Thought Record


When practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, thought records are EVERYTHING. CBT, is a kind of therapy that combines talk therapy with behavioral therapy. The primary belief of CBT is that if you can change your thoughts, you can change your life.

Thought records are detailed recordings of your inner thoughts so that you can identify any cognitive distortions and develop the habit of changing negative and irrational thoughts/beliefs, into more positive and rational thoughts/beliefs. The hope is that with more positive, rational thoughts/beliefs, you can begin behaving in ways that are more healthy and supportive to your overall well-being.

The following video will help teach you hot to keep a thought record.

Let’s practice!

Think about a situation that made you think negatively. Think about what you specifically said to yourself. Then try to imagine what emotions were stirred as a result. When experiencing those emotions, how did you react? What were the behaviors that were a result of feeling specific emotions?

Now put the thought on trial. Ask yourself:

  1. Is the thought true, if so, what evidence do I have to support this thought?

  2. Are there any counter-arguments to this thought? What could be more reasonable and true?

The following two questions can be asked each time you experience negative and/or irrational thinking. If writing it all out on a Thought Record isn’t your thing, thinking about these two questions can be a simpler alternative.

I encourage you to try it out (and keep with it, it’s something that you’ll have to practice with persistence) and see if changes the way you feel and behave.