What is a Check the Facts DBT Worksheet?
Before we tell you what a Check the Facts DBT Worksheet is, let’s talk about what DBT is first. DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This particular type of therapy focuses on helping people accept their difficult feelings and teaching them how to manage them in healthy ways and, if possible, reframe how they think so that they can cope better.
Part of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is the skill known as “Checking the Facts!” It’s as straightforward as it can get. “Checking the Facts” entails that the client should take a step back and then think about their negative thoughts and emotions by determining if any evidence supports them. Checking the Facts is something that everyone should do before coming to conclusions or acting upon things.
A Check the Facts DBT Worksheet works as an exercise for clients to help reframe their thinking before deciding their thoughts and feelings are final. They come in different forms, but the type of Check the Facts DBT Worksheet that we will be discussing for this guide comes in the form of a written exercise!
How to use this Check the Facts DBT Worksheet
When you are at the point in your sessions where it becomes evident that your client tends to overthink and catastrophize situations, issue this worksheet to them. Or, you can have them take it home so they have the time and space they need to accomplish it.
But before you have them write or before your appointment ends, tell them the instructions. All they need to do are the following:
First: Write down a negative thought or belief that they have.
If they are overthinking and catastrophizing situations, your client is distressed and anxious about something. They may not be able to pinpoint it at first, especially if they are distressed, but they should be encouraged to sit down and really think about what is causing their distress. This may be a negative thought, belief, or situation.
Once they have identified it, they should write it down.
An example would be: I think my girlfriend hates me and is breaking up with me.
Second: Check the Facts!
Once they have written down their negative thought, belief, or situation, the next thing they need to do is provide evidence that supports it. This is so they can say to themselves and you that “Hey, I’m not just imagining things.”
To continue the example, the evidence they provide is: “She suddenly had a mixture of anger and worry on her face. She then said that she had to go and ran away!”
Third: Consider other reasons and evidence.
After checking the facts and providing evidence, now it’s time for your client to think about other possible perspectives and evidence to support them. This is an opportunity for the client to take a step back and start thinking about things in a more realistic and healthy way before they convince themselves that their thought or belief is absolutely true.
Here’s a change in perspective based on the example: “Well, now that I think about it, she did look worried about something. Maybe there was an emergency and she had to rush somewhere. She could have told me, though.”
Last: Weigh the evidence (and act on them for confirmation, if needed).
The last thing your client needs to do is properly weigh all the thoughts they have had (negative and alternative ones) along with their respective evidence before coming to a conclusion. If they need to act on things to properly confirm or disprove certain evidence, then they should do this.
In the case of our sample client, he weighed all the possible reasons and decided to call his girlfriend hours later. It turns out the girlfriend rushed back home because there was a small fire in her house caused by her brother, who left the stove on and decided to go to the bathroom, leaving it unattended for too long. He also wrote that his girlfriend apologized for not being clear and she told him that breaking up with him is preposterous because she loves him very much. She even asked to reschedule the date for the next day.
Check the Facts DBT Worksheet Example
Now that you know what Check the Facts DBT Worksheets are generally about, it’s time to see what they look like when completed.
Here is a filled-out Check the Facts DBT Worksheet sample, which includes our sample client and his possible break-up thoughts:
If you like what you see here and think this might help your clients, feel free to download a free and printable Check the Facts DBT Worksheet PDF. You can print several copies at a time for your face-to-face sessions, or if going paperless is your thing, you can simply send copies to your clients and have them write on them. Our PDF file also has editable fields for people to write on!
When is the best time to use this Check the Facts DBT Worksheet?
On the part of the healthcare professional, there are two appropriate times to issue this:
- When you have already determined through your sessions with your client that they have a tendency to overthink things and expect the worst possible outcomes for whatever situation is causing them distress, then that would be the perfect time to issue this worksheet. They will have the opportunity to confront their thoughts and beliefs in a healthy manner.
