Behavioural Experiment Worksheet Health Anxiety

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What is the theory behind this Behavioural Experiment Worksheet Health Anxiety?

Behavioural Experiment is a technique used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to test one’s new or old beliefs and assumptions about the self, others and the world in general. It allows individuals to explore the likelihood of their irrational worries actually coming true. With time the intensity associated with that worry decreases when they are unable to find evidence to support it. 

Health anxiety is characterised by excessive worry about falling seriously ill leading to repeated checking of illness signs and rejecting contrary reassurances. These are the safety behaviours which can be targeted in behavioural experiments. 

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will provide a behaviour experiment log that clients with Health Anxiety can use to test the outcome of avoiding their safety behaviours such as repeatedly seeking information about their concerned illness. It will require them to test the likelihood of their irrational beliefs related to their health actually coming true. 

How to use the worksheet?

Instruct the client to write the belief in the safety behaviour they intend to target in this experiment and how strongly they believe in it. Then tell them to predict what will happen if they avoid that safety behaviour for some time. Then tell them to come up with specifics of how they intend to carry out this experiment for e.g by avoiding looking up information related to xyz medical illness..Then compare the outcome with the prediction and share what they have learned. 


Taylor, S., & Asmundson, G. J. (2004). Treating health anxiety: A cognitive-behavioral approach.Guilford Press

You can download this worksheet here.

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