Each of our clients have had unique experiences that shape who they are. Cognitive behavioral therapists posit that from these life experiences, people develop core beliefs. Core beliefs are the thoughts a person has that determine how they interpret their experiences. For example, if someone has the core belief that "The world is a bad place", they will believe that people who are kind have an ulterior motive (someone being kind without reason just doesn't line up with their world view). Challenging these negative core beliefs can help clients develop a healthier understanding of themselves and the world around them.
Use this core beliefs worksheet to help educate clients and get them to think about how their thoughts affect their mood and behavior. This CBT worksheet can also serve as a good take-home reminder after having a discussion about core beliefs.
1. Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed.). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
2. Wenzel, A. (2012). Modification of core beliefs in cognitive therapy. In standard and innovative strategies in cognitive behavior therapy. InTech.