The Vertical Arrow Technique
(How to identify, understand, and contradict self-defeating beliefs)

1. Identify a negative thought about a situation, which is upsetting you.

If this were true, what is causing me to be upset?

 

2. Identify a second negative thought.

If this were true, what is causing me to be upset?

 

3. Identify a third negative thought..

If this were true, what is causing me to be upset?

 

4. Additional negative thoughts....

 

 

Process Your Negative Thoughts:

What do these negative thoughts tell me about my values (or the meaning of my life)?

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

What are my basic assumptions about interpersonal relationships and my self-concept?

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

Reference:

Burns, D. D. (1989). The feeling good handbook. New York: William Morrow.

Original presentation, 11-6-97; Web-based version was revised on: 03/29/05

Notice: The contents herein represent a fair use of copyrighted material for nonprofit education, pursuant to 17 U.S. Code, 107. Commercial use could require the publisher's written permission.