M5L2 – Common feeling blockers

MODULE 5 : Brief Introduction

  • Feeling blockers
  • Avoided situations – worksheet
  • Avoided feelings
  • Facing feelings


  • Avoidance
  • Dismissal
  • Minimization
  • Rationalization
  • Helplessness
  • Passivity
  • Looking to others

Case Examples:

  1. Billy becomes anxious in social situations. Especially meeting women. He goes to the bar in the hopes of meeting a woman but can only talk to one after he has had 6 beers

Feeling blocker: alcohol.
Feelings blocked: anxiety, feelings of attraction

  1. Barbra was recounting to her therapist how she bumped into her ex-boyfriend at a friend’s party. At the time, she became anxious and then drank to the point of vomiting. While exploring her feelings about the previous relationship, she became sad but quickly pushed those feelings down. When I questioned her on this, she said “I don’t do feelings.” (Feeling blocker: dismissal of feelings. Feelings blocked: sadness)
  2. Connie’s mother died after a 15 year battle with cancer. She cried in the week following her mother’s death but afterwards, decided that she had to “get on with life.” After all, “mum would want me to move on.”

Feeling blocker: Dismissal of feelings; externalization — focusing on what she imagines someone else would want and in the process ignoring her own needs.
Feelings blocked: sadness, grief

  1. Scott had just had an argument with his partner after she cancelled a date they had planned to go shopping with her friend. Afterward, he reasoned that his partner hadn’t seen her friend since she got back from overseas

Feeling blocker (after the argument): rationalization,
Feelings blocked: anger, hurt