Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Defusion Worksheet

What is the theory behind this Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Defusion Worksheet?

Acceptance and Commitment therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioral therapy that aims to help individuals overcome negative thoughts by altering the way they relate to it. Instead of focusing on changing the content of the thought, ACT believes in mindful acceptance of the thought so that it is easier to focus on letting it go. When individuals become too focused on an unhelpful thought, ACT proposes the use of Cognitive defusion techniques to allow oneself to deter their connection with that thought till it no longer causes any harm. 

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will list down some cognitive defusion techniques that can help individuals change the way they relate to their negative thoughts instead of focusing on the content of the thoughts and letting it define their experiences. The point is to help individuals be silent observers of their thoughts rather than active engagers. 

How to use the worksheet?

This worksheet can be given to clients undergoing Acceptance and Commitment therapy to provide them with useful activities that they can practise to achieve cognitive defusion. Feedback can be taken in proceeding sessions regarding the implementation and effectiveness of the techniques.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Defusion Worksheet

Practice these techniques whenever you feel like you are paying too much attention or feel your attachment growing to certain negative thoughts.

Bring the thought to your notice. Do not try to fight it or ignore it
Remind yourself that you are noticing a certain thought without any judgements. Then again remind yourself that you are noticing a thought about noticing this and this thought. Keep adding another layer to your thought process till the original thought has taken a back seat and no longer seems important
Sing the thought
Pick any popular tune that you like such as the Happy Birthday song or any nursery rhymes and sing the content of the thought in the same tune. It will not make you forget your thought, it will just make you in charge of it!
Broken record player
Remember what a broken record sounds like? When the sounds just don’t make any sense but the record keeps playing? Make your thought sound the same way. Slow it down or distort the words till the thought is just a mix of useless sounds. 
Use funny impressions
Think of some silly impressions and imitate their voices as you speak the thought out loud. It could be a cartoon character, a family member or a comedy character. Just go with whatever impression that you find funny. 


Batten, S. V. (2012). Essentials of acceptance and commitment therapy. SAGE Publications Ltd.

You can download this worksheet here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *