Downward Arrow Technique worksheet

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What is the theory behind this worksheet?

This worksheet is based on a CBT approach, meant to uncover negative and unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that cause harmful, negative behaviors and emotions in order to change them into rational and healthy thoughts (Mohamadian et al., 2018).

How will the worksheet help

The following worksheet will help you familiarize yourself with the downward arrow technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy by identifying your negative automatic thoughts and seeing how they evolve in order to restructure them.

How to use this worksheet

The downward arrow technique is very difficult to complete by yourself since it can produce high levels of emotional distress and will involve you in accessing your deepest fears. This is why we recommend it to do it with the guidance of a therapist.

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Beck, J. S. (2020). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond. Guilford Publications.


Mohamadian, F., Bagheri, M., Hashemi, M. S., & Komeili Sani, H. (2018). The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Depression and Anxiety among Patients with Thalassemia: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Caring Sciences7(4), 219–224.