Balancing Negative Thoughts Worksheet

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Worksheet updated on September 11th, 2023

Balancing Negative Thoughts Worksheet

Negative thoughts can control the way people perceive almost every aspect of their lives. Some may have negative thoughts about themselves, others, or the way of the world. Negative thoughts generate negative feelings. In turn, negative feelings contribute to harmful behavior and can worsen mood disorders.

That is why it is important to know how to balance negative thoughts in the moment. Balancing negative thoughts involves using perspective to promote healthy thinking. One way to do this is to consider the evidence that supports and challenges a negative thought. This can help with finding a sound resolution.

With practice, a client in therapy can learn how to balance negative thoughts. This can help with reducing negative self-talk, unwanted feelings, and harmful behavior.

About This Worksheet

This is the Balancing Negative Thoughts worksheet. On this worksheet, the client is asked to challenge negative thoughts they have about difficult situations in their day. In learning how to challenge their negative thought, the client can draw a balanced conclusion about a situation.

The Balancing Negative Thoughts worksheet is excellent for those who are being treated through cognitive therapies. It can be used with adolescents and adults and is best utilized in individual counseling settings.


On this worksheet, the client is asked to record the negative thought that is troubling them. Then, they are asked follow-up questions about the evidence that supports and challenges their thought.

Introduce the worksheet to the client and explain how it can help with managing negative thoughts. Explain that you and the client will complete one row of the worksheet together, and they will be assigned the second row as homework.

Complete the first question with the client, then allow them space to complete the rest of the questions themselves. You may assist the client if they are struggling.

When the client has completed the reflection questions, review the results with them. Offer insight into how this method can be helpful for them and ask the client how they feel after completing the exercise. Assign this exercise to the client as homework to complete between sessions. Review their second response during the next session.

Download Balancing Negative Thoughts Worksheet

Link To This Worksheet

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