Circle Of Control Worksheet

Download and use this free circle of control worksheet to help your patients process and manage their anxiety, anger, and stress. Build resilience, and enhance emotional regulation skills.

By Patricia Buenaventura on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is the circle of control?

Practitioners can use this tool or worksheet to help patients manage and process their feelings. More specifically, when they feel overwhelmed, anxious, angry, disappointed, and worried.

First, the circle of control has three concentric circles. Each circle has its name: Circle of Concern, Circle of Influence, and Circle of Concern. Then, per circle, there's a specific set of thoughts, things, or circumstances that a patient can write inside. To explain further:

  • Circle of concern (outmost circle) - Also known as the outer circle, the patient can write things they cannot influence or control but believe to affect their daily life. Examples are the weather, the pandemic, their past or future, etc.
  • The circle of influence (circle between concern and control) is where the patient writes what they cannot control but can still make a difference. What to place inside the circle of influence will vary since it's dependent on the patient's creativity, self-confidence, capabilities, etc. Here, clients can note what they can change regarding their behavior, thinking, attitude, and/or influence. While there is indirect control over the situation, clients can influence how their actions respond to others.
  • Circle of control (innermost circle) - Also known as the inner circle, where the patient writes down the things that are directly affected when they make decisions. Examples are one's thoughts, work ethic, self-perception, etc. This circle encompasses what clients can directly control.

One thing to note, however, is that depending on the template creator you choose, one of the circles may not be present. However, if you would like a complete one similar to the one described above, check out our template!

Printable Circle Of Control Worksheet

Download this Circle Of Control Worksheet to help your clients manage their stress and anxiety.

How does this Circle Of Control Worksheet work?

Step One: Set up an appointment 

Before giving the patient a copy, it's best that they set up an appointment with you to gauge if this is the template for them or if the needed intervention requires a more comprehensive test/session. 

Should this be the one that'll aid them in their concerns, they can also benefit from having an appointment with you because you'll be able to guide them through filling out this worksheet. 

Step Two: Download the template

Download a copy of the circle of control worksheet template by either:

  • Clicking the “Use Template” or “Download Template” button 
  • Searching for “Circle of Control” in our template library on the website or platform 

Step Three: Fill up the template

Give your patient a copy of the worksheet or fill it up with them during your session. You may provide them with guiding questions or have them enumerate the problems they may be facing in different areas of their life. Prompting is allowed, especially if the patient seems stuck; however, it must only be used as a last resort. 

Step Four: Go over the answers

The next steps will vary depending on the patient.To check if your patient needs a helping hand, you should review your answers until everything is clear. Some may want to be independent and handle things on their own, while others may need more clarity or advice. 

Step Five: Make notes

At the end of every session, you may make notes that you, other practitioners, or the patient may refer to when they find themselves in the same boat in the future. 

Circle Of Control Worksheet example (Sample)

We have provided you with a sample of the Circle of Control worksheet with example responses to help you or your patient understand how to use and fill out the worksheet. 

Feel free to download a local copy by clicking the sample template below or the “Download Example PDF” button above. 

Download this Circle Of Control Worksheet Example (Sample) here:

Circle Of Control worksheet example (sample)

When to use these worksheets for the circle of control?

Though our Circle of Control worksheets can be used in various situations, here are specific settings where they may be particularly useful:

At therapy

Whether it's an individual, marriage, family, or group therapy, those facilitating these sessions may find our worksheets helpful in identifying problems and aiding their clients in processing their emotions and how to deal with possible future concerns they may have proactively. 

However, note that before a worksheet is done with a couple, group, or family, you must ask for consent from all individuals involved. They may be uncomfortable sharing if their partner or family member is the reason why they're having problems. 

At school

Children and adolescents face challenges at school and home, which may affect their mental health and performance. If students are uncomfortable sharing with adults at home, school counselors and psychologists may make the child aware they can express their feelings of worry using our provided template. An intervention is especially needed if they're exhibiting behavioral problems that may have stemmed from repressed or unprocessed feelings. 

At work 

Productivity and employee happiness are affected if individuals are preoccupied with concerns that are related to work. By allowing employees to identify what things they can or can't control within their responsibilities using our template, they're empowered to make the right decisions that can positively affect themselves, their co-workers, and, effectively, the company.

Who is this printable Circle Of Control Worksheet (PDF) for?

This free, printable, editable Circle of Control worksheet is versatile and designed for all types of individuals to answer and practitioners to utilize in their practice. Here's a list of the following people who may benefit the most from having a PDF copy on hand:

  • Mental Health Care Practitioners for children, adolescents, and even adults such as psychiatrists, psychologists (school, neuro, etc.), psychopharmacologists, pediatricians (developmental and behavioral)
  • Therapists (Marriage, family, etc.) and Counselors
  • Primary Care Doctors
Electronic health record software feedback

Why use Carepatron as your Circle Of Control Worksheet app?

When gathering information to help patients process and manage their feelings, focusing on the patient is needed to ensure stellar patient care. However, as practitioners know, there's more to be done than conducting sessions with a patient, and most of the time, administrative tasks are the ones that require most of a practitioner's time and effort. 

Streamline clinical and business processes by automating them with the help of the leading software management platform, Carepatron. We'll equip you with the tools and means to accomplish these tasks efficiently. 

When you sign up for free, you'll get a personalized dashboard where:

  • You can access over 100 free PDF templates for any test you have to administer or survey your patients must answer. They are customizable with a PDF editor or right on Carepatron. 
  • You can store your documents on our secure HIPAA-compliant, reliable, and secure EHR, accessible on any gadget anytime and anywhere. 
  • You can set up client payments and schedule appointments to reduce no-shows.
  • You can conduct telehealth visits for emergency situations or long-distance patients.

Thinking of giving us a try? Then sign up for Carepatron to get these and more!

Electronic health record software benefit


Covey, S. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York, USA: Simon & Schuster.

Who created the Circle Of Control Worksheet?
Who created the Circle Of Control Worksheet?

Commonly asked questions

Who created the Circle Of Control Worksheet?

The person behind the circle of control is Steven Covey as seen in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

What does the Circle Of Control Worksheet do?

It aids practitioners and patients identify the cause of a patient’s overwhelming feelings and guides them on how to process and manage them.

How to administer the Circle Of Control Worksheet?

It’s as simple as either filling it out alongside the patient or giving them a copy for them to answer on their own. For a more comprehensive step-by-step, please refer to the “How does this Circle of Control Worksheet Work” section.

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