83 Positive CBT Training Techniques, Worksheets & Activities

83 Positive CBT Training Techniques, Worksheets & Activities

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular form of psychotherapy that focuses on addressing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to mental health issues. CBT aims to help people identify and challenge distorted thinking to improve emotional regulation and coping skills.

Benefits of CBT

Research shows CBT can be highly effective in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and more. Benefits include:

  • Learning to identify and dispute irrational thoughts
  • Developing healthy coping strategies
  • Improving self-esteem and confidence
  • Reducing symptoms of mental health conditions

83 Positive CBT Techniques and Activities

Here are 83 positive, compassion-focused CBT training techniques, worksheets and activities to try.

Cognitive Restructuring Worksheets

Worksheets to identify negative thoughts and replace them with more balanced perspectives.

  • Thought Records
  • Cognitive Distortions Worksheets
  • Triple Column Technique
  • Evidence For/Against Worksheets

Coping Skill Development Activities

Activities to build healthy coping strategies.

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Deep Breathing Exercises
  • Guided Imagery Recordings
  • Journaling
  • Gratitude Practice

Behavior Activation Strategies

Strategies to increase engagement in meaningful, positive activities.

  • Activity Scheduling
  • Mastery/Pleasure Activity Ideas
  • SMART Goal Setting
  • Values Clarification Exercises

Distress Tolerance Techniques

Techniques to get through difficult moments by self-soothing.

  • TIPP Skills (Temperature, Intense Exercise, Paced Breathing, Paired Muscle Relaxation)
  • Half Smile/Smiling Mindfully
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Sensory Awareness Grounding

Example CBT Worksheet

Thought Record

A thought record helps identify automatic negative thoughts and find alternative perspectives. Try filling one out!

SituationAutomatic ThoughtsEmotionsEvidence For/AgainstAlternative Thoughts
Got laid off from my job today.I’m worthless. I’ll never find work again.Anxious, depressedFor: Unemployment is high right now. Against: I have good experience and skills. I’ve found jobs before.This is a setback but I can get through this. My skills are valuable and I will find another good job.


What are some examples of CBT techniques?

Examples of common CBT techniques include cognitive restructuring worksheets like thought records, coping skill development like deep breathing, behavioral activation strategies like activity scheduling, and distress tolerance techniques like mindfulness.

How long does CBT take to work?

Many people see improvements in symptoms of conditions like anxiety and depression within 8-16 weekly CBT sessions. However, developing and practicing new skills takes time. Try to stick with it for maximum benefit.

What conditions is CBT used to treat?

CBT is one of the most widely-used therapies to treat mental health issues like depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, addiction, and trauma.

How can you do CBT on yourself?

Self-directed CBT uses workbooks with tools like thought records to identify distorted thinking patterns. You can also find CBT coping skills, behavioral activation and mindfulness exercises to try on your own.

What are 5 key components of CBT?

The 5 key components of CBT are: 1) Identifying negative/irrational thoughts 2) Challenging these thoughts 3) Shifting perspectives 4) Learning coping strategies 5) Changing behaviors. Using these components promotes emotional and behavioral wellbeing.