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Hein Painful Emotions Technique

Introductory video

Comments about the H-PET

The Hein Painful Emotions Technique (H-PET) is a three step process.

1. Identify your painful feeling with a specific feeling word.

2. Identify the unmet emotional need which is causing that painful feeling.

3. Focus on thinking about alternative ways to start filling the unmet need.

Most people talk about "negative" emotions and "negative" feelings, and suggest ways to stop them -- the quicker the better. The problem with most of these methods is that if you somehow manage to stop feeling your pain without identifying and filling the unmet emotional need which caused it, the need remains and eventually causes problems later in your life. Some say it even comes back stronger.

We believe that it doesn't really make sense to call painful emotions "negative", any more than it would make sense to call hunger a "negative" feeling. We believe our feelings are guides to telling us what we need.

With the H-PET, the goal is to actually fill the unmet need which is causing the painful feeling. By filling the unmet need you will increase your self-understanding and your empathy for others since you have now fully processed your feeling and can relate to others with similar feelings and unmet needs.

Society in general can be improved this way when more of us identify the unmet emotional needs which are the products of our modern, materialistic society and busy, distracted, success-oriented families.

Read more about unmet emotional needs here

Here is a list of common painful or "negative" feelings

We believe this technique is healthier for you, more emotionally intelligent, and more emotionally sustainable in the long term than the popular EFT - emotional freedom technique, or "tapping," which is based on eliminating the "negative" feeling without identifying and filling the unmet emotional need. We equate this to convincing yourself you are really not hungry when your body is trying to signal to you that it needs food.

Here is a long list of feeling words

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Comments About the H-PET  
I love the H-PET and I am looking at my life within the framework. Its so simple, easy and I can't forget this. I will use it again and again - I can promise that. Thanks for that. - Sola, post graduate student in computer science, Nigeria  
It makes a lot a sense. If you were in physical pain the first thing you would do is finding out what is causing the pain, not go looking for a pain killer. But the common method of dealing with emotional pain is just to make it go away. I wonder why that approach is so common? - Morgan, teen in USA  
It's a refreshing idea to have those emotions addressed in a more logical way.. probably would have saved me the trouble of having to figure it out on my own when I was younger. - Alexiss, 19, Medical Student, USA  
Your HPET website is helpful and interesting; it makes sense to me to not push away allegedly negative feelings, and instead to communicate with them, understand them with compassion, and learn from them about our needs. But I wonder what people can do if they get in touch with painful, angry, aggressive or other overwhelming feelings stemming from childhood trauma (and also later trauma) where the baby's or child's needs, which were never fulfilled, come up. This can be most challenging and difficult.

For me, working with a therapist made it possible to witness, understand and comfort these feelings. Yes, I know from experience that it is productive and helpful to communicate with ALL our feelings and ALL our beliefs, especially when we struggle with them. We can learn from them all. In my therapeutic work, I have found that after traumatic experiences, there is the huge and completely unfulfilled need to share the feelings and experiences caused by trauma and become aware of, and be able to share, the truth of traumatic experiences and how they affect us. After trauma, there is also the vital, essential need to be believed and to be emotionally supported in a compassionate and sincere way, with an open heart, by another human being.

You do this kind of work with your website, and you and Priscilla have done it for many, many people, which I find an invaluable, fantastic asset of your work and website.

Barbara Rogers, Therapist and former assistant to Alice Miller


Note from Steve - Please see my section on anger...

I've been doing something similar for some time now. It really does work. More people should apply this... would solve a lot of sadness and frustration in the world. SoulRiser - Founder of School Survival  
I love your technique. Simplified and really clear. - Ted Hargrave - Founder of Marketing for Hippies