Even if seeing a therapist isn’t part of your mental illness treatment plan (as is currently the case for me), it can still be useful to do some of this kind of work on your own. There are some great online resources out there to help you do just that. In this post I’ve included links to some sites that have some practical mental health worksheets and workbooks. Some of them will make the most sense if you have some background knowledge about the type of therapy, but many are pretty self-explanatory. Of course the downside of working on these on your own is that you don’t get the objective feedback that a therapist is able to give, but they can still be useful.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT is an evidence-based treatment used for a variety of different mental illnesses. A key element of CBT is identifying evidence to challenge distorted cognitions. This can be difficult to do without working with a therapist, but there are plenty of self-help worksheets out there to help you if you want to give it a try on your own.
- Antidepressant Skills Workbook from the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction: This is a good intro for people who are new to CBT for depression, but might feel a little too basic if you are familiar with CBBT
- CBT Skills Training Workbook: this is from the NHS, and is focused on low mood and anxiety
- Centre for Clinical Interventions: this Australia-based organization has CBT-based workbooks and worksheets for a variety of mental health concerns
- Food, Feelings, Freedom blog: thought record and other CBT resources
Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)
DBT was developed for use in borderline personality disorder, but it is much more widely applicable than just BPD. Some of the skills are likely to be useful to many people who struggle with emotion regulation as part of their illness, and books and worksheets can be a good way to learn some of these skills without doing the full course of DBT therapy.
- DBT Skills Application: a DBT self-help site with links to worksheets focused on various DBT skills
- DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets by Marsha Linehan: even if you’re not actually in a DBT program there’s stuff here that can be useful. A quick Google search will point you in the direction of both legit and less than legit copies.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- ACT Mindfully: Russ Harris’s site has worksheets from all of his books on ACT. Like the name implies, ACT focuses on accepting emotions rather than avoiding/fighting them, and committing to actions that are consistent with our identified values. I found some of the worksheets on values clarification to be quite useful.
Resources that include multiple therapy approaches:
- GetSelfHelp: worksheets galore on a variety of topics
- PositivePsychology.com: info and worksheets based on a number of different therapy models, including CBT, DBT, and positive psychotherapy
- Psychology Tools: has a wide variety of worksheets, including CBT and DBT-based
- Therapist Aid: also has a wide variety, with worksheets that are geared for therapists to use with their clients.
- ThinkCBT: has worksheets based on CBT, ACT, and Compassion-Focused Therapy, and includes resources for OCD
You can find more resources on my post online mental health workbooks.
Do you use any sort of mental health worksheets, books, or self-help websites? What’s been useful for you?