Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Handouts

For many of our patients, simple problem-solving techniques and basic reframing skills can be very helpful. In research, CBT has been shown to be as effective as medications for treating depression, with a lower relapse rate after the study is completed.

These handouts are probably most helpful in the context of a group.

Cognitive Distortions

There are some fairly classic patterns of cognitive distortion that can cause people to struggle with their emotions and with coping with daily events. Often naming these allows people to effectively challenge and change them.

Patterns of cognitive distortion - David Burns's identified patterns, with some examples

Cognitive therapy techniques to change your thoughts - specific techniques to challenge cognitive distortions identified above

Daily Record of Automatic Thoughts - worksheet for identifying and working with the above cognitive disortions

Vertical Arrow - A "worst-case scenario" technique to identify underlying fears and concerns and address stressful situations more realistically


Chronic disease often leads to difficult communication with family, friends, co-workers, and healthcare providers. These handouts will help address this difficulty and offer explanations to help create assertive and effective communication.

Communicating our Needs - guide to determining our goals of communication and designing communication to convey these clearly

Good and Bad Communication - guide to identifying aspects of good and bad communication

Assertiveness - brief guide to assertiveness, including barriers to being assertive

Solution Sandwich - one guide to constructing a request to be heard and understood


Problem Solving - This handout follows up on the goal-setting guidelines and incorporates the cognitive distortion material to identify and overcome barriers to change

Additional Resources:

Mood GYM - online cognitive therapy resource

Feeling Good and The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns - the former was studied in a "bibliotherapy" study for people with depression who were waiting to get into counseling