What is the theory behind this NAT CBT Worksheet?
Negative Automatic Thoughts are certain patterns of negative thinking that were identified by Aaron Beck. Identification of these thoughts and how they affect one’s emotions and subsequent actions is an integral part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Once an individual becomes aware of these negative thoughts they can begin to challenge them and minimise their negative effects on their emotions and behaviours.
How will the worksheet help?
The worksheet will help individuals identify their negative automatic thoughts based on the provided characteristics. It will also prompt them to make a conscious effort to replace that thought with a helpful alternative. It will help develop the habit of analysing negative thoughts and replacing them with helpful ones.
How to use the worksheet?
Instruct the client to use this worksheet whenever they feel negative emotions. Immediately jot down whatever thoughts they have going on through their mind. Analyse thoughts based on the given characteristics of NAT’s. Then make a conscious effort to replace it with a helpful alternative thought whether they believe in it or not.
NAT CBT Worksheet
Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) are a stream of negative thoughts that are triggered as a response to any related stimuli around us.These thoughts are based on our past experiences or a general negative view of the self and others. One way to break the habit is to catch them and hold them to trial so that you can shift your perspective and replace it with a helpful positive thought. You don’t have to believe the thought right away. Just make an effort to think of an alternative.
Following are common characteristics of these NAT’s:
|All or nothing (situation is all good or all bad, nothing in between)||Labelling (associating negative labels with yourself)||Mind reading (assuming someone else is thinking the worst of you)||Tunnel vision (seeing everything from a negative point of view)|
|Catastrophizing (always assuming the worst will happen)||Mental Filter (filtering out all positives to focus on one negative event)||Overgeneralization (generalising one negative event to all possible future events)||Should and must statements (placing impossible standard on yourself and beating yourself up for not meeting them)|
|Discounting the positive aspect completely||Magnification/Minimization (blow negatives out of proportion, undermine positives)||Personalization (associating all negative events to your own negative attributes/sense of self)||Emotional reasoning (thinking whatever you are feeling is true)|
Whenever you feel any negative emotion coming through, immediately jot down what is going on in your mind without any judgements, Then analyse those thoughts. Make an effort to replace them with a helpful alternative whether you believe it or not.
|What am I feeling right now?What is the situation?||What is going on in my mind?||Are my thoughts characteristic of NATs? How?||What could be a possible alternative thought?|
Beck, J. (2020) Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond, 3rd edition. Guilford Press.
You can download this worksheet here.