The thought journal

The thought journal is a method recommended as part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The idea is to write down negative [automatic] thoughts that come into your head and then challenge them through a series of headings as follows:

  1. Situation (what, where, when, who)
  2. Emotion and Intensity (0-100)
  3. Automatic Thought(s)
  4. Evidence For
  5. Evidence Against
  6. Alternative Thought & New Mood Rating

At least that’s what I took from the book I read Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: 7 Ways to Freedom from Anxiety, Depression and Intrusive Thoughts by Lawrence Wallace. The idea is to not only challenge negative thinking but to find patterns and thus deduce what the underlying problem is. I’ve only just started, not even sure if I’m doing it right. Will I find a pattern? Or at least be able to challenge them down the line without needing a notebook?


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