Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT for short) is another method where we become more mindful of our negative emotions and thoughts, take a very in-depth analysis, and then come to an alternative conclusion that is against the original negative emotions and thoughts.
This work sheet is just a small part of an over-all CBT therapy, but still very effect on it’s own. This can be done alone, or with the help of a trusted friend or therapist. Here is an example CBT worksheet filled in for you.
Emotions or feelings
One word emotions with ratings 0-100%.
Frustrated 40%, Angry 10%, Bored 60%, Tired 20%, Shame 15%, Excited 70%.
Negative triggering thoughts
What thoughts are going through your mind? What memories or images are in your mind?
“My wife just stepped out for a bit, I have the whole house to myself. I should check out some porn before she gets back.” “I will never be happy again without porn.”
Evidence that supports the trigger
What facts support the truthfulness of this thought or image? Avoid exaggerating.
I want to look at porn. I do not want my wife or kids knowing I look at porn. Porn makes me feel good when I am bored or depressed.
Evidence that does not support the trigger
What experiences indicate that this thought is not completely true all of the time? If my best friend had this thought what would I tell them? Are there any small experiences which contradict this thought? Could I be jumping to conclusions?
My wife leaving does not make viewing porn any more OK then when she is in the house. My wife has left me home alone many times in the past and I don’t look at porn. I do not need to look at porn because I do not need it to live. I can certainly be happy without porn, I enjoy playing sports, BBQs with friends, making love to my wife, painting, playing guitar, exercising, and non of these involve porn. Looking at porn will only ruin my chances at recovery and sabotage any efforts to enhance my married or personal life.
Write a new thought which takes into account the evidence for and against the original thought.
Looking at porn is the same if I am home alone or not home alone, it’s still an unhealthy expression of my sexuality. Although the desire to look at porn is not bad, I understand it’s an unhealthy habit that brings suffering to myself and those that I love. I have had this trigger in the past and I am aware of it’s tricks, I will be mindful when it comes again. Porn does not have a monopoly over my happiness, there are many other things in my life that bring me joy and happiness. Exercise, being with friends, doing a hobby, and taking a cold shower are all great alternatives.
Emotions or feelings
How do you feel about the situation now?
Frustrated 10%, Bored 30%, Tired 10%, Excited 20%, Relief 45%, Energy 40%.
You can preform this worksheet as many times as you like, the more you do them, the less power the addictive trigger will have over you.
For more information on Triggers and making a Trigger List see Identifying Triggers.