CBT Self Help Course - Step 5
Having learned that thoughts are just
thoughts, that they're automatic, not necessarily true, habitual and just appear
believable, then we can behave like Victim 2 in the previous step and learn to
challenge our thoughts.
We can start by identifying which of our
thoughts is the HOT thought:
Write down several thoughts from a recent
distressing situation. What did those thoughts say about you, or mean to
you? Of all those, which one thought (or image) was the one that made you
Let's take that hot thought - THE thought that
contributed most to making you feel distressed or depressed. Ask yourself
the following questions about THAT thought:
- Is this thought a fact, or just a thought?
- What am I reacting to? What meaning am I
giving this situation?
- Is there another way of looking at it?
- What would someone else make of it?
It's often helpful to think about a particular person who you respect, and
imagine what they would think about that thought, what meaning they would give
it, and how they would react to it.
- What advice would I give someone else (with
this thought in this situation)?
- Is this one of those
Unhelpful Thinking Habits?
- Is my reaction in proportion to the actual
- How important is this really? How
important will it be in a year's time?
- How am I reacting? When I think of
that Playground Bully, am I like Victim 1 (believing and getting upset), or
can I be like Victim 2 and challenge the bully?
- What if I tried to see this situation as an
outside observer. How would that look? Would things be likely to
have a different meaning?
- What evidence is there that this thought is
- What evidence is there that this thought
isn't true (partly or totally)?
- What would be a more balanced way of
looking at it?
- What is the bigger picture?
Use these sheets repeatedly to learn to
challenge your thoughts successfully :
guided imagery/relaxation downloads for self-help