Core Beliefs Worksheet

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Worksheet published on August 30th, 2016

Worksheet updated on July 20th, 2021

Core Beliefs Worksheet

A huge part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is understanding what core beliefs are and how they affect people. Core beliefs are the perceived conclusions a person makes about themselves, the world, and their future. These conclusions are based on what they have learned through life experiences.

The way a person sees each aspect of their world is affected by their core beliefs. If you have negative, irrational, or maladaptive core beliefs, you will have a negative perspective of yourself and your life.

Most people are not aware of their core beliefs. Being aware of core beliefs helps with understanding your own thinking errors. Understanding your thinking errors is the first step toward having healthier thoughts. This helps with developing positive core beliefs.

When core beliefs are brought to the client’s attention, it puts into perspective where thinking errors may be affecting them. It helps them see unhealthy perspectives c in ways they had not previously realized.

About This Worksheet

This is the Core Beliefs worksheet. On this worksheet, the client is asked to generate a representation of how they see themselves, the world, and their future. It is a reflective exercise that helps the client see how their thoughts and core beliefs shape their perspectives.

This exercise is meant to reflect on negative core beliefs. By identifying and reflecting on core beliefs, the client can understand how they shape their behavior, ideas, and perspectives around their core beliefs. The client is encouraged to use key words and pictures, rather than sentences.

This is an excellent worksheet to use with adolescents and adults. It can be used in individual or group sessions. It can also be helpful in family sessions, when the therapist deems it appropriate. It can help in the treatment of anxiety, mood and personality disorders. It is an instrumental tool in the CBT process.


The worksheet consists of 3 categories of core beliefs. The three categories on the worksheet reflect exercises in CBT. They include:

  1. The self
  2. The world
  3. The future

The client is asked to reflect on each of the three categories. They are instructed to use pictures and/or key words to represent how they perceive them.

At the end of each of the three sections, ask the client to write a conclusion. The conclusion at the end of each question is facilitated with a simple sentence completion exercise.

If available, the use of colored pencils is encouraged. This can help the therapist have a better impression of the feelings and affect behind each drawing. This worksheet is great for individual, group and family counseling.

Download Core Beliefs Worksheet

Link To This Worksheet

2 Comments On Core Beliefs Worksheet

  1. Abigail

    Looks like a helpful resource to understand difference between core beliefs and values

    • Thank you for your feedback! It is so important to understand how both core beliefs and values affect our lives. Both are helpful to explore in therapy.

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