A cost/benefit analysis is a classic technique for decision-making. In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this technique has been adapted for use in cognitive restructuring. Put more simply, a cost/benefit analysis can be used to challenge old, unhealthy patterns of thinking, allowing them to be replaced by new, more adaptive thoughts.
The Thoughts & Behaviors: Cost / Benefit Analysis worksheet was designed for cognitive restructuring in CBT, or exploring undesirable behaviors in any other treatment approach. Clients are prompted to describe a particular thought or behavior, the costs and benefits of that thought or behavior, and a more adaptive alternative.
In addition to CBT, this worksheet can be helpful for clients who lack motivation for change, such as in cases of addiction, or for those struggling with decision-making.
1. Clark, D. A. (2013). Cognitive restructuring. The Wiley handbook of cognitive behavioral therapy, 1-22.