Historical Research

In this exercise you will review the same high-risk situation three times in order to learn about the cause-and-effect principles that influenced your reactions, and to develop a path to good outcome when you encounter such situations in the future. Use the worksheets below to record your ideas, hypotheses, and plans. Feel free to change the headings, format, or protocol. However, we do want you to be systematic in your observations and planning, and to follow the disciplines of inductive and deductive reasoning.

Recommended Protocol

  1. Give a name to or a short description of this type of High-Risk Situation [HRS]- e.g., social pressure, negative emotional state
  2. Complete a History Review form for this type of HRS.
  3. Sometime later [a few minutes, hours or days] come back to it and read what you have written. Then complete the first row of the form below. Use the first column to enter general notes, the second column notes that pertain to cause-and-effect principles, and the third column for ideas about how to cope with this HRS in the future.
  4. We are interested in: learning as much as possible about this kind of situation and what causes you to react as you do; how to respond so that things play out in a way that is better for you;. and when to respond so you don't miss your chance. With this in mind, enter any conclusions or hypotheses in the conclusion form below, under the appropriate heading: your vulnerabilities, thinking errors, patterns or cause-and-effect sequences, possible coping responses, and cues you can use to warn you that you are in a high-risk situation and now is the time to initiate a coping response.
  5. Review the same HRS from the dissociative perspective as if you were watching a move of the unfolding sequence of events. Is your understanding of the cause-and-effect principles any different from this perspective? Any ideas that may help you cope with such situations in the future. Complete the second row of the HRS form. Add your conclusions and ideas in the appropriate columns of the Conclusion Form
  6. After a break, review the same HRS for the associative perspective, personally experiencing the sequence of events from the inside. What insights and ideas emerge from this perspective? Complete the third row of the HRS Form. Add your conclusions and ideas in the appropriate columns of the Conclusion Form

HRS Name:




Ideas to promote will

Review of History Form






Review from Dissociative Perspective






Review from Associative Perspective








Thinking Errors


Coping Responses

Warning signals














Use the ideas generated here to develop your treatment plan and as part of subsequent exercises. The Hardening exercise provides a variation and extension of this work.

Hardening >>

^ Back to Top