PTSD Self-Help Worksheets — Download Now
Although it might seem like a chore or even homework, worksheets to guide you through dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are useful tools, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to write things down or if you aren’t sure where to start. PTSD self-help worksheets can come in many different forms and be used for different purposes, but overall they aim to help you through your process of PTSD recovery and act as another self-help strategy.
What Can I Expect from PTSD Self-Help Worksheets?
Some PTSD self-help worksheets might be simple exercises you can do or checklists that get you started with knowing the basics before you move to the next steps. Others are more involved and require you to really pay attention to your PTSD signs, symptoms, and feelings and then document, analyze, and even challenge them, usually with a chart. These kinds of worksheets get you more familiar with the intricacies of your PTSD in order to confront and address them more effectively.
Although this might seem daunting, understanding the particulars of your disorder itself can be a strategy for combatting PTSD. When you use these worksheets, keep them to look back on; doing so will not only show you patterns in your own behaviors and reactions, but may alert you to PTSD triggers you weren’t aware of or didn’t think were so serious. Comparing them over time will also help you track the progress you’ve made and show you what you’ve learned.
If you’re also seeing a counselor or therapist as a part of your recovery, bring the PTSD worksheets to your session. Together, you should be able to form an even stronger treatment plan.
Self-Help Strategies for PTSD Used in Worksheets
Here are a few of the most popular PTSD self-help strategies and exercises you will come across using PTSD worksheets.
- Breathing techniques. Understanding how our breathing changes in moments of anxiety and how that affects everything from the pace of our thoughts to the way our body responds to situations is an important part of the self-help process. Learning or following along with breathing exercises can be the first step to making a difference in coping with PTSD anxiety and stress.
- Identify and challenge what you’re thinking or feeling. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, this one may be difficult. However, challenging the negative thoughts and feelings of helplessness or high anxiety can serve to break you out of that state and force you to focus on the facts and realities. Some worksheets help you accomplish this by asking you to identify the thought, emotion, or sensation, and then have you answer why you’re feeling that or what triggered it, how it’s impacting you, and what you can do to change it. Some will even ask you to fill in an alternate thought on the sheet.
- Form a plan to move forward. Many worksheets outline different ways to move forward, whether it’s working through facing things you’ve been avoiding, changing negative self-talk, or having plans on what to do if you encounter situations that unexpectedly trigger your PTSD.
Last Updated: 20 May 2018
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD