Reality Check PTSD Worksheets

Download our free Reality Check PTSD worksheet to help clients recognize and challenge their negative thoughts about trauma.

By Ericka Pingol on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is Trauma and PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often skew a person's perception of their surroundings and experiences, causing them to relive traumatic moments. These intrusive and negative thoughts can significantly impact an individual's daily life, making it difficult to function and cope with trauma.

One way to address these negative thoughts is through reality checks. This involves challenging and questioning the validity of these thoughts, which can help individuals regain control over their minds and emotions.

Mental health professionals may use a as a therapeutic tool to guide clients through this process. This worksheet provides a structured format for individuals to recognize and challenge their negative thoughts related to trauma, ultimately helping them reframe their perspectives more positively.

The worksheet also helps individuals identify any cognitive distortions they may be experiencing, such as black-and-white thinking or catastrophizing. By examining these distortions and replacing them with more balanced thoughts, individuals can improve their overall mental well-being and cope better with their trauma.

Reality Check PTSD Worksheets Template

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Reality Check PTSD Worksheets Example

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How to use the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet

Carepatron's free Reality Check PTSD Worksheet can help your clients identify and challenge negative thoughts related to their traumatic experiences. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use it:

Step One: Access the template

Get a copy of the printable Reality Check PTSD Worksheet using the link on this page. Alternatively, access it from the Carepatron app or our resources library.

Step two: Discuss how it works

Start by explaining the purpose of the worksheet to your client. Tell them that this tool is designed to help them become more aware of their negative thoughts and gain control over them.

Step Three: Client completes the exercise

Instruct your client to complete the worksheet by filling in the blanks with their specific negative thoughts related to their trauma. Encourage them to be as honest and straightforward as possible.

Step Four: Identify cognitive distortions

Once your client has completed the exercise, review their responses and help them identify any cognitive distortions in their thoughts. Explain each distortion's meaning and how it may affect their perception of the situation.

Step Five: Reframe negative thoughts

Next, guide your client in reframing their negative thoughts into more balanced ones. Encourage them to consider alternative perspectives and evidence that contradicts their opposing beliefs.

Step Six: Set realistic expectations

Remind your client that challenging negative thoughts takes practice and patience. It is a process that takes time, and setbacks may occur. Encourage them to be kind to themselves and celebrate small victories.

Step Seven: Follow-up

Schedule a follow-up session with your client to check their progress and discuss any challenges or successes they have encountered while using the worksheet. Use this opportunity to reinforce the importance of regularly challenging negative thoughts.

When would you use this Reality Check PTSD Worksheet?

You can use this Reality Check PTSD Worksheet when working with clients who have experienced trauma and are struggling with negative thoughts related to such trauma. This worksheet can be used as a tool for cognitive restructuring, helping individuals identify and challenge their distorted views. Moreover, you may use this worksheet to:

Help clients identify common cognitive distortions

Our Reality Check PTSD Worksheet can help clients identify common cognitive distortions such as black-and-white thinking, overgeneralization, and catastrophizing. By identifying these patterns, they can work towards challenging and replacing these thoughts with more balanced and accurate ones.

Encourage clients to practice positive self-talk

Challenging negative thoughts can be complex, and it requires consistent effort. This worksheet can remind clients to practice positive self-talk and counter their negative thoughts with more realistic and optimistic ones.

Facilitate reflection and insight

As your clients work through this worksheet, they may better understand their thoughts and how they impact their emotions and behaviors. This can lead to increased self-awareness and insight into their trauma-related thought patterns.

Supplement other therapeutic interventions

This Reality Check PTSD Worksheet can be used with other therapeutic techniques such as CBT, mindfulness, and exposure therapy. It can be a supplementary tool to reinforce the concepts and skills learned in therapy sessions.

What are the benefits of using this Reality Check PTSD Worksheet?

Here are some of the benefits of using Carepatron's free Reality Check PTSD Worksheet:

It's fully digital

Our Reality Check PTSD Worksheet is entirely digital and can be accessed through any device with an internet connection. This makes it easily accessible and convenient for both you and your clients.

It's easy to use

The worksheet is designed with simplicity, making it easy for clients to use and understand. The instructions are clear and concise, and the format allows for an organized approach to challenging negative thoughts.

It's customizable

We understand that every client is unique, and their PTSD experience may vary. That's why you can easily modify our Reality Check PTSD Worksheet to fit each individual's needs. You can add prompts, change the layout, and add your logo and branding.

It promotes self-care

This worksheet encourages clients to proactively approach their mental health by recognizing and challenging negative thoughts. By promoting self-care, this worksheet empowers clients to participate in their healing journey actively.

It can be used for ongoing support

The Reality Check PTSD Worksheet can be revisited multiple times throughout a client's therapy journey. This allows them to track their progress and continue working on managing their symptoms even after therapy has ended.

How long does it usually take to accomplish the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet?
How long does it usually take to accomplish the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet?

Commonly asked questions

How long does it usually take to accomplish the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet?

The time it takes to complete the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet may vary depending on each individual's pace. Some clients may finish it in one session, while others may take longer and revisit it multiple times. The focus should be on quality over quantity, and clients should feel free to complete the worksheet within a specific timeframe.

When is this Reality Check PTSD Worksheet best used?

You can use the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet at any point during your therapy sessions with clients. However, it may be beneficial when clients struggle with managing their symptoms and need a reminder to challenge negative thoughts.

Who can use the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet?

Mental health professionals can use the Reality Check PTSD Worksheet with their clients. It is specifically designed for individuals who are dealing with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, it may also benefit those struggling with anxiety or other forms of trauma.

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