Wheel Of Emotions Worksheet

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Worksheet published on April 15th, 2019

Worksheet updated on February 25th, 2020

Wheel Of Emotions Worksheet

Emotions can be challenging to understand. They are complex, and go against logical reasoning. When we feel emotions we do not understand, we can be at a loss of how to cope.

An important part of learning how to cope with your emotions is learning how to understand them. It is not uncommon for people to feel different emotions at the same time and not understand why. Emotions can come from a number of different situations and issues. They can occur at different intensities and affect each person in a different way.

When people don’t understand what is fueling their emotions or how they are connected, they cannot understand what is needed to appropriately manage and take control of how they feel. Teaching a client how to identify their emotions is an important part of the therapeutic process. It is also important to help the client understand that some emotions will be felt at the same time.

Emotions are not rational, but people often try to reason with how they are feeling. Helping a client understand that emotions are the opposite of logic can help them accept their own emotions and how they are affected by them.

About This Worksheet

This is the Wheel of Emotions worksheet. On this worksheet, there are a total of 54 emotions. The emotions are broken down into two categories:

  1. Primary emotions
  2. Secondary emotions

The Wheel of Emotions worksheet organizes 48 secondary emotions to help the client understand how to trace the way they are feeling to 6 primary emotions:

  • Shame
  • Surprise
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Joy
  • Sadness

With this worksheet, the client develops an understanding of how their deeper emotions are causing their secondary emotions. From there, a client will be able to know how to be in touch with their own needs and feelings.

Understanding their feelings helps clients to understand how their behaviors are the result of their feelings. They can then learn healthier behavior for managing emotions. They can also learn how to control their emotions so they are less intense.

This worksheet is an excellent worksheet to use when teaching emotional intelligence. It can be helpful in many different therapeutic settings, and can be applied to many different situations a client may face. This worksheet works well with adolescents and adults. It can be used as an educational aid in individual, family and group therapy.


On this worksheet, there are a total of 54 common emotions people feel. They are broken down into 6 primary emotions and 48 secondary emotions. Prior to using this worksheet with a client, family or group, explain the concept of primary and secondary emotions. Ensure that the client understands the process of how secondary emotions are felt as a result of primary emotions before working with the worksheet.

Instruct your client to identify the secondary emotion(s) they are struggling with or experiencing. Then, help the client identify how the corresponding primary emotion can be contributing to the feeling of the secondary emotion. Explain the significance of both the primary and secondary emotion and how it relates to the client’s situation.

This worksheet can serve as an aid to help the client develop a plan of how to manage the emotions and the behaviors that are triggered by the emotions.

Download Wheel Of Emotions Worksheet

Link To This Worksheet

2 Comments On Wheel Of Emotions Worksheet

  1. Pierre

    The emotion wheel shown (which appears to be based on Geoffrey Roberts’ and Gloria Wilcox’s emotion wheels) is interesting and useful, but is heavily slanted towards painful emotions and overlooks many other common sensations we all experience in life, such as compassion, hunger, and so on.

    • Thank you for your input Pierre. You do have a good point, in that this wheel of emotions is slanted toward painful emotions. Our goal with this worksheet is to help people in therapy identify those more painful emotions.

      People in therapy often struggle to understand and express their negative emotions, and helping them first identify these emotions can be helpful in beginning the therapeutic process of exploring and resolving the emotion they are experiencing.

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