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When We Get Stuck. The TRAP Model

How can we enable clients to identify patterns of behaviour? The TRAP model below is one way to draw out links between mood, actions and their impact
Woman laying on bed
© University of Exeter

The TRAP model is one way to draw out links between mood and actions and the impact that these have on us, both short and long-term. TRAP stands for:

Triggers (What happened?)

Reactions (What was the effect and how did you feel?)

Avoidance Patterns (Behaviour – What did you do, or what didn’t you do?)

These patterns can have an impact on the client in both the short and longer term.

The TRAP Model Explained TRAP model explained Text based version of image

You may like to have a go at using the TRAP model with your client. It could be useful to go back to the Mood Diary again to see if there are any examples there, or reflect some information that was gathered in the homework review to enable your client to complete it.

Attached is a template that your client can use, as well as a therapist version with prompts to assist in supporting your client. These are also available in the client (p.21) and therapist (p.35) handbooks.

Below is an example of a completed TRAP model.

Use the blank template to create your own versions in order to become familiar with the process and share your experience of doing this in the comments below.

Example of the TRAP model Example of a completed TRAP model. Text based version of image

© University of Exeter
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