TDSL Self-Communication Questionnaire V1 
Design Notes


  • TDSL Self-Communication Questionnaire is based on 7 peer reviewed, validated psychological scales and 20 years therapeutic experience teaching The Dialogue of Self Liberation.

  • The purpose of the SCQ is not to medically diagnose, but instead to help you identify the non-useful habitual patterns you engage in.

  • If you answered "Yes" to any of the examples in the test, then you can benefit from learning The Dialogue of Self Liberation. It may even change your life.

  • All test result data is anonymized, even after sign-up.


Our core values at The Dialogue of Self Liberation are authenticity and integrity.

In line with this, we want to share with you the process and thinking behind the design of the 
Self-Communication Questionnaire; what it can tell you, and just as importantly, what it cannot.

Why a test?

When we conceived of passing on The Dialogue of Self Liberation to a wider audience, we realized we needed a way to help people discover their own self-defeating self-communications.

Ordinarily when working with an individual in private practice we are able to go through the process of identifying patterns in the first session. 

However in this new format it would be much more effective to accomplish, at least part of this, earlier in the process.

This led us to the idea of a test.

Self-Communication Questionnaire is designed 100% for you, the user, and in fact although we keep anonymized data we do not associate the results with you, even if you choose to sign up.

The primary purpose of the SCQ is to help you identify habitual patterns of self-defeating self-communication and bring them into your awareness.

As we often say, 

“How can you possibly let something go if you are not even aware that you are carrying it?”

This has the added benefit of also letting you know that, should you wish to improve your life by no longer engaging in those patterns, The Dialogue of Self Liberation can help you accomplish it.

We keep the anonymized test data for
 analysis to review and improve it over time. 

How we built the Self-Communication Questionnaire

The SCQ is based on detailed research of psychological scales, combined with data from our 20 years working with hundreds of clients in private practice.

The test is for you (not for us). 

It has no purpose for us other than to suggest if you are someone who would benefit from learning and applying The Dialogue of Self Liberation.

The results are anonymized, so the decision is entirely yours.

Psychological Scales

A Psychological scale is essentially a questionnaire designed to measure a quality, perspective, dimension or aspect of a person.

Psychological Scales have been used in psychology for decades and they have proved to be a reliable, robust and verifiable way to help psychologists diagnose their patients.

In fact one of the scales which was very helpful in creating the SCQ was the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire or ATQ. 

This scale has proven very robust and since its creation in 1980 has been successfully translated and validated into multiple languages and cultures across the globe. 

Psychological scales, therefore, provided us with a useful repository of ideas and literature to research.

We used the following scales to differing degrees in designing the SCQ

  • Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (4)

  • Self Talk Scale (5)

  • Children's Automatic Thoughts Scale (6)

  • The Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (7)

  • Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (8)

  • Manifest Anxiety Scale (9)

  • Social Anxiety Questionnaire (10)

There is one key difference between psychological scales and the TDSL 
Self-Communication Questionnaire.

Whereas psychological scales aim to provide diagnostic information to physicians about their patients; the SCQ instead aims purely to identify if you have habitually engaged in certain self-defeating self-communications.

In order to be diagnostically relevant, psychological scales often employ answer weighting and scoring, for example answer scales of ‘1-5’ or ‘rarely - sometimes - often’. 

However with the 
Self-Communication Questionnaire this is not required. 

It is enough for you to acknowledge if a statement resonates with your personal experience or not.

If your answer is ‘Yes’, then that statement is an example of a habitual pattern which 
you experience often or powerfully enough for TDSL to likely be useful. 

Our experience

In creating the SCQ, we utilized our 20 years practical experience of helping individuals from all walks of life and age groups.

We looked at data from hundreds of people who
 have successfully learned and applied TDSL.

There was huge correlation between this data and the psychological scales. 

We were able to build the Self-Communication Questionnaire explicitly from statements which have been regularly overcome by people applying TDSL.

The implication of this being; if you have answered ‘Yes’ on the SCQ, The Dialogue of Self Liberation will likely be useful for you. 

In some cases it has been life changing.

