Psychotherapist and author Andrea Harrn speaks with Steve Nobel about how mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and positive psychology theories are woven together to create the bestselling Mood Cards and its follow-on deck ‘Understanding Deep Emotions’. 

Psychology doesn’t have to be complicated. The Mood Cards offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore your moods and emotions.

Andrea discusses how people are already using the Mood Cards in Schools, Hospices and as a tool for therapists. Mental health in the UK is of growing concern, Andrea explains how these cards can be used at home to help you take control and understand your emotions.

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Listen to Andrea and Steve chat about cultural differences in emotions, mental health in the UK and a closer look at ‘Abandonment’, ‘Bullying’, being ‘Excluded’ and ‘Passive Aggressive’ emotions.

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    Steve Nobel:                         Hello, and welcome. My name’s Steve Nobel, and today I’m speaking with Andrea Harrn on Understanding Deep Emotions. Andrea is a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, intuitive healer, expert in emotional intelligence. She is the creator of the Mood Cards published by Eddison Books. Her latest offering is Understanding Deep Emotions, which builds on her work of the previous Mood Cards set. And her mission is in creating more peace and understanding in the world through emotional intelligence, empathy, forgiveness, and love. Andrea, hello. Andrea Harrn:                      Hi, there, Steve. Steve Nobel:                         Now, it looks like the Mood Cards have been highly successful in helping people gain greater insight into this emotional state. Have you had a lot of feedback on the first deck? Andrea Harrn:                      I’ve had so much feedback on it. It’s been amazing, actually. I created them originally just for myself in the therapy room, but they’re spreading out and being used in so many settings by parents, by teachers, by coaches, meditation teachers, health workers working with kids in children’s homes, hospices. So much feedback and people are using them in so many different ways. Maybe sometimes with groups as well and with young people. Yeah, I’ve had some great feedback. I’m really happy, thank you, Steve. It’s all going well. I just keep hearing more and more feedback from people about all the different uses for them. Steve Nobel:                         Well, I can really understand how kids would benefit, schools, even coaches, young people. Hospices, that’s a new one. How are people using it in hospices? Andrea Harrn:                      Well, when people are in a hospice, it’s really hard for the families, and sometimes the families just find it very, very hard to talk about what they know is the obvious. There’s a grief card, there’s lost cards, there’s disappointment. There are so many cards that can help people to express themselves, and it can help people to communicate and come together at that very, very difficult time. Also, help the person themselves who is in the hospice to perhaps talk about some of the feelings that they have around family. Maybe there are things that they always wanted to say, but they never said them. The cards do bring people together, Steve.  
Steve Nobel:                         You must have had feedback from around the world. Do you find that there’s a cultural aspect to moods and emotions? Like some cultures find certain things easier. For example, I always felt the Mediterranean cultures were very much more able to be angry and say what they feel. Whereas in Britain, I always felt, well, if you say anything like that, your relatives won’t speak to you for 20 years. Andrea Harrn:                      Yeah, definitely. I mean, we are more reserved here, aren’t we. We’re more reserved in the way that we talk about our feelings in this country. Yeah. In fact, in some of the different countries, they’ve had different ways of expressing. The cards have gone out to places like China, for example. In those countries that are quite heavily influenced in the way that you’re supposed to think and feel, I think accessing emotions is something they’re just not used to. Yeah, it’s different. Wherever you are, it’s different in terms of how you talk about feelings. Steve Nobel:                         Wonderful. I mean, that’s great it’s gone to China. You’re right about that. Are you getting much feedback from these countries? Andrea Harrn:                      There’s a lot of interest in them, interestingly, from the ex-Eastern Bloc in Europe. Countries like Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary. They’re doing really, really well in countries like that. I think that for many, many years, perhaps people weren’t able to express how they feel, and the cards are doing are really well in those countries. It just shows you how it’s a human need in all of us, isn’t it, to be able to be who we are and talk about what we think, what we feel, and to be able to talk openly and honestly in relationships as well.
