How does Shape of Emotion work?

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Shape of Emotion works directly with the somatic felt sense (the feeling) rather than the label of the emotion. It works with both difficult (negative) and supportive (positive) emotions.

Shape of Emotion does not concern itself with the reason for the feeling, nor it’s label. It is for this reason that it is referred to as being content-free. There is no need to share anything about the feeling. The important element is being able to feel the feeling.

A four step process

Shape of Emotion is a four-step process that is used both to down-regulate a negative difficult emotion and / or to up-regulate a positive supportive emotion that one wants more of.

The process is the same for both sets of emotions, differing only when it comes to what is said when certain of the touch points are used (see step four).

The mindfulness component of the process asks for one’s awareness to be directed inwards and attention focussed on what is being felt and where it is being felt. Through observation the shape or form of the feeling is allowed to appear.

The Shape of Emotion steps:

  1. Feel
  2. Find
  3. Observe / Describe
  4. Touch

Choose an emotion you’d like to work with and:


Feel the emotion you wish to release and let go of (down-regulate) or feel the emotion that you wish to open and embrace (up-regulate).


Find the feeling in or around the body.

Observe / Describe

Observe and describe to yourself what the feeling looks like.


Touch to release and let go (down-regulate) or open and embrace (up-regulate) via the stimulation of the various acupressure points.

In summary, the Shape of Emotion process asks one to (1) feel a feeling, (2) find it in the body, (3) describe or observe it and then (4) regulate it through a specific sequence of touch points.


Kaleidoscopes and butterflies

The entire process from the initial feeling, through steps one to four, using the touch points and, lastly, checking on the original feeling is called a kaleidoscope.

A kaleidoscope is the collective noun for butterflies and also symbolises the dramatic and yet beautiful transformation that can occur when using Shape of Emotion.

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