Imagine that you receive a poor grade on an assignment. What thoughts would automatically enter your head? Would you try to explain the situation through factors such as the teacher’s grading style or a minor personal emergency that you were having that week? Would your thoughts be relatively positive and encouraging for next time or negative and self-defeating? Would you have evidence to support your thoughts or a way to prove they were correct?
For this Assignment, you are asked to think of your own frustrating fictitious situation and keep a log of the thoughts that might enter your head if the situation were real. In CBT, this log is called an Automatic Thought Record, and it is a very common homework strategy assigned to clients by CBT therapists. This assignment reinforces Beck’s notion that humans have automatic thoughts that come into their minds and that by tracking them, a client could begin to quantify the number of negative thoughts they have.