20 Self-Inventory Questions for Mental Health Professionals (Free PDF!)

Regular self-evaluation is essential for mental health professionals. Use this daily assessment tool (downloadable PDF) to evaluate your ethical and self-care practices.

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The 10th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) suggests taking daily self-inventory: “A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow.” The founders of AA recommended that a person in recovery both “spot check” throughout the day in addition to taking a full self-inventory every evening, preferably a written one.

An honest self-evaluation can assess for resentment, anger, fear, jealousy, etc. According to the principles of AA, self-inventory promotes self-restraint and a sense of justice; it allows one to carefully examine their motives. Furthermore, it allows one to recognize unhealthy or ineffective speech/actions in order to visualize how they could have done better.

Similarly, for best practice, self-inventory or evaluation is essential for anyone who works in the mental health (MH) field. It doesn’t have to take place daily, or even weekly, but it’s a necessary measure for any active MH worker. If we don’t regularly examine our motives, professional interactions, and level of burnout, we could potentially cause harm to those we serve.

“As important as it is to have a plan for doing work, it is perhaps more important to have a plan for rest, relaxation, self-care, and sleep.”

Akiroq Brost

Much of the self-inventory I created is based on the 2014 ACA (American Counseling Association) Code of Ethics and related issues. According to the code, the fundamental principles of ethical behavior include the following:

  • Autonomy (self-sufficiency), or fostering the right to control the direction of one’s life;
  • Nonmaleficence, or avoiding actions that cause harm;
  • Beneficence, or working for the good of the individual and society by promoting mental health and well-being;
  • Justice (remaining just and impartial), or treating individuals equitably and fostering fairness and equality;
  • Fidelity (integrity), or honoring commitments and keeping promises, including fulfilling one’s responsibilities of trust in professional relationships; and
  • Veracity (genuineness), or dealing truthfully with individuals with whom counselors come into professional contact

The following is a format for MH professionals to evaluate both ethical and self-care practices. It’s meant to be used as a daily assessment tool.

Daily Self-Inventory for Mental Health Professionals

1. Did I cause harm (physical or emotional) today, intentionally or unintentionally, to self or others?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


2. If so, how, and what can I do to make amends and prevent reoccurrence?


3. Have I treated everyone I’ve come across with dignity and respect?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


4. If no, how did I mistreat others? What were my underlying thoughts/feelings/beliefs? How can I act differently in the future?


5. Have I imposed my personal values on a client (or clients) today?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


6. If so, which values, and what steps can I take to prevent this? (Note: professional counselors are to respect diversity and seek training when at risk of imposing personal values, especially when they’re inconsistent with the client’s goals.)


7. Currently, what are my personal biases and how can I overcome (or manage) them?


8. Have I done anything today that has not been in effort to foster client welfare (i.e. self-disclosure for self-fulfilling reasons)?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


9. If so, what were my motives and how can I improve on this?


10. On a scale from 1-10 (1 being the least and 10 the greatest), how genuine have I been with both colleagues and clients?


11. On a scale from 1-10, how transparent have I been with both colleagues and clients?


12. What specific, evidence-based counseling skills, tools, and techniques did I use today? Am I certain there is empirical evidence to support my practice? (If no, how will I remedy this?)


13. Have I practiced outside the boundaries of my professional competence (based on education, training, supervision, and experience) today?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


14. What have I done today to advance my knowledge of the counseling profession, including current issues, evidence-based practices, relevant research, etc.?


15. What have I done today to promote social justice?


16. Have I maintained professional boundaries with both colleagues and clients today?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


17. Did I protect client confidentially to my best ability today?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


18. To my best knowledge, am I adhering to my professional (and agency’s, if applicable) code of ethics?

❒ Yes                         ❒ No


19. On a scale from 1-10, what is my level of “burnout”?


20. What have I done for self-care today?

  • Self-Care Activities I’ve Engaged In:
    • ❒ Exercise
    • Healthy snacks/meals
    • ❒ Meditation
    • ❒ Adequate rest
    • ❒ Adequate water intake
    • ❒ Regular breaks throughout the workday
    • ❒ Positive self-talk
    • ❒ Consultation
    • ❒ Therapy
    • ❒ Other:
    • ❒ Other:
    • ❒ Other:

Areas for Improvement:

Areas in Which I Excel:



Download a PDF version (free) of the self-evaluation below. This assessment can be printed, copied, and shared without the author’s permission, providing it’s not used for monetary gain. Please modify as needed.

60 Awesome Resources for Therapists

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This is a list of over 60 resources for therapists. Please share with mental health professionals who could benefit!

Please check back as I update regularly with new resources for therapists and other mental health professionals.

If you have a suggestion, use the contact form on this site.


60 Resources for Therapists

UPDATED October 23, 2021

Disclaimer: Some posts contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Suggested Books

Armstrong, C. (2015). The Therapeutic “Aha!” Strategies for Getting Your Clients Unstuck.


Belmont, J. (2015). The Therapist’s Ultimate Solution Book.


Buchalter, S. I. (2017). 250 Brief, Creative & Practical Art Therapy Techniques: A Guide for Clinicians and Clients


Rosenglen, D. B. (2018). Building Motivational Interviewing Skills: A Practitioner Workbook, 2nd ed.




