Putting Thoughts on Trial Worksheet

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What is the theory behind this Putting Thoughts on Trial Worksheet?

The concept of cognitive restructuring in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is likened to ‘putting one’s thoughts on a trial’. It allows individuals to be aware of and identify faulty and irrational thinking processes and beliefs fueling their negative emotional state and unhelpful behaviours. The client is required to gather and rely on only facts that support or negate either thoughts then come to a fair and balanced decision as a judge. 

How will the worksheet help?

This worksheet will help clients challenge their irrational thoughts and beliefs by holding them on trial. To do this, they would have to act as the defense, the prosecution and the judge for their own case. It will require them to gather factual evidence that supports or negate their thoughts and then come to a rational and balanced decision. 

How to use this worksheet?

Instruct the client to write down the irrational thought that has been identified in the prior sessions and needs to be challenged. Then they must collect only factual evidence as both the defense and prosecutor for their case. Based on this information they have to reach a fair verdict that is line with facts and not merely based on opinions or assumptions. 

You can download this worksheet here.

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