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Posted: March 27th, 2021

Psychoeducational Tool: The Client Handout

Prior to beginning work on this interactive assignment, please review Cases 18, 19, and 20 in Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology (Gorenstein & Comer 2015) and any relevant Instructor Guidance.
In practice, clinical and counseling psychologists utilize psychoeducational tools (e.g., bibliotherapy, client handouts, worksheets, etc.) to enhance the client’s knowledge about mental health issues, coping strategies, and resources.
For this interactive assignment, you will create a visually interesting client handout based on the case study chosen for the Psychiatric Diagnosis assignment in PSY645 and your Week Six Psychological Treatment Plan in this course. You must attach your client handout document to your initial post in the forum.
The client handout will include the following required elements.
Education: Explain, with as much visual information as possible, the client’s cognitive or behavioral symptoms based on your selected theoretical orientation. You may choose to create diagrams, figures, or charts to illustrate the relationship between the client’s cognitions, affect, and behavior.
Intervention: Create a self-help exercise (e.g., a dysfunctional thought record, meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery, muscle relaxation, thought stopping, etc.) to assist the client in monitoring or reducing maladaptive cognitions, affect, and/or behavior outside of therapeutic sessions. Include an explanation about how the handout could be useful in reducing the client’s symptoms. You may choose to visually represent this exercise with charts, scripts, steps, or other media.
Resources: Assess current trends in psychotherapy, and list complete APA reference entries for five sources that would help the client learn more about his or her presenting problem(s), early warning signs of relapse, and managing symptoms. Please include hyperlinks if such exist for your resources.


Client Handout: Understanding and Managing Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive symptoms involve the way we think about ourselves, others, and the world around us. In this case, the client is experiencing negative automatic thoughts and beliefs, which can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. These thoughts may be triggered by certain situations or events, and can often be distorted or irrational. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a theoretical orientation that focuses on identifying and challenging these negative thoughts, and replacing them with more balanced and realistic ones.

Here are some examples of common negative thoughts and beliefs:

All-or-nothing thinking: Seeing things as either completely good or completely bad, with no in-between. For example, “If I’m not perfect, I’m a failure.”
Catastrophizing: Assuming the worst possible outcome will happen. For example, “If I make a mistake at work, I’ll lose my job and become homeless.”
Mind reading: Assuming you know what others are thinking, even if there is no evidence to support it. For example, “My boss thinks I’m incompetent and is going to fire me.”
To help reduce negative thoughts and beliefs, try this self-help exercise:

Identify a situation or event that triggered a negative thought.
Write down the negative thought and rate how much you believe it (0-100%).
Challenge the negative thought by asking yourself:
Is there evidence to support this thought?
Is this thought based on facts or emotions?
What would I tell a friend who had this thought?
Replace the negative thought with a more balanced and realistic one.
Re-rate how much you believe the new thought (0-100%).
This exercise can help you become more aware of your negative thoughts, and learn how to challenge and replace them with more balanced ones. By doing this regularly, you can reduce the impact of negative thoughts on your mood and behavior.

Here are some resources to learn more about cognitive-behavioral therapy and managing negative thoughts:

Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy –
National Institute of Mental Health –
American Psychological Association –

Beck Institute. (n.d.). What is CBT? Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from
National Institute of Mental Health. (2022, February 2). Psychotherapies. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. American Psychological Association. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from

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