- Even if you are dealing with a client that does not overthink or catastrophize any situation, this is still good to issue as an exercise because they will be able to learn how to manage their thoughts and emotions. So when the time comes that they go through something that makes them overthink or exaggerate potential outcomes, they can use what they have learned to manage how they feel.
On the part of the client, they can use this worksheet whenever they start to have negative and irrational thoughts. The worksheet has up to five entries per copy, so they can write on it whenever they feel the need to. And if they run out of entry boxes to write on, they can simply duplicate the PDF and remove all the answers, essentially making an extra blank copy of the worksheet.
Who can use this Check the Facts DBT Worksheet?
Since the Check the Facts DBT Worksheet is a type of mental health-related tool, the following healthcare professionals can use this for their work:
- (Clinical) Psychologists
- (Mental Health) Therapists
So long as the professional is trained and experienced in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and adjacent forms of mental health care, they can download this worksheet and add it to their set of other mental health worksheets.
Given the nature of this Check the Facts DBT Worksheet, clients are the ones who will be engaging with the worksheet the most since it has writing prompts. Healthcare professionals can simply use what their clients wrote as points for discussion and elaboration.
If by any chance you, the reader, are not a healthcare professional, then you should know that you are allowed to use this if you think you need some exercises to help you regulate your emotions and how you think about things. However, if you are experiencing distress, anxiety, or depression because of negative thoughts regarding certain things, people, or situations, we recommend that you still see an actual therapist.
What are the benefits of using this Check the Facts DBT Worksheet?
This can help clients improve their communication skills.
If you are a healthcare professional, then more often than not, you will see the likes of “I think people don’t like me” and similar reasons on Check the Facts DBT Worksheets. Since those are communication-related, one way to confirm or disprove suspicions and “evidence” is to communicate and find out. This worksheet should, by extension, allow the opportunity for clients to improve their communication.
Let us direct you back to our sample client. He was anxious because his girlfriend didn’t communicate exactly why she looked upset and worried when she ran off. But in the end, he decided to ask his significant other and got clarification.
Of course, the worst could happen: the girlfriend tells him she doesn’t like him and breaks up with him. Finding out the truth is better than stewing in what-ifs and paranoia.
It can help the client become more self-aware and discerning.
Since Check the Facts DBT Worksheets often engage clients through writing exercises, these worksheets give them the opportunity they need to distance themselves from their negative thoughts for a bit and properly examine themselves and how they think. They may become aware of their tendency to overthink and realize what happens whenever they do so, which, in turn, should encourage them to be more realistic with their expectations. Being more realistic means they become more discerning as to how they weigh their evidence and act on their thoughts.
It can help the client process their emotions better.
By becoming more self-aware and more discerning, the client will be able to process their emotions better and lower the distress they feel whenever a negative thought pops up in their mind. They will be able to challenge their negative thoughts as well as their beliefs by taking into account evidence and other perspectives. Weighing the evidence and considering other perspectives and possibilities is indicative of good problem-solving, so that is something that they will be able to develop.
Why use Carepatron for mental health-related software?
Healthcare professionals who focus on psychology and mental health will find Carepatron a valuable platform to follow. The reason for this is that we house a wide variety of tools that can streamline and improve your work, like worksheets, assessments, surveys, general treatment plans, and more! One such worksheet that you can get from us is this Check the Facts DBT Worksheet!
Having access to numerous guides and tools will be beneficial for you because you will know what’s missing in your roster of tools. Grab as much as you want for free! You’ll never know how useful they are until you try them out.
We actually recommend that you look into our research library and download as many as you want because the Check the Facts DBT Worksheet works best in conjunction with other resources.
In the event that you have clients with more than one mental health issue or disorder that needs to be addressed, you will likely need more than the Check the Facts DBT Worksheet. By using the other worksheets and assessments we have, you will be able to cover more ground and make better-informed decisions to help your client.
Here, at Carepatron, we’re all about helping you do your work better!