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Emotional Needs & Resources

We all have mental health, just as we have physical health, and we can all look after our mental Attention RESIZEDwellbeing, just as we can look after our bodies.

At Quay Place and Suffolk Mind, we use an ‘organising idea’: that we all have physical and emotional needs that must be met in order to stay well. We also have a set of skills and resources that we’re born with to meet those needs. This is referred to as the Emotional Needs & Resources model.

What are emotional needs?
We know when our physical needs for food, drink, air, sleep, shelter and exercise have to be met, because we feel hunger, thirst or tiredness, for example. Hunger, thirst and tiredness are the body’s way of telling us to eat, drink or go to sleep.

Most of us find it harder to tell when our emotional needs are not being met. However, the more we learn about emotional needs, the easier it is to realise when something is wrong. We all have nine emotional needs:

  • Security — safe territory and an environment which allows us to develop fully
  • Attention – to give and receive it
  • Control - being able to make choices over our school, work or home life
  • Emotional connection - to know that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are, “warts 'n' all”
  • Community - Feeling part of a wider community, something bigger than ourselves
  • Privacy -  having the opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience
  • Respect - a sense of status and respect within social groupings
  • Achievement - feeling competent at something, being stretched and getting a sense of achievement
  • Meaning and purpose - which also comes from being stretched in what we do and think, feeling our lives are heading somewhere

Emotional Connection RESIZEDTo learn more about each emotional need, read our blog.

To enable us to get our needs met, we each have a set of innate skills – or resources – that we’re born with. These are:

  • Memory - the ability to develop complex long term memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge and learn
  • Rapport - the ability to build rapport, empathise and connect with others
  • Imagination - this enables us to predict the future, to focus our attention away from our emotions, use language and problem solve more creatively and objectively
  • Emotions and instincts
  • Rational thinking - a conscious, rational mind that can check out our emotions, question, analyse and plan
  • Pattern matching - this is the ability to 'know' and understand the world unconsciously through metaphorical pattern matching
  • Observing self - that part of us that can step back, be more objective and be aware of itself as a unique centre of  awareness, apart from intellect, emotion and conditioning
  • Dreaming - this defuses emotional expectations that were not acted out the previous day