Cognitive Distortions Worksheet
Worksheet published on October 10th, 2022
In cognitive behavioral therapy, a therapist will often work with their client to identify their cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are patterns in thinking that typically make someone think in the negative and have negative expectations. This can be detrimental to the client for many reasons, the biggest being it holds them back from growing mentally and emotionally.
Cognitive distortions are important for people to understand when they are learning how to challenge their thoughts and reactions. Finding patterns of cognitive distortions can help them build healthier thinking and coping habits.
About This Worksheet
This is the Cognitive Distortions worksheet. The goal of this worksheet is to define and explain the cognitive distortions the client may be experiencing.
Everyone experiences cognitive distortions. This worksheet will help the client understand how they hold them back from being happier or more productive.
This worksheet is great for individual and group sessions. It is intended to be used with adults.
On this worksheet, there is a list of common cognitive distortions people experience:
- All or none thinking
- Focusing on the negative / filtering
- The ‘shoulds’
- Predicting the future
- Mind reading
- Emotional reasoning
- Jumping to conclusions
The client is asked to review 12 cognitive distortions and choose any that resonate with them. They are then asked to reflect on how the cognitive distortion affects their life and how they intend to begin challenging them in therapy.
The therapist should go through the worksheet and explain how each of the cognitive distortions can affect a person.
After reviewing each cognitive distortion, instruct the client to identify the 2 or 3 cognitive distortions that resonate most with them. Then, have the client reflect on how those cognitive distortions affect their thinking, relationships, and self-esteem.