What is the theory behind this OCD thoughts worksheet?
People with OCD hold certain dysfunctional beliefs that become obsessions when they are appraised as having some significance or personal value. The thoughts become intrusive specially if they are considered immoral, extremely unacceptable or responsible for preventing harm. These intrusions cause much distress leading to compulsions to alleviate it.
How will the worksheet help?
This worksheet will help clients to monitor their triggers, obsessive thoughts and compulsions. It will also prompt them to think of alternate explanations and notice how it affects their emotions.
How to use the worksheet?
The worksheet is to be used as a homework assignment in between therapist guided sessions. It is used to help clients be aware of and understand the associations between their thoughts, emotions and behavior. It also provides valuable information to be used in the sessions.
OCD thoughts worksheet
Use the table to record your intrusive thoughts and behaviors and to consider alternative perspectives.
How intense was this emotion?(1 – 100)Mention any physical sensations.
|Immediate thought or worryWhat does it mean to you? What is the worst that can happen?||Behavior|
How did you act afterwards? What habits or mental routines usually follow this trigger?
|Alternative assessmentIs there another way to think about the situation?What evidence do you have that your thoughts are true?What could be another response to the situation?||Reevaluate your emotionIs it the same as before?(1 – 100)What has changed?|
McManus, F., Van Doorn, K., & Yiend, J. (2012). Examining the effects of thought records and behavioral experiments in instigating belief change. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 43(1), 540–547.
Olafsson, R. P. et al. (2014). Replacing intrusive thoughts: Investigating thought control in
relation to OCD symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. 45, 506 – 515.
You can download this worksheet here.