The Refining of the test

After creating the SCQ content, we refined it into categories.

order for it to be more relatable to you, we categorised the communications based upon our data from hundreds of successful clients and the ways in which they perceived their experiences.

The 6 core categories are:

  • Failure

  • Low Self-Esteem

  • Anxiety

  • Guilt and Regret

  • Relationships

  • Social Acceptance

We identified additional categories, however as these often co-exist with one or more of the 6 main categories we did not explicitly focus on them.

The additional categories were:

  • Grief and Loss

  • Decision Paralysis

  • Physical Threat

  • Aggression

  • Persistent Recurring Feelings (anger, sadness, frustration, disgust, apathy etc)

The current digital format of the test also uses ‘Branching Logic’ which 
allows us to jump to different questions based on a previous answer.

We use this as the total 
Self-Communication Questionnaire is 52 statements long, and it is clear from certain answers that further questions of that type are unnecessary. 

In such instances we jump to another category or type of question. 

This allows for the test to be shorter and more relevant to the user.

In the end we settled on 52 statements as we were able to account for the commonly experienced habitual patterns of negative self-communication, whilst also allowing for the SCQ to be completed in just a few minutes.


In conclusion, the Self-Communication Questionnaire is designed to provide you with relevant information about how you communicate toward yourself. 

What you choose to do with this information is entirely up to you.

The SCQ is built from self-defeating communications which were overcome through the application of TDSL, as well as the aforementioned verified psychological scales.

If you have answered ‘Yes’ on the test then The Dialogue of Self Liberation will likely be of benefit to you.

The test can also be used to check your personal progress. 

After you have developed an understanding of The Dialogue of Self Liberation you can retake the test to realise the various changes in perception between your original answers and your current experience.

We store only anonymized test data.


We are not doctors and TDSL is in no way intended to replace the advice or assistance of professional medical personnel. Many hundreds of people have benefited from learning and applying TDSL in their lives, however this has not yet been investigated in a controlled large scale peer reviewed study.

We aim to keep this document updated with information about the latest version of the 
Self-Communication Questionnaire, however the content is subject to change at any time. For more information please check our terms and conditions and privacy policy.


1.Pan, J.-Y., Ye, S. & Ng, P. Validation of the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ) Among Mainland Chinese Students in Hong Kong. J. Clin. Psychol. 72, 38–48 (2016).

2.Gökdağ, C. & Kaçar Başaran, S. An Assessment of the Validity and Reliability of the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ) in Depressive and Control Group. in (2014).

3.Beck Lichtenstein, M., Dervisevic, A., Eg, J., Wilson, R. & Wesselhoeft, R. A psychometric evaluation of the automatic thoughts questionnaire in Danish adolescents and emerging adults. Nord. Psychol. 71, 262–275 (2019).

4.Harrell, T. H. & Ryon, N. B. Cognitive-behavioral assessment of depression: Clinical validation of the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 51, 721–725 (1983).

5.Brinthaupt, T., Hein, M. & Kramer, T. The Self-Talk Scale: Development, Factor Analysis, and Validation. J. Pers. Assess. 91, 82–92 (2009).

6.Hogendoorn, S. M. et al. Measuring Negative and Positive Thoughts in Children: An Adaptation of the Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale (CATS). Cogn. Ther. Res. (2010) doi:10.1007/s10608-010-9306-2.

7.MacKillop, J. & Anderson, E. J. Further Psychometric Validation of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). J. Psychopathol. Behav. Assess. 29, 289–293 (2007).

8.Bond, F. W. et al. Preliminary Psychometric Properties of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire–II: A Revised Measure of Psychological Inflexibility and Experiential Avoidance. Behav. Ther. 42, 676–688 (2011).

9.Dr. Joseph Ciarrochi & Linda Bilich. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Measures Package. Univ. Wollongong School of Psychology, 159 (2006).

10.Kashdan, T. B. & Steger, M. F. Expanding the topography of social anxiety. An experience-sampling assessment of positive emotions, positive events, and emotion suppression. Psychol. Sci. 17, 120–128 (2006)

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