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Cognitive Restructuring CBT Techniques

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Cognitive restructuring is a key technique in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in which clients learn to recognize unhelpful thoughts and reframe them. Research shows that the goal of cognitive restructuring is to help clients break free from automatic acceptance of these beliefs. It is effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Cognitive Restructuring CBT Techniques handout serves as a resource that encourages clients to practice this technique in their daily lives. After explaining what cognitive restructuring is, it provides 8 steps to overcome their negative thoughts, such as looking for evidence and doing a cost-benefit analysis.

Using the technique with the help of this handout can promote psychological flexibility in kids and teens — meaning, they can respond better to the demands and challenges of life. As an additional tip, parents and caregivers should encourage open communication so that children feel comfortable sharing their worries.

Explore our CBT Handouts Bundle, which includes this and other handouts sharing information, techniques, and key concepts. The bundle can be used for self-help or as a supplement to CBT treatment programs.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of CBT worksheets and handouts.


  1. Clark, D. A. (2013). Cognitive Restructuring. Wiley Online Library, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118528563.wbcbt02
  2. Larsson, A., Hooper, N., Osborne, L. A., Bennett, P., & McHugh, L. (2015). Using brief cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion techniques to cope with negative thoughts. Behavior Modification, 40(3), 452–482. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445515621488
  3. Shurick, A. A., Hamilton, J. R., Harris, L. T., Roy, A. K., Gross, J. J., & Phelps, E. A. (2012). Durable effects of cognitive restructuring on conditioned fear. Emotion, 12(6), 1393–1397. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029143
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  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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