Mental Health Counseling
CBT THOUGHT RECORD
The thought record is one of the fundamental tools in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The underlying principle can be summarised as "what do you believe, and why do you believe it?". This seven-column thought record can be used to:
identify negative automatic thoughts (NATs)
help clients understand the links between thoughts and emotions
examine the evidence for and against a selected NAT
In therapy clients often need assistance and practice at identifying the link between thoughts and emotions before they move on to challenging thoughts and substituting more helpful thoughts for less helpful ones. Some clients might find it helpful to practice identifying NATs using a Simple Thought Record before introducing the complexity of evidence-gathering and thought challenging.
Download the CBT Thought Record Worksheet
Relaxed breathing is an information sheet with clear instructions for carrying out diaphragmatic (relaxed) breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation, and is an excellent first-line soothing or grounding technique. Although instructions are given for breathing to a counted rhythm it can be helpful to guide clients not to become too focused on breathing in the 'right' way – as long as breathing becomes slower and deeper it tends to be helpful.
Download the Relaxed Breathing Worksheet
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
Progressive muscle relaxation is a helpful foundational skill for promoting relaxation and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This worksheet includes simple step-by-step instructions for relaxing each muscle group in turn to promote a strong feeling of physiological relaxation.
Download the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Worksheet
MINDFULLNESS OF BODY AND BREATH
Audio from book: Mindfullness - Finding Peace in a Frantic World
UNHELPFUL THINKING STYLES / COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS
Cognitive distortions are characteristic thinking styles associated with emotional disturbance. The theory states that biased thinking and biased information processing affects what an individual perceives. This leads to biased decision-making, biased emotion, and biased action. Distorted thinking in depression was identified by Aaron Beck in 1960's, and David Burns published a more detailed analysis in Feeling Good. This Unhelpful Thinking Styles information sheet gives details of 10 common cognitive distortions. Some clients find the label of 'unhelpful thinking styles' as less perjorative than 'cognitive distortions' or 'thinking errors'.
Download the Unhelpful Thinking Styles/Cognitive Distortions Worksheet