The Court Case: challenging unhelpful thoughts by putting your thought in the dock
When dealing with distressing thoughts, it is helpful to look for the facts or evidence for and against the thought. What is fact and what is opinion?
Identify the distressing thought
What is the main thing that is really upsetting me? What is the worst that I think could happen? What does that say about me or the situation?
Now let's put that thought in the dock.
What is the thought or belief that is on trial?
What evidence is there that this thought is true? What is it that tells you this thought is true? Consider only evidence that would stand up in a court of law! Stick with fact, not opinion.
What evidence is there or what tells you that this thought is NOT true, 100% of the time? What would other witnesses say when asked to give evidence against this thought or statement?
The Summing Up
Find a closing statement that is based on the evidence, that is realistic, rational and balanced.
The Court Case - short video
The Court Case: Thought Challenging - video
THINK - video
Challenge Your Automatic Thoughts - thought challenge sheet webpage
ABCDE: Responding to Thoughts
Other thought challenge or record sheets
THINK ! PDF
Thought Record Sheet: Worry (GAD) 2 - Beliefs about worry
Learn effective skills online - The Decider Skills for Self Help online course.