Automatic Negative Thoughts: Catching the ANTs


United States Department of Homeland Security

Key Points

  1. Negativity bias: we favor false alarms over no alarms and overlearn negative events.
  2. This results in more negative emotions but is adaptive for our survival.
  3. Negativity bias accounts for many PTSD symptoms.
  4. Negativity bias also results in automatic negative thoughts (ANTs).
  5. People who have been traumatized tend to have ANTs that are personal, pervasive, and permanent. Additional ANTs include self-blame and hindsight bias.
  6. Questions to screen for a potential ANT are: is it logical? Is there evidence? And does it matter?

DBT for Trauma Online Training

Learn how to support clients struggling with trauma and complex trauma without reliance on traditional exposure methods.

Earn 9.25 CE Credits


Free downloads

Download Video/PDF

Automatic Negative Thoughts: Catching the ANTs

DBT Online Training

DBT in Practice: Mastering the Essentials (5.5 CE credits)

Learn the foundations of DBT in this course led by Stephanie Vaughn, Psy.D., a seasoned therapist and trainer. This is an on-demand, self-paced online training covering the essentials of DBT.