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Decatastrophizing CBT Handout (PDF)

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Decatastrophizing is a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique designed to challenge and alter catastrophic thinking patterns, which can reduce emotional distress. Identifying thoughts related to worst-case scenarios — e.g. “I made a mistake, and I’m going to get fired” — and questioning them can help clients develop a more realistic outlook in life.

The Decatastrophizing CBT Handout serves as a practical tool for clients to recognize when they might be catastrophizing. It begins by defining this technique and then offers tips to practice it, such as challenging their initial thought and considering other possible outcomes.

Using this handout allows kids and teens to cope more effectively and build their resilience. A helpful tip for parents is to make decatastrophizing a regular part of their child’s routine. For instance, they can place this helpful Challenging Negative Thoughts poster on their wall as a reminder.

This handout is included in our CBT Handouts Bundle along with common cognitive distortions, CBT techniques, and psychoeducation.

*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. Cheetham-Blake, T., Family, H., & Turner‐Cobb, J. M. (2019). ‘Every day I worry about something’: A qualitative exploration of children’s experiences of stress and coping. British Journal of Health Psychology, 24(4), 931–952. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12387
  2. Kelly, J. D. (2019). Your Best Life: Managing Negative Thoughts—The Choice is Yours. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 477(6), 1291–1293. https://doi.org/10.1097/corr.0000000000000791
  3. Liu, H., & Boyatzis, R. E. (2021). Focusing on resilience and renewal from stress: The role of emotional and social intelligence competencies. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.685829
  4. Pike, A. C., Serfaty, J. R., & Robinson, O. J. (2021). The development and psychometric properties of a self-report Catastrophizing Questionnaire. Royal Society Open Science, 8(1), 201362. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.201362
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  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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