Emotions Part 1: Understanding Emotions and Strategies to Develop Self-Regulation

How much do we really understand about emotions? In this first course in our two-part series on emotions, explore the power of emotions, how the brain processes negative and positive emotions differently, and why this is important when helping individuals better self-regulate their emotions and behavior. Discover why negative emotions tend to take center stage and often become barriers to personal and academic achievement—and strategies to break the cycle. Explore how self-conscious emotions can shut us down or fuel our success, the impact of emotion on memory, how past emotional experiences can impact decision making, and more. Practice using hands-on tools and activities to help your students, clients, and patients understand their own complex emotions and ultimately develop self-regulation.


Who should attend

Interventionists supporting ages 5 - adult. At our conferences we share our latest frameworks, lessons, and strategies for teaching social thinking with a wide variety of interventionists, including: speech-language pathologists, special and general education teachers, social workers, counselors, clinical and school psychologists, occupational therapists, behavior specialists, and school administrators to name a few. It’s also used by family members and caregivers across settings.
Social Thinking

Course Overview

  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • CE Credit

Overview of the Emotions series:
In our two-course Emotions series, explore how emotions are the undercurrent of all forms of social communication and are at the heart of personal problem solving, motivation, relationships, and life memories (episodic memory). This information applies to everyone, including typically developing individuals, but this series focuses on teaching about emotion to individuals with social-emotional learning challenges. Across the two courses, discover how to teach students, clients, and patients about their emotions and build self-regulation across three contexts: 1. Me: pursuing goals to meet the individual’s needs; 2. We: working collectively to be part of a group (e.g., in the classroom, on the playground, at a restaurant, on a team); 3. Us: interacting face-to-face with one or more people. Engage in hands-on activities and explore use of treatment* scales and frameworks to help your students, clients, and patients unpack the social-emotional experience and understand how emotions take center stage in all aspects of life.

Emotions Part 1:
In this first course in the series, explore information and research-based treatment ideas spanning these topics to help individuals understand and regulate their emotions:

  • The negative¬–positive emotional framework and how the brain processes negative emotions differently than positive emotions
  • Emotions and personal memory making (episodic memories), which are required in all environments, including in school, community, home, and vocational settings
  • Memory and narrative language: how emotions impact how we explain ourselves to others
  • Strategies to break the cycle when a student, client, or patient gets stuck recalling only negative experiences
  • The difference between feelings and emotions
  • Hands-on activities to explore the depth and complexity of an individual’s feelings and emotions. Practice using treatment tools (e.g., visual scales, treatment frameworks, etc.) that help make the complicated social experience more explicit and understandable
  • The definition of self-conscious emotions and their tie to social anxiety
  • How emotions are embedded within the Social Thinking–Social Competency Model
  • How Superflex’s Worry Wall and other Unthinkable characters can be used to encourage expression of the emotional self to foster self-regulation
  • The use of manipulatives to guide individuals to express their feelings and experiences, and to socially problem solve when language falls short
  • Case study: Review of longitudinal treatment for a grumpy 13-year-old; how the invention of the Pyramid of Dislike, paired with Social Thinking’s Friendship Pyramid, provided self-discovery and motivation to increase peer engagement and emotional satisfaction
  • And much more!

Learn a lot to help your students, clients, and patients—and a lot about yourself, given how this fascinating topic impacts us all!

*Treatment refers to using conceptual and strategy-based frameworks to help individuals improve their social competencies.

Upcoming Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

  1. Describe two major ways our brains process negative emotions differently than positive emotions.
  2. Explain how graphing one’s feelings across a day contributes to the development of emotional self-awareness.
  3. Explain the role self-conscious emotions play in social self-awareness.
  4. Explain how emotional reappraisal is different than emotional suppression and why both strategies are important.
  5. Explain how to create a Pyramid of Dislike to complement an individual’s exploration of the Social Thinking Friendship Pyramid.
  6. Explain why getting perspective is more important than taking perspective when seeking to understand an individual’s experience.

Upcoming Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

This agenda may change without notice.

7:30-8:30 Use social competencies to problem solve how to sign in, find a seat, and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while getting to know fellow attendees.
8:30-10:15 We jump in and discuss emotions, cognition, theory of mind, executive functioning, and self-regulation. Learn a strategy to teach Brain Control, explore the positive–negative emotion handout, and use a feelings journal to increase affective awareness.
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Social anxiety, how the brain processes negative and positive emotions differently, emotions and memory, emotions and narrative language, self-conscious emotions, negativity bias, reappraisal and suppression, and related treatment strategies.
12:00-12:50 Lunch provided
12:50-2:15 What does it mean to read intentions (a thought–emotion experience) and how does it relate to Social Thinking Vocabulary and the three-level Social Thinking–Social Competency Model? What’s the role of emotions in The Zones of Regulation and the Superflex curriculum?
2:15-2:25 Break
Case-study of a grumpy 13-year-old, his social learning treatment pathway, and how the creation of the Pyramid of Dislike led to his desire to use the Social Thinking Friendship Pyramid.

Upcoming Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

At this conference, earn continuing education units/credits/clock hours at no additional cost! Each course offers 6 hours of instruction and each attendee will be given a certificate of attendance and a course agenda for their records.


We are proud to be a continuing education provider for Speech-Language Pathologists, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical and School Psychologists, and Certified Counselors, such as Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, and others.


We offer continuing education units/credits/clock hours through:

  • ASHA: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • CES: Commonwealth Educational Seminars
  • NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors
  • And more!


Click here to see more Continuing Education Information

Upcoming Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

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