The Language of Emotions

A resource to help describe what you’re feeling, in order to support change

One thing that can get in the way of clients being able to change how they think and behave, even when they really want to, is that they struggle to make sense of what’s happening to them internally, on an emotional level. Put simply, we all sometimes just lack the words to describe what we’re feeling accurately enough to be able to deal with it.

Lots of psychologists and thinkers have attempted to categorise, label and structure our emotions and feelings. Right from Aristotle through to our current emotional intelligence guru, Daniel Goleman. If you’re googling, take a look at Plutchik’s work, which I think has one of the best structural approaches to classifying emotions.

For a simpler approach, which is slightly structured but can be used to be mostly just about the words themselves, the work of W. Parrot is really handy. I’ve made the simple chart shown above. You should be able to click on the image and then alt-click to “save as…” if you might find it useful.