Steve Nobel:                         How do these differ from the first deck, are they aimed slightly differently? Andrea Harrn:                      The concept is the same. The way the cards work is the same. The difference really is in the cards themselves. The first deck that I created was more of a general moods and emotions deck. This card is really more about the issues and problems that people bring to therapy, so we’ve got cards like abandonment, rejection, bullying. We’ve got all sorts of other cards that relate to the problems that people bring into the therapy room like victim, for example, sensitive, Limerence, problems with people that have got love problems, jealousy problems, envy. Yeah, I would say that this second deck relates more to the issues and problems that people bring into therapy. Steve Nobel:                         Could it be described as an aid for therapy? Therapy nowadays, particularly in the NHS, I think you get six weeks or something and then you’re out. Not the good old days you could years and years of it. Andrea Harrn:                      Often you get six weeks now. You don’t really get that even, and people have to wait months for that. Even when people get the therapy, a lot of the time it’s more about filling in questions and fulfilling assessment criteria. That’s not to say that there aren’t good therapists out there because there are many good therapists out there, but it’s quite hard for people, especially in the U.K., to get therapy and long-term therapy is just not happening with them on the NHS. Yeah, I mean, the cards are an aid for therapists working with clients, but for those that can’t access therapy, it’s a self-development tool. It’s a way to learn more about your moods and your emotions, and your obstacles. Or perhaps with families, to help children and young people communicate how they feel. There are a lot of families using them. A lot of parents are using them with your children and helping their children to open up about their feelings. It gives children that experience of learning that it’s okay to talk about feelings and to explore them because with mental health issues on the rise … The problem with mental health issues is because people feel that, a lot of the time, they can’t express themselves or there’s no one there to listen to them. Using the cards does help people to be able to explore their moods and emotions, and if you can use them working with a friend or a family member, it’s going to be even more powerful.
Steve Nobel:                         This deck talks about some much deeper issues than the first deck I should say, bipolar, addiction. Is there a strong healing and educational element to these cards? Andrea Harrn:                      Well, the education is more about the self-awareness and the self-management, and how you may be able to gain control of your difficult moods or emotions or your mood swings. Also, the cards help you to recognize behaviors that don’t support you or help you or even your thinking that’s unhelpful. Again, if you use them with other people, it’s a great way for people to understand what it’s like to be you. What it means to be you with your problems. Not necessarily trying to change you or fix you, but just being able to listen to you. It helps to develop empathy, and if we experience empathy, we feel heard by someone else. That in itself is so healing. It’s so powerful to feel heard, and it doesn’t always happen. Everybody’s busy with their own lives, we don’t always have the time to sit down, and really listen to someone. That’s why counseling is so good because it does provide that place. But for people that can’t get counseling, this is a great way to experience what it feels like to have counseling. They’re not there to give scientific explanations of problems as such. They’re more there for individual discovery and learning for positive outcomes. Steve Nobel:                         Yeah, and I would say these cards are a much cheaper form of therapy than just going for endless therapy. Can I say, like the first deck, these cards are based on CBT, mindfulness, and positive psychology. Again, can you say something again about that? Andrea Harrn:                      Yes, because mindfulness is really about acceptance, isn’t it. If we can accept how we feel, by talking about how we feel we can accept okay, this is where I am at the moment with whatever it is. That in itself is a powerful process. Being mindful about your feelings and what’s going on inside you be it a physical problem, be it an anxiety or be it thoughts in your head, obsessions in your head. Just to acknowledge that’s where I am, in a mindful way, is powerful. Then the CBT is really based on three structured questions on the back of each card to help people to define, then to explore, and then to move through and see different perspectives on problems. Taking action points as well. Helping people to see how I can move forward. The cards in the box, they’re not all negative cards, by the way. There are many, many positive cards in both of the card decks. The positive part cards you can help to reinforce all the positive things about you. If you’re very talented or creative, the cards help you to become even more talented and help you to place your creativity and actually inspire you to do something about what you feel creative about, what you feel inspired about. It works with the positive cards as well as the negative cards.
Steve Nobel:                         Wonderful. Now, these cards use affirmations. I think the first time I came across affirmations was the Louise Hay book You Can Heal Your Life. What is the value of affirmation? Andrea Harrn:                      Affirmations is really talking to yourself a powerful way. It’s a positive way. You know sometimes if you have a friend that is feeling really down on themselves, you might want to give them some words of encouragement, so if you think about an affirmation as giving yourself words of encouragement. It’s about being there for yourself. It’s about aiming to build positive self-esteem, and empowerment, and hope. It’s using words and language that are powerful and positive. When you actually speak out the words, it’s like planting seeds of positivity not just into your mind but into your whole energy system. Of course, depending on your voice tone and your body language as well, it can become even more powerful. For example, if you’re going to say something like, “I choose to be around positive people and in positive environments.” If you say it like, “I choose to be around positive people and in positive environments.” Okay, you’re saying it with a low voice tone. You’re not being very energetic about it, so just raise your voice tone. “I choose to be around positive people and in positive environments,” and as you’re doing it, you feel that energy raising. That’s also important. It’s the way you say it. The way you talk to yourself about it, whether you’re going to talk to yourself, perhaps in an energetic way. Or if it’s an affirmation on relaxation, it will be doing the complete opposite and lowering your voice tone, “I feel so relaxed. My body is feeling calm. I’m really relaxed. I feel peace within.” It’s changing your voice tone according to the message that you want to give yourself according to the reaction and the impact that you want from it. If you want to become more empowered, more lively, more energized raise your voice tone. If you want to become more relaxed, lower your voice tone. The other thing is, because I’ve my hypnotherapy training as well, but a lot of my hypnotherapy training has been brought into the different language and the different words and the different suggestions in the mood cards. Steve Nobel:                         I’ve picked a few cards. I’ve actually been drawn to more negative cards, sorry about that. The first one was abandoned. Can you say something about this card, abandoned?
