When you suffer from Illness Anxiety, you struggle with the belief that you have a certain (serious) illness. You will actively work on this belief by challenging it. With the help of a behavioural experiment, you will put your own anxious beliefs to the test and see if they are valid with the aim of gaining new, more helpful experiences. In most cases, you will set up the experiment with the help of your professional.
The steps to complete a behavioural experiment
Before the experiment:
- Think of an experiment that you want to conduct (you can also do this with the help of your professional). What are you going to do, how are you going to behave?
- What is your negative expectation regarding this experiment? How credible is this expectation? Write it down as a percentage.
- Suppose the negative expectation is correct, how will the experiment unfold? What will happen, how will you react, what will be the outcome?
- What is your rational expectation regarding this experiment? How credible is this expectation? Write it down as a percentage.
- Suppose the rational expectation is correct, how will the experiment unfold? What will happen, how will you react, what will be the outcome?
After the experiment:
- How did the experiment go? What happened? What did you do and how did it end?
- Which expectation turned out to be valid?
- After the experiment, what is the credibility of your negative expectation on a scale of 0 – 100%?
- Afterwards, what is the credibility of your rational expectation on a scale of 0-100%?
- What have you learned from the experiment?
Schedule a behavioural experiment in NiceDay
You can schedule a behavioural experiment in NiceDay by planning an activity “outside your comfort zone” in the Daily Planner. You can use the questions above to conduct the experiment. You can do this independently or with the help of your professional. If your professional creates the behavioural experiment and adds the questions in NiceDay for you, you can complete it and answer the questions by tapping on the activity and then tapping on ‘View Details’.
Below, you will see a completed example in NiceDay.
Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocollaire behandelingen voor volwassenen met psychische klachten.