Worksheet published on February 6th, 2019
Worksheet updated on July 15th, 2022
Being aware of a client’s triggers is a critical component of learning how to cope with symptoms of mental health challenges. Triggers are situations that can cause a person to react in an unwanted or unhealthy way.
Triggers can cause a person to struggle with unwanted thoughts, feelings, and impulses. They are especially challenging when they happen unexpectedly. This is why it is important to help a client become aware of their triggers. A part of helping them understand why they are feeling uncomfortable is understanding what causes the discomfort.
Being able to identify triggers helps the client learn how to cope with several different disorders, like anxiety, depression, anger management issues, grief, and substance use. It can also help them prepare for being confronted with their trigger so their reaction is less intense.
About This Worksheet
This is the Triggers worksheet. On this worksheet, the client has space to explore their own triggers for their thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
In working through this worksheet the client can develop an understanding of their triggers and why these triggers lead to negative feelings and behaviors. This will help them understand what coping skills they need to learn to lessen the intensity of their discomfort.
This worksheet is intended to be used by adolescents and adults. It can be useful in individual and group counseling sessions.
On this worksheet, the client is asked to identify three triggers. The client is then instructed to answer reflection questions for each trigger.
The client builds self-awareness by practicing these self-reflection questions. They also strengthen their coping skills to help manage harmful thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that come from feeling triggered.
When the client has completed the reflection questions, review the results with them. Reflect on what the client has learned about themselves and provide them with a copy of the worksheet for reference.