Emotions Compass for Coaching and Therapy
Finding and naming feelings and emotions is often not easy. This can be a challenge in therapeutic or coaching processes. The Emotions Compass offers a clear overview of selected emotional families, feelings, body reactions and thoughts all sorted according to the associated energy levels. The Emotions Compass prioritizes learning emotional competence. This useful tool supports dialogue in coaching and therapy processes. The Emotions Compass is also a valuable overview and reference for emotional self-clarification and learning the vocabulary of our feelings.
✔ Categorized and sorted overview of emotions
✔ Combined with body awareness and thoughts
✔ Brief explanation of how emotions develop and how to deal with them
The metaFox Emotions Compass supports processes of emotional development in various areas:
Reflection and mindfulness in everyday life
Emotional intelligence training and leadership training
Seminars for nonviolent communication (Marshall Rosenberg)
In social work, day care and team supervision
In therapy and treatment of depression
- One A4 page in high quality offset printing
- Laminated with 250 micron film on both sides
- Highly stable, waterproof and for everyday use
The Emotions Compass - a guide to understanding thyself
The metaFox Emotions Compass is a two-page at-a-glance overview of pleasant and unpleasant emotions as well as their underlying thoughts and body sensations. The concepts included are based on cognitive behavioural theory (CBT) and non-violent communication (NVC), presented in a clear all-encompassing structure. Different colors correspond to the feelings, thoughts and body reactions. The laminated (2×250 microns thick) high-quality printout can support the process of self-discovery, coaching, and therapy. For use in
The importance of emotions
Understanding ourselves, our mood and our emotions is often surprisingly difficult. Yet, the ability to be aware and regulate one’s emotional state is a key ingredient of a fulfilled and successful life. Daniel Goleman and others have popularised “Emotional Intelligence” as a catalyst for successful leadership1 and personal relationships2. Increasing our “EQ” has become a common goal of coaches, trainers and therapists.
Goleman’s emotional intelligence model looks at awareness and regulation of the emotions of ourselves and others. By crossing these two categories, it draws a holistic map of crucial skills for the digitised world of the 21st century.
The ability to be aware of your emotions (emotional awareness) and self-assess your state. This is also the foundation for self-motivation and self-confidence.
This is what we often refer to as empathy. In work environments it can extend to organisational awareness and lay the basis for service orientation.
Our ability for emotional self-control allows us to adapt to what we experience and is the basis for optimism and achievement orientation.
Being sensible of both our own and others’ emotional states, we can facilitate successful teamwork, act as change catalysts and be inspirational leaders.
How are emotions created?
According to the two factor theory3 and similarly described in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), our emotions are based on a stimulus and arise through the interplay of physical arousal and a cognitive label.
In practice what this means is that we interpret the situation we’re in cognitively (we “think”), possibly connecting what we experience with our memory, and together with a sensation (“feeling”) in our body, this results in an emotion.
Looking at an example situation, let’s imagine that we walk home through a lonely street. We see a person in a long coat catching up to us (“stimulus”) which reminds us of a crime movie we watched recently (cognitive interpretation) and our heart starts beating faster (physical arousal). We experience fear.
What emotions do we experience?
Emotions can be described with words, and they can also be categorised according to their valence (is an emotion pleasant/positive or unpleasant/negative?) and activation (the energy level experienced with the emotion). The Circumplex of Emotions, a model originally proposed by psychologist James A. Russel in 1980, visualises emotions along these two axes. Within this system of coordinates, we can locate our emotional state within the circumplex and without words to label the emotion.
1. Douglas, C., Ammeter, A. P., & Buckley, M. R. (2003). Emotional intelligence, leadership effectiveness, and team outcomes. The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 11(1), 21-40.
2. Zeidner, M., Matthews, G., & Roberts, R. D. (2012). What we know about emotional intelligence: How it affects learning, work, relationships, and our mental health. MIT press.
Thank you to our collaborators!
The French version of the Emotions Compass – Le Compas des émotions pour le coaching et la thérapie – is made possible with the help, expertise, and generosity of our collaborators. Merci beaucoup !
Thank you so much to Silvia Didier for her invaluable insights and wisdom, and for graciously sharing her time with us on this project.
Silvia Didier is a coach, trainer, and an experienced intercultural consultant. She is also a lecturer, author, and associate university professor working in an intercultural context. Silvia has more than 20 years of professional experience in the fields of training and intercultural coaching, marketing, communication, and strategic consulting.