Atlas of the Heart List of Emotions – Brené Brown (brenebrown.com)

The Gottman Institute_The Feeling Wheel_v2 by Dr. Gloria Willcox

Feeling wheel versus emotion wheel

While many researchers and therapists have adapted the wheel for their own uses, the original version of the feeling wheel (with its six core feelings) was created by Dr. Gloria Willcox in 1982.

According to many sources, Plutchik’s wheel of emotions was first proposed in 1980. The two models are similar, with the main difference being the number of core emotions in the center. Strictly speaking, Willcox’s model is the feeling wheel and Plutchik’s model is the emotion wheel.

Emotion Wheel: What it is and How to Use it to Get to Know Yourself (betterup.com)

“Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind- Dr.Sarah Mckay Neuroscientist & Author “

Emotions play out in the theater of the body
Different Types of Emotions in Psychology – All Questions Answered (calmsage.com)

I’m don’t believe you can actually separate the mind and the body (if the mind is in the brain and the brain is part of the body) but it’s a useful concept for trying to understand them.

Parenting Scripts

I’ve know for a long time to avoid “don’t/do not” this explains it a little better: Parenting Expert: ‘Do Not’ Doesn’t Work with Toddlers – Tinybeans

I think it keeps mattering because it’s easy to miss the “don’t” and only hear the rest. Plus it’s amazing how many ways people can follow directions while still not doing what you want.

Instead of ….. Try …..

Don’t run! – Walking feet! Walk please.

Don’t yell! – Inside voice. Quieter please. Lets turn down the volume.

Don’t go <place>! – Come back here. Stay right there.

Don’t climb/wiggle/stand/kneel on your chair. – Sit on your butt please.

Don’t touch that/things! – Hands together please. Keep your hands on your knees. Let’s try sitting on your hands.

Don’t <do this thing> without me! – Wait for me please.

Don’t <do this thing> without permission. – Ask permission and wait for an answer before you <do this thing>.

Don’t leave <thing> <wrong place>! – Pick up <thing> and put it <right place>.

Don’t forget <action/item>. – Remember <action/item>!

Finding a Good Therapist

Finding a therapist is pretty straightforward, for example you can use a site like:

Find a Therapist, Psychologist, Counselor – Psychology Today

Or follow instructions on who to call like these:

Finding a Mental Health Professional | NAMI

The harder part is figuring out if the therapist is actually helping you.

I only recently learned that they should be giving you homework – like something to practice or a question to think about.

You should feel safe and comfortable with them.
If you don’t feel that way with any person, then you might consider finding someone you’re willing to explore and address that with despite how you initially feel. You could also try a group setting where you can listen and learn or watch videos or read books to get started on healing.

Even there you should get actionable items to work on. For example, all the various 12 step groups have you work the steps of the program. This video mentions starting with breathwork which there a lots of different videos you can look through to find one that works for you. I try to do box breathing daily, especially while driving or other tasks like that. Books like Parenting From the Inside Out by Dan Siegel also give end of chapter activities to try.

If you’re just paying someone to listen to you vent, they aren’t doing a good job. They should listen to you vent sure, but then they should be asking good questions. How or why did you end up in that situation? What do you wish you had done and what stopped you? What do you want to do in future situations like that, and what do you need to be able to do that?

I once had a therapist cancel me as a client because “It seemed I had nothing to work on and was just venting which I should do with friends.” – I went along with it, but many years later I realized that the therapist didn’t ask if I HAD friends I felt I could talk about this stuff with or WHY I wasn’t talking about it with my friends. I knew I needed help, I just didn’t know what I needed and didn’t realize that my therapist wasn’t skilled at figuring it out either.

Another therapist I fired after realizing I was only ever venting about one topic again but not being given any actionable feedback on how to change my own behavior to affect that relationship and the venting was just bringing me down.

One I had to stop seeing because driving there after work ended up being so tiring I couldn’t think or talk about anything else by the time I got there. Thank goodness for all the remote options we have now!

Post Covid Update

I haven’t updated in a while, mostly because I’ve been focusing on taking care of myself and accepting help.

I’ve been doing EMDR and it’s been helping me reframe my memories. At first I was doing it to recover from the trauma of being hospitalized for bipolar disorder. We’ve started working on my childhood trauma since then. This morning I was thinking about how Penelope said that the biggest impact for kids was when their moms got more support. This has been true for us because I’m able to be more regulated and present for my child, which I’ve written about before is their primary need.

One of the things that has come out of my bipolar diagnosis is being forced to focus on taking better care of myself and asking for or accepting help. I’ve been learning that ignoring my needs, such as disassociating from my pain, is one of my maladaptive strategies I’ve brought from my childhood.

One of the first stories I reframed with EMDR was about my elementary school worms.

The school I went to had one of those red dirt tracks out in the field. Whenever it rain the track would be covered in worms. During PE if it wasn’t raining, we would be told to run the track. It took me forever because I was avoiding stepping on the worms. Eventually I’d get in trouble for being squeamish. I was the only one reacting that way, so I was the wimpy freak. Re-examining it I realized that I was the only one sensitive and caring enough to want to avoid killing the worms by stepping on them. And instead of my kindness being honored it was dismissed.

I didn’t find out about the trait of high sensitivity until my late 20s or early 30s, so while I was able to do some reframing on my own, I didn’t realize how many formative memories I had with negative interpretations. And it was only recently working with my chiropractor that I realized how disassociated I was from my body and its pain signals.

I wouldn’t say I feel lucky to have bipolar, but I do feel lucky to have such a large caring network of friends and family to support me while I rewire my brain.

Schemas or Distortions


Homework assignment, identify my maladaptive schemas/cognitive distortions

All or nothing thinking. Perfectionist – if not perfect then why bother

Black & white thinking. – using extremes, always, never, ever, completely

Mind reading

10 common cognitive distortions – mental shortcuts or assumptions about how the world works that helped you survive but are no longer supportive

18 maladaptive schemas – thought structures that helped you in one or some situations but are now harming or restricting you.

18 Early Schemas Defined (schematherapy.com)

Why do we suffer?

What is the purpose of suffering?

To inform and motivate.

I am the only one I can control. I can influence others. Influence is different from control.

If someone tells me that I control them, that person is trying to give me their personal responsibility. They are denying their agency.

Until I fully accepted that I was responsible for my own suffering, I continued to suffer.

I still feel pain and every difficult emotion I did before. And I no longer suffer.

Before – my mind would be racing trying to keep track of all the things I was trying to do. I would not be focused on the present moment or my body or its needs.

Now – Every moment is a chance to check in with my needs. A chance to make a choice. A chance to be the best whatever I’m being.

I used to wander the house picking things up while I brushed my teeth. Multi-tasking. Now I practice being the best tooth carer I can be. If I’m brushing my teeth and my foot is uncomfortable, that’s a distraction. So I adjust how I’m standing. That discomfort was telling me to move. To change. And then I refocused back on the tooth brushing. Each action I took, I asked myself, is this what the best tooth carer would do?dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

And that is telling me I need to decide if I’m sleeping or getting up. I think I’ll sleep to let parts heal a bit more.