The Cognitive Model

Cognitive behavioural therapy (also known as CBT) helps you to learn how your thoughts, feelings and actions are connected. This tool will assist you in identifying your own patterns of thought as you begin to understand how your negative thoughts can impact your life in significant ways. 

Once you become aware of your irrational thoughts, you can learn how to change them. The negative thoughts that once potentially lead to depression, anxiety and anger can be replaced with new, healthy alternatives. 


The situation

These are the facts of when something happens without any additional interpretation.

  • Example:  A co-worker who I’m friendly with, walked past me in the office without saying “hello”.



You have thoughts about what just happened and often interpret the situation. 

  • Negative thought example:  “Why did she ignore me? What did I do wrong? Why is she annoyed with me?
  • New positive thought example: “She didn’t notice me today, she must be very busy and distracted at the moment.” 



You experience emotions based upon your thoughts about the situation.

  • Negative emotion example to situation:  I feel hurt and offended by her ignoring me.
  • Positive emotion example to situation: e.g. I feel unfazed and neutral about what happened.



You respond to your thoughts and feelings with behaviours.

  • Negative behaviour example: It bothered me that I didn’t know what I did wrong. Later, I acted coldly towards my co-worker. 
  • Positive behaviour example: I didn’t think about the morning situation again. When I saw my co-worker again in the afternoon, I acted warmly as usual.


CBT Homework Time

Try using the cognitive model for your next troubling situation and discover how to successfully change your thought patterns. Jot down your thoughts, feelings and behaviour using this handy chart below.


Write down your situation:

Thank you to for the fantastic inspiration.

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