Avoidance Worksheet

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What is the theory behind this Avoidance Worksheet?

One of the most common responses to upsetting thoughts and feelings is avoidance. Individuals will go to great lengths to avoid feeling uncomfortable emotions or having to deal with distressing thoughts. In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy clients are taught the ‘Confronting Avoidance’ skill where they identify and evaluate the objects of and reason behind their avoidance to move towards acceptance and change.   

How will the worksheet help?

This worksheet will help clients reflect on what thoughts, feelings and sensations are uncomfortable enough for them to choose avoidance rather than confrontation. It will allow them to reflect on how they can benefit from facing them and what are the costs of avoiding them. 

How to use this worksheet?

Instruct the client to write about the distressing or uncomfortable thoughts, emotions and sensation that they tend to avoid facing. Then tell them to write about why they avoid it, what are the costs of avoidance and how the much feared confrontation can actually bring benefits for them. 

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