CBT exercise dealing with my shocking reaction to Emma’s birth

I’ve written before about how sad and overwhelmed I felt when Emma was born.

Here I am sharing a CBT exercise where I’ve written about this stressful moment.

My therapist told me that the idea is to clearly separate three aspects of the stressful moment: a description of the situation, a reports of what my emotions where with their intensity, and a description of what I was thinking at the time with my level of certainty of what I was thinking.

Here’s a picture of this Stress Log:

When I was holding Emma in the hospital I felt overwhelmed, sad and guilty. I felt like I was  a terrible mother. My therapist has explained to me that it is not very helpful to say “I feel like a terrible mother”. I understand now that being a terrible mother is not really a feeling, but a thought, or an idea that might very well be true. But it also might not be true. And if I am not a terrible mother I better stop thinking I am one because it really makes me feel bad.

You can practice online CBT exercises like this at MindQuire