Abstract: An elegant and sufficient model of feelings is presented. Sadness, Anger, Scare, Happiness, Excitement and Tenderness (acronym: SASHET) are pointed to as the primary six feelings. Each feeling must be examined as to whether it is a) now and appropriate , b) old and inappropriate, c) copied and inappropriate, or d) manipulative and inappropriate. A succinct model is given so these may be distinguished. Finally, it is to be understood that careful attention to each of these six feelings finally gives a basic unit to the field of psychotherapy.


I. SASHET Feelings
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Scare
  • Happiness
  • Excitement
  • Tenderness

II. The seesaw of feelings

III. Feeling categories
  • Real, here and now, expressions
  • Old
  • Copied
  • Manipulative

IV. The resulting feeling graph: first level Morris Matrix

V. The fluid feeling life and the major task of psychotherapy

Nothing turns on therapists more than talking about feelings! A model is needed that is elegant in that it provides a sufficient map of the territory, while being simple so that anyone who can talk can understand it. SASHET accomplishes that. With this tool, a person can encounter any problem situation with great therapeutic options. The task is to recognize the feeling, express it appropriately, and communicate it to others. The Fluid Life is marked by an awareness and movement with underneath feelings as experience comes. Unfortunately, chains from childhood are there in unexpressed feelings that trigger adaptive living. The way to liberation is marked by honest dealing with sadness-anger-scare-happiness-excitement-tenderness. To use this information more fully it will be necessary to add Golden Questions paper.

On the playgrounds of the world, natural children express six feelings: sadness, anger, scare, happiness, excitement and tenderness. A return to naturalness means that we all need to come to terms with these six foundational feelings.
What do feelings do?
Sadness allows internal grief to come out. A person has lost something, is missing something, or feels rejected and wants to cry about it. Crying is okay. It is natural. But, in the course of growing up, children emulate parents and hide their tears.

Anger comes forth when there has been a major slight, when a person's territory is assailed, and when integrity has been slighted. In other words, a kid is mad when not chosen for the team, has another kid sneak up and hit him, or when his name is humiliated ('Georgie, porgie, puddin and pie!')

Scare occurs when there is threat to body or soul. Danger to a person triggers a reaction where breath is shortened, shoulders tighten, and care for survival occurs. If someone's essential integrity is challenged, scare also emerges.

Happiness is the natural state of the organism, a kind of free breathing joy in simple living. Kids on playgrounds make joyful sounds. That is the model of happiness.

Excitement occurs when a person is anticipating a good event. A kind of throbbing joy emerges as a person looks forward and sees positive pictures, expects wonderful sounds, and anticipates body fulfillment in the form of hugs, kisses, a rush - like a roller coaster, or sex.

Tenderness is best understood as what parents feel when they hold a baby. It is a loving feeling that is expressed in soft tones, caring touch, and gifts.

Imagine children playing on a board that is tethered in the middle. One child goes up and the other goes down, etc. In couple therapy it is often the case that one spouse gets Sad-Angry-Scare while the other spouse acts out Happiness, Excitement and Tenderness. One wit noted that this meant one gets T.H.E. while the other gets A.S.S.

There is another way that the metaphor of a child's seesaw is valuable. The polarity of sadness is happiness (and the reverse), the polarity of anger is tenderness (and the reverse), and the polarity of scare is excitement (and the reverse). To feel one of the polarities is to negate the other. In other words, if you are expressing anger, you are not expressing tenderness at the same time. This is more than just an idle thought. Profundity occurs when it is realized that anger frequently masks tende rness (dad is furious because he is so soft underneath), scare masks excitement (one wants to run freely rather than be trapped) and sadness masks happiness sadness (a person has held down their natural joy while feeling grief).

Why is this important? It is quite instructive for therapists and leads to important questions. "Is it possible that your dad got so angry because he loved you so much?" "You know scare; do you have permission to be excited?" "Your sadness indicates to me that you want to return to being happy".

A simple grasp of the above six feelings can be deceiving. The fact is that feelings get to be a bit more complex when it is understood that they come forth in four varieties: Real, Old, Copied, and Manipulative. Sadness provides a good example. A person can be sad in the here and now due to a loss. That is real sadness. But an adult can still be sad in feature and expression due to the loss of a mother when he was three. That is an old feeling we sometimes call a Reflexion because it occurs as a reflex built into the musculature. In addition, there can be sadness that was copied from a father, a mother, or someone else. The astute therapist watches for copied feelings because when a person realizes that their emotions are actually duplications done by a child, there is a tremendous release. Finally, sadness can be manipulative as a person uses it as a ploy to get a favor.

We shall now give examples in terms of excitement.

Real. A mother throbs with joy because of a celebration on the next day where she gets to give receive gifts. She bakes cookies and pies thinking, all the while, about the family that will enjoy them. She has her secrets about the gifts and imagines other's joy in receiving them.

Old. A man imagines an old relationship in order to feel sexual with his present lover. He re-creates in his mind the smells and touches of another time as he makes love in the moment.

Copied. A child does not know how to react at a baseball game so he imitates the excitement of someone in the next box.

Manipulative. An evangelist sells his theories with great enthusiasm in order to get more money from the audience.

What we have done with the emotion of excitement can easily be repeated with the other five feelings. In fact, we encourage students to write up examples of sadness, anger, scare, happiness, excitement, and tenderness out of your own personal history. Perhaps each of your relatives had a feeling specialty and only exhibited one of the feelings in one of the categories!

From that discipline emerges a deeper understanding of human feelings. The simple six SASHET feelings can now be seen in twenty-four forms. Advancement in therapy comes when a person deletes the eighteen errant forms. To understand this even more powerfully, we encourage you to look at two other listings: Complexity and Modularity and The Golden Questions You may want to contact us by e-mail and inquire about our book The Feeling Journey.


Picture 2

This is 'first level Morris Matrix' because old, copied, and manipulative feelings can be sub-divided for a more elaborate explanation of emotional expression.

Deleting negative child material still existing in the adult personality is the grand therapeutic task. This is made more achievable with the light of the Morris Matrix. All one need do is remove old, copied, and manipulative feelings! We almost choked on that sentence because efforts in that regard are subtle and difficult, to achieve. A person needs to be committed to the therapeutic journey. Motivation to free one's self from the unconscious chains of childhood comes when the rewards begin to appear: awareness, spontaneity, and intimacy. At this point we think it important to read other listings:

Work-Play-Love-Appreciation-Creativity Lasting Values-BTJGL
Psychotherapy, as the science dedicated to healing the inner soul of people, has long needed a basic unit. Each discipline becomes scientific when a basic unit is developed so that quantification can occur. With the Morris Matrix and close observation of each feeling as it processes through the personality, we now have a basic unit for psychotherapy. The basic unit is a single SASHET feeling. With that unit, an entire system can be erected.