress it? Did they respond overtly (e.g. angry behavior) or covertly (e.g. ruminating on an insult)?
- Beck, A.T., Rush, A.J., Shaw, B.F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford.
- Fernandez, E., & Beck, R. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral self-intervention versus self-monitoring of anger: Effects on anger frequency, duration, and intensity. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 29(3), 345-356.