Feeling human

You know there’s more to therapy than eliminating unpleasant emotions. Some unpleasant emotions have a purpose—some are "constructive". When constructive emotions are worked with skillfully, the result is often enormous therapeutic change.

Most therapists are skilled at helping patients swiftly eliminate unpleasant emotions. Most therapists have been trained in some approach to emotion regulation. The methods differ—some "restructure cognitions", some "modify behavior", some "medicate", and so on—but the goal is generally the same: the prompt reduction of unpleasant emotion.

But a revolution has begun in psychotherapy. After years of enthusiasm for emotion control therapies, practitioners around the world are awakening to realize they’ve missed half the picture. In mistakenly suppressing our patients’ constructive unpleasant emotions, we’ve inadvertently stunted their growth and jeopardized their adaptation.

Emotional intelligence

The isolated senior’s anxiety may be a "cue"—a constructive unpleasant emotion. In other words, she may be better served by working with her isolation-induced anxiety rather than against it. The same may be true of the alcoholic’s shame, the neglected spouse’s frustration, and the depression of the office worker in a dead-end job. Emotions provide us with information about how we should conduct our lives.

Constructive unpleasant emotions often contain great guiding wisdom. They can act as cues and direct our growth. And being emotions, they often contain the energy to get the job done. Properly harnessed emotions often lead to profound shifts in well-being.

Your therapy toolkit

Most traditionally trained therapists have little or no exposure to emotion focused therapy (EFT).  EFT can add unique and valuable tools to your therapy toolkit:


Tools for reaching those who obsessively over-control emotions


Tools for differentiating between unconstructive and constructive unpleasant emotions


Tools for tapping the directional wisdom of emotions


Tools for harnessing the power emotions for positive change


Tools to help couples grow closer emotionally


Tools to help clients allow more positive emotions in their lives


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