Automatic Thoughts

Today in class we discussed automatic thoughts and the CBT Triangle in class. I thought this would be an excellent topic to share with those suffering. In CBT it is often thought that the event isn’t the problem, but our automatic thoughts about events is the problem. The triangle goes like this Event happens… Then we have our thoughts about the event, which leads to emotions, which leads to behavior. They’re all interconnected.

In CBT… We try to take a look at the automatic thoughts and see if we can come up with replacement thought/ a more positive thought. It is often asked… Is the automatic thought were having is true, helpful, and is there another way to look at it. Then we come up with the replacement thought.


Maybe a bad grade on a test or some negative feedback and a person might have an automatic thought of I’m horrible at school or I’m not cut out for this line of work. These are typical thoughts of someone who might have depression. Once the negative thought is realized we can then address by asking the previous questions and coming with a replacement thought. A replacement thought might be, You know I was sick I didn’t do well on that exam, but I can do better on the next one or this area of the particular career or class I struggle with, but I’m excellent at the rest and I can get assistance with the part I’m struggling with.


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