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Working with our Thoughts


What was or is the situation?



What happened that caused you to have the unpleasant emotion(s)? Who? What? When? Where? How?





Unhelpful Thought

What thought went through your mind when this happened?










How much do you believe this thought?




What emotion(s) did you feel when you had the unhelpful thought?



How intense are the emotions overall?





Check the Thought

1. What is the evidence for the unhelpful thought?





2. What is the evidence against the unhelpful thought? 





3. What evidence might someone else point out to show my thoughts are not completely accurate?





4. How do I know this thought is accurate?




5. What have I learned from past experiences that could help me now?





6. Am I overlooking my strengths and focusing on feeling powerlessness? If so, which strengths and choices do I have in this?



7. Am I turning an ant hill into a mountain?




8. Am I blaming someone/something else for something they don’t have complete control over?





9. Am I blaming myself for something I do not have complete control over?




Were you engaging any thinking traps? Check all that apply.


Jumping to conclusions or predicting the future


Exaggerating or minimizing a situation (blowing things out of proportion or shrinking their importance inappropriately)


Ignoring important parts of a situation


Oversimplifying things as "good-bad" or "right-wrong"


Overgeneralizing from a single incident (e.g., a negative event is seen as never ending pattern)


Mind reading (in particular, assuming that people are thinking negatively of you when there is no definite evidence for this)


Emotional reasoning (Using your emotions as proof. e.g., "I feel fear, so I must be in danger")


Should'ing (using words like "should", "must" or "ought", that can make us feel guilty or like we already failed)


Personalizing (blaming yourself or taking responsibility for something that wasn't completely your fault)


Controlling (assuming you have more control over a situation/person than you actually do)


Making assumptions



Alternative Thought

What is another way to think of this situation? How else can you interpret the event instead of using the unhelpful thought? What would be a more balanced and factual interpretation?





How much do you believe this alternative thought?






New Emotions

When you told yourself the old unhelpful thought, you felt emotions. Now, when you tell yourself the alternative thought, what emotion(s) do you feel?




How intense are the emotions overall?


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