Internal and external triggers worksheet (PDF)

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What is the theory behind this Internal and external triggers worksheet?

A trigger is any ‘event’ or ‘thing’ that elicit certain unwanted thoughts or behaviors that have become associated with them. Identification of one’s triggers are an integral part of any therapeutic recovery process. It is important to equip an individual with not just the knowledge of their triggers but also capabilities to deal with them. As a failure to do so can lead to relapse. 

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will help you identify what potentially triggers your unwanted thoughts or behaviors so that you can work on either avoiding them to learning to cope with them. Determining how risky they are can be useful in figuring out how to tackle them.  

How to use the worksheet?

Psychoeducate the client about internal and external triggers given below, and then ask them to write a brief description of potential trigger(s), followed by how they make them feel or act. They can then rate the trigger’s risk factor. Following are some examples of internal and external triggers:

Internal triggersExternal triggers
EmotionsThoughtsMemoriesPeoplePlacesObjectsSituationsActivitiesAnything else from the physical environment

You can download this worksheet here.

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