So how do they work?

Most thought records consist of a blank sheet divided into multiple columns (see Appendix 2 for an example).

Column 1: the situation

This is where you record what was going on at the time when you felt distressed. It will allow you to pinpoint relevant triggers and help you understand the context of your negative thoughts. Take note of who you were with, what you were doing and any significant changes in your environment that might be important.

Column 2: your feelings

It will almost certainly be a change in your mood that will alert you to the fact that negative thoughts are around. Record each of the emotions that you experience as specifically as you can. Try to make distinctions between different shades of feeling ...

Get Brilliant Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.