What is the theory behind this “CBT AUTOMATIC THOUGHTS WORKSHEET ”?

Automatic thoughts are exactly what they sound like: Thoughts that a person has unconsciously and automatically in reaction to a stimulus. These ideas are frequently damaging and illogical for a person. Finding these thoughts and then destroying them are key objectives of CBT.

How will this worksheet help you?

This CBT automatic thoughts worksheet will help you to elevate your mood by recognizing these unfavorable habitual thoughts and swapping them out for more positive ones.

How to use the worksheet?

Follow the instructions in the worksheet to record your automotive thoughts and write down new thoughts that you should use to deal with the trigger or situation effectively. Try to do this at least three or four times a week. 


TriggerAutomatic ThoughtNew Thought
EXAMPLE: I made a mistake at work.EXAMPLE: “I’m probably going to be fired. I always mess up. This is it. I’m not good at this job.”Example: “It is okay to make mistakes. I’m going to work through this, like I always do.”


1. Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed.). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press, from https://img3.reoveme.com/m/be38edbbfc79330a.pdf

You can download this worksheet here.

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