Putting the thought in the dock

Download or print the worksheets for this page: 
The Court Case PDF sheet

The Judge PDF sheet


When dealing with distressing thoughts, it is helpful to look for the facts or evidence for and against the thought.  What is fact and what is opinion? 


Identify the distressing thought

What is the main thing that is really upsetting me?  What is the worst that I think could happen?  What does that say about me or the situation? 

Now let's put that thought in the dock.

The Accused

What is the thought or belief that is on trial?




The Defence

What evidence is there that this thought is true?  What is it that tells you this thought is true?  Consider only evidence that would stand up in a court of law!  Stick with Fact, not opinion.





The Prosecution

What evidence is there or what tells you that this thought is NOT true, 100% of the time?   What would other witnesses say when asked to give evidence against this thought or statement? 





The Summing Up

Find a closing statement that is based on the evidence, that is realistic, rational and balanced.  



The Court Case - short video



The Court Case:  Thought Challenging - video


THINK - video

Challenge your automatic thoughts - thought challenge sheet webpage

ABCDE:  Responding to Thoughts

The Judge PDF sheet

The Court Case PDF sheet

More Thought Challenging webpages:

ABCDE:  Responding to Thoughts



Fact or Opinion

The Helicopter View

The Poisonous Parrot

Flexible Thinking

Thought Challenge

The Court Case

The Mind Bully

Different Perspectives

Positive Coping Statements

Unhelpful Thinking Styles




About Automatic Thoughts


Other thought challenge or record sheets (PDF format)


Thought Record Sheet:  6 column 

Thought Record Sheet:  7 column

Thought Record Sheet Anger

Thought Record Sheet Anorexia

Thought Record Sheet Anxiety

Thought Record Sheet Body Dysmorphia

Thought Record Sheet Critical Voice

Thought Record Sheet Depression

Thought Record Sheet Health Anxiety

Thought Record Sheet OCD

Thought Record Sheet Panic

Thought Record Sheet: Pictorial

Thought Record Sheet:  PTSD

Thought Record Sheet Self Esteem

Thought Record Sheet Self-Compassion

Thought Record Sheet:  SEPTB

Thought Record Sheet:  Social Anxiety

Thought Record Sheet:  STOPP

Thought Record Sheet:  Perfectionism

Thought Record Sheet:  Worry (GAD)

Thought Record Sheet:  Worry (GAD) 2 - Beliefs about Worry

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