Many of you have asked me if I could talk about things I have learned in therapy since I announced back in the summer that I was going back into therapy for my struggles with anxiety. My therapist uses a multimodal approach with a focus on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which helps us understand how our thoughts and feelings influence our behaviours. CBT helps bring awareness to these thoughts that lead us to have incorrect beliefs about ourselves and our situations.
In therapy, wea€™ve been able to identify that a large part of my anxiety is due to personal issues from my past and also that I make false assumptions and predictions about events in the future. If you click the image below, the Thought Record will pop up in PDF format that you can print for yourself. For example, a€?My presentation is going to go horrible and my boss is going to think that Ia€™m bad at my job.
Thata€™s just one small example that it can be used for, but it can be applied to so many different types of situations, thoughts, and personal struggles.
Of course, it takes a bit of practice to be able to reframe a thought (and find evidence that doesna€™t support it), but it will get easier over time. The first time I did the thought record with my therapist, I had this major a€?a-haa€™ moment. The Thought Record makes my thoughts more realistic and balanced, when anxiety tends to make them very up and down and unbalanced.
Shanna- I think the book you are talking about is called Mind Over Mood by Denise Greenberger.
A lot of my anxiety comes from not wanting to let other people down or embarrass myself, and I find that it’s helpful to step outside my head for a minute and consider what I would say to a friend in a similar situation.
Thanks for sharing Angela – I think this is an approach which a lot of people would benefit from. Logical is a very good way to put it…and I find with my own thoughts being so illogical it provides a great balance! Once I read about these assumptions in detail and why they are not necessarily true it really opened my eyes to the fact that I CAN have a different attitude to many situations.

I’ve read that too ( actually I think we went over that checklist on the first day!) and it was helpful. The Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI) is an Australian mental health organisation that conducts research, provides training and supervision, and offers a clinical service. In the past, Ia€™ve had great success when using CBT methods, especially when in recovery for my eating disorder.
I tend to predict that a situation will go poorly, when in fact, I have no evidence that this is the case. The more you use it, the easier it is to fill out and catch your negative thoughts in the process. Ita€™s a really helpful tool to use for body image issues because many of us tend to have automatic negative thoughts about our body that can impact our entire day. Also, not every thought record that you do is going to be life-changing, but I can assure you that some of the ones I have done have really impacted me. She helped me write a more balanced thought (I actually couldna€™t think of one, so she filled one out for me) and it brought me to tears because something just clicked inside of me.
I learned a bit about CBT when I did my psych minor in university and found it really interesting.
Once I got my anxiety under control, however, my therapy sessions became too much like to friends just chatting. I put off finding a therapist for my social anxiety issues for SO LONG because I was convinced that I would be handed a prescription for meds and shown the door (I do think medication has a purpose and a place, I just didn’t want to be blind-prescribed if there was an alternative that would work for me). It is just a question of taking the time to think about the situation in detail rather than jumping to conclusions. These free CBT worksheets, handouts, information sheets, and self-help guides have been carefully designed for you to use in your therapy sessions. After a long search, I found a very nice lady who offers a sliding scale because her therapy office is based out of a church.
Once you practice, you can even start doing it in your head if you find yourself in the middle of an anxiety-provoking situation.

It was amazing how it helped me see a situation in a new light that Ia€™d never thought about before. I find that I can a€?catcha€? them fairly quick now, recognize them for what they are, and realize that my thinking is not realistic or fair. I tend to expect the worst, and then I find that I’m sometimes setting myself up for disappointment, or at the very least, making a perfectly pleasant experience stressful.
It takes time but as I practice being more aware and mindful it has really helped with a lot of issues.
They have nothing to do with PsychologyTools, but I'm a big fan of their materials and sometimes find it hard to get to the ones I want in a hurry. Like you said in your example, we all have bad days, and if I have one, no one is going to think less of me. I think a log like this can be really helpful, especially when we can be quick to jump to conclusions and thing catastrophic thoughts without even realizing it at first. Thankfully, my university’s health services program had a therapist who specialized in CBT and they referred me to her. Therapy has such a stigma attached and it’s really not a big deal—everyone could benefit from talking to an objective, third party! I have found that psychodynamic therapy allows me to explore the reasons why I came to have negative thoughts in the first place.
I’m not saying either kind of therapy is better, I have just found them both to be really useful. Seeing that they rarely, if ever, turned out in the horrible ways I’d imagined changed my entire line of thinking.
I’m not in therapy now, but I am thankful every single day for those lessons I learned!

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