Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ABC Diary

The ABC Model:

It is important to understand what A, B, C,stand for before people use an ABC diary.

A =Activating Events this may be an actual incident, external event, or, a memory, a thought about a future event or an emotion

B =Beliefs this is people’s interpretation of the events, (of A). These are their thoughts about the events. Either inferred thoughts or thoughts where they evaluate.

C =Consequence

  • consequent feelings - how the event/thoughts (A and B) make people feel.
  • consequent behaviours - how the event/thoughts (A and B) lead people to do certain action or, behave in a certain way.

ABC DIARY: How to do it

The best way to become aware of negative thoughts is to write them down as soon as they occur. You can do this using the first three columns of the ABC Diary.

A – Activating event

In the first column, write down the activating event or trigger for the situation that contributed to your upset. What were you doing? What sensations did you feel? Or what was happening around you?

B – Beliefs

In the second column, write down the beliefs (or thoughts) that you had at the time. Try to record what went through your mind as precisely as you can. Some of your beliefs may take the form of images or memories, rather than words. You might for example be reminded of the past by a present trigger or, project into the future and imagine yourself being unable to cope with a situation in the future. In this case write down what you saw in your mind’s eye.

There may be times when you cannot identify what went thought your mind. In this case, ask yourself what the meaning of the situation is to you. What does it tell you about yourself, or about the future?

Also in this column, rate how much you believe what went through your mind, on a scale between
0 – 10. Ten means that you are totally convinced by what you thought and 0 means you do not believe it at all. You can rate the strength of your beliefs anywhere between 0 – 10.

C – Consequences

In the third column, write down the consequences of what you were thinking.

The consequences include how you felt and acted. Rate how strongly you felt these feelings on a scale from 0 – 10. Write down what you did, or how you acted as a result of feeling in a certain way. You will often find it easier to write down the consequences before you try to identify the beliefs.

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