Anticipatory Anxiety Automatic Thought Record Worksheet

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Worksheet published on January 3rd, 2023

Anticipatory Anxiety Automatic Thought Record Worksheet

Anticipatory anxiety is a struggle for many people. It is a type of anxiety that occurs when thinking about something that will be happening or may happen in the future. A person who is struggling with anticipatory anxiety may find themselves in thinking patterns like catastrophizing or imagining the worst-case scenario. 

When it comes to anticipatory anxiety, the possibility of the worst-case scenario overwhelms an affected person with worry, even when it is a small possibility. This type of worry can affect their mental and emotional health, along with their ability to perform in day-to-day life. For these reasons, it is important for a person who tends to catastrophize or experience anticipatory anxiety to be able to challenge their anxious thoughts and rationalize their expectations. 

About This Worksheet

This is the Anticipatory Anxiety Automatic Thought Record Worksheet. It is an automatic thought record (ATR) that helps the client process their worries in a healthy way and brings to light their catastrophizing tendencies. 

This worksheet is great practice for breaking down cognitive distortions, anxious reactions, and triggers. It also helps the client see and understand how their anxiety affects their expectations about the future. This worksheet can help adults who are participating in individual cognitive behavioral therapy.


Before completing the worksheet with the client, be sure that they understand how their anxious thoughts about the future affect them. Explain what an ATR is and how it can help with challenging anxious thoughts.

Review the introduction and example offered on the worksheet. Then, assist the client in completing the ATR. In order for the client to be able to use the exercise on their own, they must first practice with the guidance of a mental health professional. Once finished, reflect on the exercise and answer any questions the client may have.

Download Anticipatory Anxiety Automatic Thought Record Worksheet

Link To This Worksheet

2 Comments On Anticipatory Anxiety Automatic Thought Record Worksheet

  1. Linda Lee

    As we move to online interventions until school reopens, these worksheets are extremely helpful in not losing ground made while in school. Thank you from a School Psychologist whom specializes in trauma and grief!

    • Hi Linda,

      I am so happy to hear that PsychPoint worksheets are helping students as they transition to online learning. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

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