Websites & Blogs


Handouts & Worksheets



Social Media Groups & Forums


42 Free Therapy Handouts & Worksheets

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This is a list of free therapy handouts, forms, and worksheets for mental illness/substance use disorders.

Please repost and share with anyone who might benefit! New resources are added on a regular basis.


Click here for a list of sites with free therapy worksheets/handouts and here for for a list of printable workbooks, manuals, and self-help guides.

Find additional free therapy handouts at TherapistAid, GetSelfHelpUK, and Taking the Escalator.


Updated October 12, 2021


Forms

Group Activities

Good for newly formed groups. Each group member writes down their “first impression” of other group members. The facilitator then reviews each “impression,” and group members have the opportunity to share their answers.

Print/cut the cards, fold, and place in a container. Group members take turns drawing the cards and answering the questions.

Give group members 15-20 minutes to collect signatures. The first person to collect all signatures wins.

Print/cut the cards, fold, and place in a container to pass around. This activity works best with a working group.

Group Ideas & Topics

Free Therapy Handouts

Free Therapy Worksheets

Workbooks & Bonus Materials

Daily Self-Inventory for Mental Health Professionals


500 Free Printable PDF Workbooks & Manuals for Therapists

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The following list is comprised of links to over 500 free PDF workbooks, manuals, toolkits, and guides that are published online and are free to use with clients and/or for self-help purposes. Some of the manuals, including Individual Resiliency Training and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychotic Symptoms, are evidence-based.

Please repost this and/or share with anyone you think could benefit from these free resources!


For free printable PDF workbooks and guides for youth/family, click here.

For additional free printable PDF workbooks and resources on a variety of mental health topics, see Taking the Escalator, 200+ Sites with Free Therapy Worksheets & Handouts, and 42 Free Therapy Handouts & Worksheets.


Free Printable PDF Workbooks, Manuals, & Self-Help Guides for Mental Health Professionals & Consumers

UPDATED October 23, 2021

Disclaimer: Links are provided for informational and educational purposes. I recommend reviewing each resource before using for updated copyright protections that may have changed since it was posted here. When in doubt, contact the author(s).


Substance Use Disorders & Addiction

Free printable PDF workbooks, manuals, toolkits/self-help guides for substance and behavioral (i.e. food, gambling, etc.) addictions and recovery


There are several SAMHSA workbooks listed below; you can find additional free publications on SAMHSA’s website. For printable fact sheets and brochures, go to the National Institute on Drug Abuse website or the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. If you’re looking for 12-step literature, many 12-step organizations post free reading materials, workbooks, and worksheets; don’t forget to check local chapters! (See 12-Step Recovery Groups for a comprehensive list of 12-step and related recovery support group sites.) Other great places to look for printable PDF resources for addiction include education/advocacy and professional membership organization sites. (Refer to the Links page on this site for an extensive list.)


= Resource for Veterans
= LGBTQ+ Resource

Anxiety & Mood Disorders

Free printable PDF workbooks and other resources for anxiety (generalized, social phobia/anxiety, panic attacks), depressive and bipolar disorders, and prenatal/postpartum anxiety and depression


For additional PDF printable factsheets, brochures, and booklets, see SAMHSA, National Institute of Mental Health, NHS UK, CMHA, and education/advocacy sites listed on the Resource Links page on this site.


= Resource for Veterans

Anxiety Disorders
Depressive & Bipolar Disorders
Postpartum Anxiety & Depression

Schizophrenia & Psychotic Disorders

A small collection of free printable PDF manuals, toolkits, and guides for schizophrenia spectrum and related disorders

Obsessive-Compulsive & Hoarding Disorders

Free printable PDF workbooks, manuals, and guides for obsessive-compulsive, hoarding, and related disorders and issues

Trauma & PTSD

Free printable PDF workbooks, manuals, and guides for trauma (including vicarious trauma) and PTSD

= Resource for Veterans

Eating Disorders

Free printable PDF workbooks and toolkits/guides for anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders

Suicide & Self-Harm

Free printable PDF workbooks and toolkits/guide for suicide prevention and recovery and for non-suicidal self-injury

For additional resources for suicide, see 100+ Resources for Suicide Prevention & Recovery.

Grief & Loss

Free printable PDF workbooks and toolkits/guides for grief and loss

For additional resources for grief and loss, see Grief & Loss: A Comprehensive Resource Guide and 3 Powerful TED Talks on Grief.

Anger

Free printable PDF workbooks, manuals, and guides for coping with anger

For additional anger management tools, see 75 Helpful Anger Management Resources.

Self-Esteem

Healthy Relationships & Communication

For additional related tools, see 50 Free Marriage & Relationship Assessment Tools.

Meditation & Mindfulness

Resiliency, Personal Development, & Wellness

Forgiveness
Sleep
Stress

Self-Care

Free printable PDF workbooks, toolkits, and guides for self-care

Nutrition & Exercise

Free printable PDF workbooks, manuals, and guides for diet, physical activity, and health


CBT, DBT, & MI

The free printable PDF workbooks and other resources listed in this section may also be included in other sections of this post.


CBT Manuals & Workbooks
DBT Manuals & Workbooks
Motivational Interviewing

Additional Free Printable PDF Workbooks, Manuals, & Self-Help Guides


Please comment with links to additional PDF resources for therapy or self-help!