Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used forms of therapy, and for good reason. Many mental health professionals use this therapy technique for a wide range of conditions, including different forms of depression. Having the right tools is an important part of providing effective treatment. In this post, we will highlight 15 CBT worksheets for depression that can help you deliver cognitive behavioral therapy more effectively to your clients.
Why CBT for Depression
Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that can occur in people of all ages around the world. According to the National Institute of Health,
“Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most evidence-based psychological interventions for the treatment of several psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorder, and substance use disorder. The uses are recently extended to psychotic disorders, behavioral medicine, marital discord, stressful life situations, and many other clinical conditions.
A sufficient number of researches have been conducted and shown the efficacy of CBT in depressive disorders. A meta-analysis of 115 studies has shown that CBT is an effective treatment strategy for depression and combined treatment with pharmacotherapy is significantly more effective than pharmacotherapy alone. Evidence also suggests that relapse rate of patient treated with CBT is lower in comparison to the patients treated with pharmacotherapy alone.”
CBT is one of the most widely used types of therapy for depression with a goal of:
- Uncover unhealth thinking patterns
- Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts in real-time
- Reduce negative or unhelpful thoughts
- Experience a better quality of life
The next sections will outline 15 different CBT worksheets for depression that you can use with your clients:
1. ABC Model Worksheet
In cognitive behavioral therapy, the ABC model is a framework used to help change thoughts. The goal of this worksheet is to challenge negative beliefs and develop more practical, rational ways to deal with upsetting situations.
Our CBT ABC Model Worksheet is designed to help your clients change irrational thoughts.
2. Triangle Worksheet
Thinking negatively is a common human trait. We actively search for problems so that we can be prepared for them. However, This negative thinking typically does the opposite of helping us and can worsen a client’s depressive symptoms.
Our CBT Triangle Worksheet is designed to help your clients change negative patterns of thought and can help with depression.
3. Behavioral Experiment Worksheet
A behavioral experiment is a CBT technique that involves testing negative thoughts (automatic) and then by reassessing beliefs and assumptions.
Our Behavioral Experiment Worksheet is an effective tool to help your clients cope in challenging or stressful situations:
4. Continuum Worksheet
The Continuum Technique is a tool used in CBT to help people challenge irrational beliefs about themselves or the world around them. This simple worksheet will help your clients contrast potentially harmful beliefs that they may simply accept as truth or allow to remain unchallenged. These can worsen conditions like depression.
Our CBT Continuum Worksheet is an effective tool to challenge negative beliefs your clients have about themselves:
5. Belief Driven Formulation Worksheet
CBT teaches that our behaviors, feelings, and thoughts are determined by what we believe and assume at our core. This Belief Driven Formulation worksheet will help you to explore what influences your behaviors, feelings, and thoughts.
Our Belief Driven Formulation Worksheet will help your clients explore what influences their thoughts that may be contributing to their depressive state:
7. Cognitive Distortions Worksheet
People experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions often have unhealthy thinking patterns. Everyone experiences negative thoughts, but when they become more frequent and stronger, they can create problems. According to VeryWellMind.com, “Cognitive distortions are negative or irrational patterns of thinking. These negative thought patterns can play a role in diminishing your motivation, lowering your self-esteem, and contributing to problems like anxiety, depression, and substance use.”
Our Cognitive Distortions Worksheet can help your clients recognize irrational thought patterns that may be harming them:
7. Core Beliefs Worksheet
The core beliefs we hold have a big impact on our mental health and well-being. Core beliefs are our central ideas that we see about ourselves, others, and the world at large. Our core beliefs can negatively effect us and cause depression.
Our CBT Core Beliefs Worksheet is a helpful worksheet to help your clients write down how they think about themselves, others, the world, and the future:
8. Decatastrophizing Worksheet
When we are struggling with depression, it’s easy to think of the worst. Thinking the worst will happen is called catastrophizing. This behavior can cause us to act irrationally and make our situations worse than they are. This decatastrophizing worksheet will help your clients think differently about their situation.
Our Decatastrophizing Worksheet will help your clients think differently about the situation they’re in:
9. Problem Solving Worksheet
Problem solving is an important intervention whenever we are presented with difficulties problems, and repetitive thoughts or worry, which often influence depressive symptoms. Effective problem solving will help clients generate solutions when they are feeling “stuck.”
Our CBT Problem Solving Worksheet is a helpful tool to help your clients think through their problem and come up with effective solutions:
10. Socratic Questions Worksheet
Our thoughts come and go. Because our thoughts can control our emotions and the way we act, it’s important to challenge any thoughts that can cause us harm, such as those that increase depressive symptoms. Socratic questioning is a technique for exploring ideas, emotions, and thoughts.
Our Socratic Questions Worksheet will help your clients explore their thoughts to help them reduce thoughts that cause anxiety:
11. Thinking Errors Worksheet
How we think and what we believe plays a major role in affecting our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When a person has a pattern of negative thinking, it can skew how they see and understand a situation.
Our Thinking Errors Worksheet will help your clients practice balanced thoughts when presented with examples you create:
12. Thought Record Worksheet
The purpose of a thought record is to get you into the habit of paying attention to your thoughts and working to change them.
Our Thought Record worksheet can teach your clients pay attention to their thoughts and make efforts to change them for the better:
13. Challenging Beliefs Worksheet
Irrational thoughts or beliefs can pop into our head at any time. They can take hold and cause us long-term pain and depression.
Our Challenging Beliefs worksheet can teach your clients examine their thoughts to consider if they are rational, factual, extreme, or not factual:
14. Cognitive Restructuring Worksheet
Also known as cognitive reframing, cognitive restructuring is a helpful process that allows your clients to identify and understand unhelpful thoughts they may be having and then challenge and replace their automatic thoughts (cognitive distortions).
Our Cognitive Restructuring Worksheet will help your clients challenge their irrational thoughts and replace them with more helpful thoughts:
15. Mindfulness Worksheets Bundle
Mindfulness is a powerful technique that teaches people to consciously be present, focused, and relaxed in the current moment.
Our Mindfulness Worksheets Bundle will help your clients lessen negative thoughts that can cause anxiety and depression:
Conclusion on CBT Worksheets for Depression
Depression is a serious mental health condition that can affect anyone at anytime. When treating your patients with depression, having the right tools makes a big difference. Our CBT worksheets for depression can help you with some of the heavy lifting. Thanks for reading our post!
Want all the above CBT worksheets plus more? Download our CBT Worksheets bundle: