The evidence gathering process considers evidence that supports the thought in question, as well as evidence that contradicts it. Seeking only disconfirming evidence may be experienced as invalidating for the client and may actually strengthen the resolution of their convictions (Gray, Maguen & Litz, 2007; p79-80).

When practitioners spend a lot of time interacting with a young person in varied contexts, many opportunities present themselves for pointing out evidence that contradicts thought patterns that have been identified as unhelpful. Clients should be asked to make their own assessment of the evidence that the practitioner points out to them. After evidence for and against a particular automatic thought is examined, Cognitive Therapists often seek to explore alternative thoughts or interpretations of events that are more balanced.

The Thought Record Sheet is a widely used structured worksheet of seven columns that is used to record: (i) The situation or event; (ii) Mood; (iii) Automatic Thoughts; (iv) Evidence that supports the thought; (v) Evidence that does not support the thought; (vi) Alternative more balanced thoughts; and (vii) Mood at the end of the exercise.