Zooming Out: Endings, Reflections, and Meaning-Making

In the process of coming to know and understand one’s emotions, and indeed one’s self, an important aspect of the process is self-reflection. Some therapy communities refer to this as ‘meaning-making,’ others as ‘meta-processing,’ or ‘consolidating’. (Check this final link out for intel on why cramming is physiologically inferior to studying spaced out over time,Continue reading “Zooming Out: Endings, Reflections, and Meaning-Making”

Healing the Feels: Tackling the Question of If and How Therapy Works

On multiple levels, I have grappled with the question of ‘if’ and then ‘how’ therapy works. As a person in my 20s, reaching out for therapy at a vulnerable point in my life, I wondered if therapy ‘worked.’ I didn’t really see how talking was going to help anything, but I knew I felt prettyContinue reading “Healing the Feels: Tackling the Question of If and How Therapy Works”

When Feelings are Too Much (or Too Little) – Living and Healing After Trauma, Part 2

“Trauma-informed educators recognize students’ actions are a direct result of their life experiences. When their students act out or disengage, they don’t ask them, ‘What is wrong with you?’ but rather, ‘What happened to you?’” – Huang et al., 2014 As post secondary education becomes more accessible, we have an opportunity to work with individualsContinue reading “When Feelings are Too Much (or Too Little) – Living and Healing After Trauma, Part 2”

When Feelings are Too Much (or Too Little) – Living and Healing After Trauma, Part 1

Last article we talked about emotion coaching – how to help others manage their big feels. This time, we’ll begin to focus on what happens after an individual experiences trauma – where we see some of the biggest feels, as well as the near absence of feels. Everyone needs to be aware of trauma andContinue reading “When Feelings are Too Much (or Too Little) – Living and Healing After Trauma, Part 1”

Emotion Coaching – Helping Others Be Their Emotional Best

I’m excited to be jumping back into the Focus on Emotions series. For those of you who are new to this series, these posts aim to make accessible the research and science underlying emotion, attachment, and their impact on our self-understanding and daily interactions with others. Last year, this series covered topics including understanding emotionsContinue reading “Emotion Coaching – Helping Others Be Their Emotional Best”

Balancing Life: Inside and Out

I had anticipated writing this month about emotion coaching. But what I have noticed is that, recently, I have been tired. Very tired. My creativity has been ebbing along with my energy. But why? Spring is finally here. Summer is coming! I have had more balance this year at work than in previous years; IContinue reading “Balancing Life: Inside and Out”

Attachment and All That Monkey Business

Attachment is a huge topic. Volumes have been written about it for decades. Although as psychological theories go, it’s still considered very new. Here we will briefly cover the historical roots and central tenets of attachment theory, with a focus on applications to postsecondary student development. A History of Attachment Here’s a whirlwind overview (somewhatContinue reading “Attachment and All That Monkey Business”

Emotions in Decision-Making: Friend or Foe?

So, which is it? Do emotions support excellent decision making, or do they interfere with it? As with so many of my articles you’ll see that my answer is “it depends.” But before I get into that, I wanted to pause for a moment. I now find myself at the halfway mark in this oneContinue reading “Emotions in Decision-Making: Friend or Foe?”

SA Has the Feels 201 (Part 2): A Primer on Managing Your Emotions and Feelings

Welcome to Part Two of our discussion of managing emotions and feelings. In Part One, I walked you through some principles for understanding your feelings; we reviewed the idea that emotions and feelings are part of a signalling system, directing our attention towards important aspects of our environment, helping us to know what we need,Continue reading “SA Has the Feels 201 (Part 2): A Primer on Managing Your Emotions and Feelings”

SA Has the Feels 201 (Part 1): A Primer on Managing Your Emotions and Feelings

Once you can read your own and others’ feelings, it’s time to focus on how to manage your own emotions and feelings more effectively—arguably an intermediate skill in developing one’s capacity for emotional intelligence. In an earlier article, we identified an emotion as “an automatic process in our brain whereby an incoming message from ourContinue reading “SA Has the Feels 201 (Part 1): A Primer on Managing Your Emotions and Feelings”

Orchids and Dandelions: What Kind of Feeler are You?

Want to find out if you are an orchid or a dandelion? There are various ways to find out if you are a dandelion or an orchid (also known as a highly sensitive person (HSP) or a “super-feeler”). For those wishing for conclusive evidence, you can take a genetic test to see if you haveContinue reading “Orchids and Dandelions: What Kind of Feeler are You?”

SA has the Feels: Identifying Feelings in Yourself and Others

“In general, therapists need to help clients find a delicate balance in their emotional expression, so that clients can (1) understand their feelings rather than be overwhelmed by them, (2) harness the energy of their emotions for planning and action rather than be either thoughtlessly driven by it or paralyzed by it, and (3) communicateContinue reading “SA has the Feels: Identifying Feelings in Yourself and Others”

What are Emotions? Turning the Inside Out

I love the films Inside Out and Home. These films brilliantly capture the interplay and complexity of human emotions. Inside Out features a cast of primary emotions (Anger, Fear, Disgust, Joy, and Sadness) all living inside the head of the protagonist, Riley. Throughout this movie, we—the audience—get a behind the scenes fantastical view of emotionsContinue reading “What are Emotions? Turning the Inside Out”

Coming Out: The Super-Feeler In Our Midst

A few years ago, I had the privilege of working with a very bright young woman who had come to learn, through personal experience and training, that emotions were largely uninteresting and irrelevant. She was training to be a mental health professional and her sentiments were not uncommon in our field. This always surprised meContinue reading “Coming Out: The Super-Feeler In Our Midst”

Focus on Emotions – Archive

Welcome to Focus On Emotions, a series that will delve into our emotional depths, getting at one inalienable truth: emotions matter. Our culture generally teaches us that feelings are to be avoided, suppressed, and controlled; that feelings lead to irrationality. But I have learned, and affective neuroscience would suggest, that feelings are central to self-knowledge,Continue reading “Focus on Emotions – Archive”

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