Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
*The following resources were created by psychiatrist Dr. David Burns, MD. You can find additional resources and all of his books here: https://amzn.to/44td8Dn. You can also listen to his podcasts here: https://feelinggood.com/list-of-feeling-good-podcasts/
If you have been suffering from Anxiety, Depression, or other Mood Disorders, take the Self Assessment Tests here titled “Evaluate Your Symptoms”.
Evaluate Your SymptomsBurns-Checklists
These tests will diagnose the severity of your symptoms and provide a baseline for normal levels of depression and anxiety. Simply write your number for each question and total the score on a piece of paper. There is one page (15 questions) for Depression and two pages (33 questions) for Anxiety.
After you have filled out the forms, there are several tools for you to use in treating anxiety and depression.
The Daily Mood Journal and 50 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking are scientifically proven methods to reduce anxiety and alleviate depression.
Refer to the Example Daily Mood Journal Sheet (partially completed) while reading the instructions below. This example sheet is what a typical Daily Mood Journal looks like.
Use a pen and paper to complete all sheets.
1.) To use the Daily Mood Journal, focus on some of your negative thoughts and feelings. Identify your feelings by circling them in the chart at the top of the page, and enter a percentage score for each line in the “Now” column. In the “Goal” column, write how much you could tolerate or be “Okay” with feeling this way. Then write your thoughts down one by one in the “Negative Thought” column and enter a percentage score for each thought in the “Now” column. How severe is each thought from 0-100%?
2.) After writing your thoughts down one by one, review the list of 10 Cognitive Distortions. Check the list and see if you can spot some if the distortions in each Negative Thought. The upsetting feelings you experience are due to the distortions in your thinking. Some of your thoughts may be based in experiences or events, that may be true, but the distortion within the thought is what’s making you feel anxious or depressed.
3.) Write down the cognitive distortions in the “Distortions” column to the right of each “Negative Thought”. You can use abbreviations like: AON for “All or Nothing” or JC for “Jumping to Conclusions”.
Write Down Your Symptoms and Upsetting ThoughtsDaily Mood Journal - Tri-County Sleep Medicine
Getting Started – Example Daily Mood JournalExample Mood Log - Tri-County Sleep Medicine
10 Cognitive Distortions10 Distortions - Tri-County Sleep Medicine
4.) Now you can reframe these thoughts by using the 50 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking guide. Put your negative thoughts to the test. See how the negative thoughts are somewhat distorted, if not completely flawed.
5.) Then write down the more balanced thoughts in the “Positive Thoughts” Column, along with percentage of belief in the “Belief” Column.
Use These Methods to Rewrite Your Upsetting Thoughts50 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking - Tri-County Sleep Medicine
Example Reframing ListReframing List Example - Tri-County Sleep Medicine
6.) After you have completed Step 5, notice the difference in your feelings. For each line in the “Negative Thoughts” column, enter a percentage score in the “After” column for each line. Has the percentage score decreased from the “Now” column? If you’d like to reduce it more, try another method in the 50 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking list and put the “Negative Thoughts” to the test again.
7.) Then go the Feelings chart at the top of the Daily Mood Journal. Enter your “After” percentage score for each line. Notice the reduction in negative feelings before and after the therapy session.
The key is to make a Daily Habit of using the Daily Mood Journal and these other techniques.
This treatment method for anxiety and depression has been scientifically proven to work, often better than medications alone.