What is the theory behind this hopelessness worksheet?
Hopelessness is a prominent feature of depressive disorders, and is addressed in therapy using behavioral techniques. During periods of hopelessness, a person attributes negative events to the future. This can lead to a lack of interest in important activities, events, or people. When clients experience hopelessness, their world starts shrinking.
How will the worksheet help?
The purpose of this worksheet is to help clients deal with hopelessness by identifying, planning and preparing for upcoming activities during the week. Doing so can present clients with an opportunity to expand their world again.
How to use this worksheet?
In the space below, instruct clients to list any forthcoming weekly activities, events or tasks, (big or small) that they previously looked forward to. Then, facilitate them in making a plan of the things they will do leading up to the task, to prepare for its arrival. Any client experiencing hopelessness as a depressive symptom needs a lot of encouragement from the therapist.
New episode of yout favorite TV show that airs every Monday
Looking at the sunset
Upcoming news on the celebrity entertainment section
Upcoming family events etc.
Now create a schedule of activities, tasks or events in the upcoming week.
MacLeod, A. K., Tata, P., Tyrer, P., Schmidt, U., Davidson, K., & Thompson, S. (2005). Hopelessness and positive and negative future thinking in parasuicide. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44(4), 495–504.
Martell, C. R., Dimidjian, S., & Herman-Dunn, R. (2022). Behavioral activation for Depression: A clinician’s guide. The Guilford Press.
You can download this worksheet here.