17 Positive CBT & Cognitive Therapy Exercises

(3 customer reviews)

Positive CBT broadens the focus of traditional CBT to include themes such as optimism, strengths, positive emotions, meaning, and life goals.

These 17 Positive CBT Exercises (PDF) include a diverse range of science-based positive CBT techniques that can be used to help your clients find new pathways to reduce pain and suffering, resolve concerns and conflicts, and more effectively cope with life stressors.

$ 47

You will be equipped with the following tools:

  • The Most Helpful Thoughts

    Help clients recognize unhelpful thoughts and consider more helpful alternatives in a given situation.

  • Using Self-Distanced Language to Gain Perspective on Negative Events

    Help clients gain perspective on negative experiences by using self- distanced language as a regulatory mechanism.

  • The ABC Model of Helpful Behavior

    Help clients reflect on adaptive behavior to build awareness of the triggers and long-term consequences.

  • Structured Problem-Solving

    Guide clients through structured problem-solving by defining the problem, generating solutions, and creating an action plan.

  • Solution-Focused Scaling Questions

    Help clients improve their lives using solution-focused scaling questions

  • Self-Forgiveness Letter

    Help clients forgive themselves using the four Rs of self-forgiveness: responsibility, remorse, restoration, and renewal.

  • Seeing Through the Hindsight-Bias

    Help clients unpack a past decision so that they may understand what contributed to this choice at that point in time.

  • Replacing Unhelpful Thoughts With Helpful Alternatives

    Teach clients how to reframe unhelpful, negative thoughts into thoughts that are realistic, self-compassionate, and result in constructive emotions and actions.

  • Replacing Non-Grateful Thoughts With Grateful Thoughts

    Help clients practice gratitude by increasing awareness of ungrateful thoughts and replacing them with more grateful alternatives.

  • Pleasurable Activities Journal

    Help clients increase opportunities to experience joy by planning and recording pleasurable activities.

  • Optimistic Thinking Style

    Help clients develop an optimistic thinking style by learning to explain positive events as personal (internal), permanent (stable), and pervasive (global).

  • Dropping Anchor (& .MP3)

    This tool teaches clients to ground themselves in the present moment to manage strong, challenging emotions and includes a guided meditation audio file.

  • Diary of Better Moments

    This exercise aims to help clients cultivate a more balanced perspective on life by noticing and recording the everyday moments when things go better than, or not as bad as, expected.

  • Changing Behavior Through Positive Reinforcement

    The goal of this exercise is to help clients change their behavior using positive reinforcement.

  • Breaking the Vicious Cycle

    Help clients analyze a vicious cycle by exploring the sequence of negative events that are currently reinforcing a personal problem and to help them break out of this cycle and enter a healthy, adaptive cycle.

  • Behavioral Activation

    Help people with depression or lowered mood become more physically active through activity scheduling and mood monitoring.

  • A Letter from Your Best Day to Your Bad Days

    Help clients capture exceptional moments, situations, and days when things are better to serve as ongoing reminders of resiliency, and help them cope in times of suffering.

This pack contains the 17 highest rated Positive CBT tools that our practitioners use for their own development, in coaching, for teaching, or in a therapeutic setting. Each of the tools has been created in collaboration with universities and experts around the world.

All of the tools are rooted in science, draw from the latest research and insights from the field of positive psychology, and include references, practical advice, and a detailed description of how to use them.

Download them today to become a Positive CBT expert, better help others, and grow your practice.

*Please note that these tools are also included in our Positive Psychology Toolkit.

The following experts create our tools and resources:

  • Alicia Nortje


  • Anna K. Schaffner


  • Claire Vowell


  • Elaine Houston

    B.Sc. (Hons)

  • Gabriella Lancia


  • Heather S. Lonczak


  • Hugo Alberts


  • Jeffrey J. Gaines


  • Jeremy Sutton


  • Jessica Swainston


  • Joshua Bourne


  • Joshua Schultz


  • Lucinda Poole


  • Maike Neuhaus


  • Melissa Madeson


  • Nicole Celestine


  • Oliver Page


  • Tchiki Davis


Yes, of course! While these tools were designed with practitioners in mind, they are written in an accessible way so that anyone can benefit from them.

Upon purchase, you will receive access to a .zip file containing all the tools as PDFs. If you have any difficulty accessing the tools, please contact us at info@positivepsychology.com.

This can vary a lot from one exercise to another. As a general rule, most take around 30 minutes to complete but can take longer if more reflection is required. Some tools take place over a longer period of time, such as a week.

The tools can be adapted for the self, individuals, groups, teams, and different client populations. You are free to use your own experience and expertise to adapt the tools to your own particular scenario.

Yes, but in order to promote good practice, please note that you are advised to use the tools within the boundaries of your professional expertise. For instance, if you are a certified clinician, you are advised to use the training within clinical psychology. Likewise, a school teacher may use the tools in the classroom, but it would not be advisable to use them for clinical populations.

The exercises and interventions aren’t specifically designed for any particular age group, but you can adapt any of them so that they are suitable and age-appropriate.

The vast majority are, yes. Every tool has an icon that indicates whether it has been tested at least once in a scientific study and published in a peer-reviewed journal. We always include references and credits for each tool. The tool developers are academics with scientific and experiential backgrounds.

You’re free to download these tools in PDF format and print them for your personal or professional use, such as in a coaching or classroom setting. You’re not allowed to publish these tools publicly.

Within seven days of your purchase, if you decide that the tools aren’t for you, we’ll be happy to offer a refund.

Absolutely! Send Lucy, our Practitioner Success Manager an email at lucy@positivepsychology.com and she will gladly take care of you. Alternatively, you can call us on 1-424-272-1280 (our working hours are 9am-6pm EST, Monday - Friday). We look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Allison Cowan

    I love how full of information the product has. It’s clear, concise and professional. I like that the exercises are given in manageable pieces so that a client will not feel overwhelmed.

    Allison Cowan Life Coach

  2. Paul Stuart

    Very clear instructions on how to use and I particularly like the options/variations outlined for some of the exercises. There is a very clear explanation of the logic/theory behind each exercise.

    Paul Stuart Regional Head

  3. Lisa Jacobsen

    I absolutely believe that thinking and doing positive is what works the best with people who have addiction or mental health issues. I use these tools in my practice to help my clients see that focusing on the positive can produce better results.

    Lisa Jacobsen Care Team Co-Occurring Clinician

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