Integration Course

  Downloads:  MS Word



(Discover Negative Thoughts)
Underlying Depression
by, Dr. Brian Campbell


Depression can be caused by biological factors (heredity, medication side-effects, etc.) and/or by underlying irrational beliefs (lies) which are often reflected in irrtational thinking patterns.  Sometimes, I lovingly refer to these "depressogenic" thoughts and beliefs as "stinky thinking."  When Identifying (analyzing) the causes of depression, it is important to identify the client's "stinky thinking" and then set about helping clients to Challenge these thoughts and eventually replace them with the Truth.

I have developed the form presented below to help identify the "lies" driving depression.  I use this form with virtually every depressed client I see.  After identifying depressogenic beliefs and thought patterns, I then work with the client to Challenge the validity (Truth) of the beliefs/thoughts.  The Challenge to these thoughts/beliefs may involve scriptures, prayer, questioning, confrontation, changing "self-talk," cognitive refutations, bibliotherapy, etc.  You are welcome to use and modify this tool for use in your counseling.


Important:  You may be interested to learn that, in my opinion, suicide is driven by the irrational beliefs (lies) underlying depression.  In a very real sense, suicide is "logical" action that stems from irrational beliefs (lies) such as:  "There's no hope," "I'm completely helpless,"  "Everyone would be better off if I were dead."  Obviously, in order to reduce the risk of suicide, the therapist must help the client defeat these underlying irrational beliefs.  The Bible is certainly a wonderful place to find information (Truths) that run contrary to the irrational beliefs associated with suicide.


Integrated Christian Counseling

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           Psychology    Theology            

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Irrational Beliefs

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Toxic Beliefs from Parents     Depressogenic Thoughts


Irrational Beliefs


Irrational Beliefs with Biblical Truths


The Truth Sets us Free!

 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!”
(John 8: 32)

  Download Form:  MS Word 



(Discover Negative Thoughts)


©1993, Dr. Brian Campbell



Name: _____________________________________                              Date: ___________________



Instructions:  Use the key below to rate any negative and judgmental thoughts that occur in your thinking.  Rate only the ones that apply to you.  Leave them blank if they do not apply.  Then go back and underline any thoughts that seem particularly strong in your mind.


Motivator:  This exercise is extremely important!  You must identify depressive thoughts before you can attack them!  Do not be surprised if you end up rating many of these items.  Most depressed people engage in a great amount of negative thinking!



0 = Almost Never     1 = Sometimes    2 = Frequently    3 = Almost All the Time



_____  My situation is hopeless

_____  This is the worst thing that could possibly happen

_____  Nothing ever changes

_____  My sins are unforgivable

_____  The future looks black

_____  Things will never get better

_____  There’s no use trying, I’ll only fail again

_____  There’s too much to do.  The work is overwhelming

_____  People are taking advantage of me

_____  I can never seem to accomplish anything

_____  I can’t seem to get going in my life

_____  I’ve done something terrible that I shouldn’t have

_____  Things like this always happen to me

_____  Nobody loves me

_____  I can’t do anything right

_____  I’ve lost control of my life.

_____  Life is unfair

_____  Nobody really cares about me

_____  I can’t go on like this

_____  I dread what might happen

_____  The worst will probably happen

_____  I can’t stand the shame of it

_____  I’m totally helpless

_____  He/she will never change

_____  I can’t tell anyone.  I’m too ashamed.

_____  I always mess things up

_____  I’m so weak I can hardly go on

_____  I’m no good.  I never have been

_____  There’s nothing good in this world.  It’s entirely sinful.

_____  Everyone’s out to get me

_____  My life’s a total disaster

_____  I’m a complete failure

_____  I’ll never get over this

_____  You can’t trust anyone

_____  I don’t have the energy any more

_____  I’ll never change

______I can’t stand it any longer

_____  There’s no way out of this situation

_____  No one really understands how gad things are for me

_____  The world is full of misery

_____  I always have bad luck

_____  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

_____  There’s nothing to be happy about

_____  I’ll never be able to make it financially

_____  There’s nothing I can do.  I’ve tried everything

_____  I never have any luck with men/women

_____  I’m stupid and always will be

_____  I’m ugly

_____  I can’t go on

_____  I give up

_____  Nobody understands me

_____  I’ll never get well

_____  The pain is unbearable

_____  I haven’t done anything with my life

_____  I can’t trust anyone

_____  It’s too hard.  It’s not worth the effort

_____  I’m a loser

_____  I can’t control my thoughts

_____  Nobody could possibly like me

_____  I’m out of control

_____  I’m losing my mind

_____  I don’t like myself

_____  I can’t concentrate

_____  God has forsaken me

_____  I pray, but God doesn’t answer

_____  I’ve let someone down

_____  I’ve committed a terrible and unforgivable act

_____  I’m a bad person

_____  I’m going to Hell

_____  God will punish me

_____  There must not be a God

_____  It would be better if I were dead