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In order to make effective positive change, it is essential to look at the factors which help to keep the problem going.  Once we've identified those factors, we can then target each factor and start to make positive changes. 

Using the example of a simple clockwork mechanism, we can see how the smaller cogs keep the large central cog turning.  If there's a problem with any of the cogs, then the whole mechanism will grind to a halt.


We can therefore use this process to help us deal with our mental health problem.  If our main problem is "anxiety", then we can write "anxiety" inside the large central cog.  Then we can identify each factor than helps keep the anxiety going.

In order to reduce and deal with the anxiety, we need to target and make positive helpful changes in each of those smaller cogs.

Example Cogs

Vicious Cogs of Anxiety


Vicious Cogs of Depression

Vicious cogs of depression

Vicious Cogs of Anger


You can see more vicious cogs examples on these pages:

Print a blank Cogs PDF and fill in the factors that keep your anger going.

Learn effective skills online - The Decider Skills for Self Help online course. 

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