Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Sadness
In this post, I provide seven worksheets to help children explore their sad emotions and begin to develop ways to cope with it. It follows a CBT format similar to others in this series. I designed these simple worksheets to use in combination with other resources I devised – you will find links below.
I designed this series of worksheets to use with children who have high functioning autism, but they are suitable for use with typical children as well.
How to print out these worksheets:
Follow the following link to access the download page which allows you to download these worksheets and 30 others. Click HERE.
To preview the worksheets, please scroll down farther in this post.
The purpose of the CBT Sadness Worksheets
The worksheets are designed to explore and address the following factors:
*Ability to identify, recall and describe episodes of sad emotions
*Ability to identify, and alter, automatic negative thoughts that contribute to sadness
*Ability to identify and modify bodily manifestations of sadness
*Ability to identify and modify words and actions associated with sadness
How to use the worksheets:
Worksheet 1: Draw your sad face and describe what happened. I avoid using the word ”depression” with most children.
For many children, up to and including teens, drawing the emotion on the face facilitates reflection. If you are working in a group or a classroom, the drawings can help children give an account of their episode of sadness to others.
Worksheet 2: Identifying automatic negative thoughts that led to the sadness. I strongly suggest you use two of my resources listed below to introduce this worksheet: CBT Visual Tutorial and CBT Thought Bubble Cards. This will help you to establish the connection between automatic negative thoughts and upsetting emotions.
Worksheet 3: What you said and did when you were sad. A way to get this going is to ask, “If there had been a video camera filming you, what would the video show? What words would it show?
Worksheet 4: Body outline. Some children, particularly those with ASD, may find exploring this difficult in a conventional counseling Q & A format. The body outline helps to enable reflection. You can modify this by having children use colors, or by offering them blank paper to “draw your sad body.”
Worksheet 5: Dealing with my sad thoughts. This is the counterpart to worksheet 2. Again, this will will go best if you first introduce the resources I named above.
Worksheet 6: This is the counterpart to worksheet 3
Worksheet 7: This is the counterpart to worksheet 4. Some possible therapeutic activities to suggest, teach and rehearse here are relaxation breathing, muscle relaxation, , listening to Ipod, taking a walk.
Here are links to other free resources to use in conjunction with this activity: