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Identifying Our Feelings

If you work with one of the psychologists at Landry, there is an extremely good chance that that they will ask you about your feelings.


We use a lot of exercises and visual aids to help our clients articulate how they are doing when describing different and often difficult situations. Dr. Gloria Wilcox created a visual tool that I find really helpful: The Feeling Wheel. It is an emotional thesaurus can help us become more specific about our feelings.


Dr. Wilcox states that ‘with increased vocabulary about emotions also comes the potential for greater power to interact intimately with other people.’ In therapy we can create the possibility not only for better communication with others, but also for better understanding of our own emotions by finding words to describe them that fit just right.


One may ask you how you are doing and you may respond with "fine", "down", or "mad", when you may be feeling overwhelmed, isolated, or frustrated. A tool like this can help expand our vocabulary and give us a chance to communicate more accurately. Ultimately, it can help us know ourselves and convey our feelings to those around us.


If you have a moment, read the feeling words (here is a fancy printer friendly version) and try to identify a few that describe how you are feeling in this moment. If it feels safe, you can then share those feelings with someone close next time someone asks how you are doing.


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