Andrea Harrn:                      Yeah. I mean, abandoned it’s hard because people do feel, sometimes, that abandonment can be something from childhood abandonment, parental breakups, that kind of thing. And I think that people that go through feelings of abandonment have probably experienced very early abandonment, so it’s about exploring that, those feelings and asking you, if you were abandoned, what it feels like. Helping people to resolve things in their own mind about how their own personal abandonment has happened and how it’s affected them, and about learning to make the best of that situation from now on. Steve Nobel:                         The second card, which I guess is really powerful for many particularly young children but not all, is the bullied card. I mean, there are many people also being bullied in the workplace, so what can you say about this one?
Andrea Harrn:                      Absolutely. Yeah. The bullying is quite often people that are bullied, don’t understand why it’s happened to them because they haven’t asked to be bullied. Quite often people that are bullied are actually people that have got a lot of very positive qualities. Bullies, generally, have low self-esteem and not very strong identities, so what they tend to do is they tend to bully people that maybe they have envy for that person or they feel that that person has something they want. Especially these days in the workplace when you’ve got a good employee, and then you have somebody that’s perhaps not so good at their job, and they could be bullying that person that’s actually doing a great job. Of course, when you’re going through bullying, you don’t see that that’s the reason I’m being bullied. That it’s because there’s something about me that is a threat to somebody else. And so the cards help you to explore your own experiences of bullying. Looking at who do you think has the problem, was it you or was it the bully? There are lots of questions on the cards that help people to really get to grips with this whole concept of bullying. It’s a massive area for exploration, but it does really affect people. Even today, I had somebody come in. This is a person that’s really successful, and it just suddenly came out that why she’s feeling so bad, and she just brought up this bullying incident that happened when she was about 12. It still stayed with her for 20 years, and it’s affected her self-esteem. It’s a big thing that affects people for many, many years, so it’s important to explore it and resolve it. Steve Nobel:                         The next one I’ve got, which follows on in some way, is excluded.
Andrea Harrn:                      Yeah, it’s another form of bullying, isn’t it, exclusion. Again, it’s a similar process looking at who’s excluding you. Why do you think that’s happening? Is there anything that you could do differently as well because sometimes people feel I’m being excluded, but actually it’s them that doesn’t want to socialize. Maybe they’ve got some social anxiety, or perhaps they’re more of an introverted type. It’s just helping people just see what’s actually happening, what’s really happening, where’s the evidence for it? Is there something that you’re doing that could maybe help the situation or change the situation? Steve Nobel:                         Yeah, and the last one, which I’ve actually come across many times in my life, is this passive-aggressive thing, which kind of, seems to me, to link to anger or how people can’t really express it clearly. It comes out in weird ways. Andrea Harrn:                      Yeah. I mean, I’ve done a lot of work on passive-aggressive behavior. In fact, a lot of my writing on my website is about this subject because it is a really difficult problem. Especially when you’re faced with it in your relationship. It’s about the anger that is the hidden anger. It’s the way that the anger comes out, and it can come out in all sorts of very, very abusive, emotionally abusive and destructive ways. The passive-aggressive card helps people to understand what it is, how it affects them, and maybe what the triggers are to it and how you can manage your own passive-aggressive … If you’re in a passive aggressive relationship, the card will really help you to understand what it is you need to do to put in firmer boundaries and to be more assertive against the passive-aggressive. Now, if the person looking at the card is the passive-aggressive, it will help them to learn about how they don’t need to be passive-aggressive. It can help them to learn that they’ve got a right to have their emotions and feelings, and they’ve got a right to express them as we all have.
Steve Nobel:                         Wonderful. Well, Andrea, once again, thank you for speaking with me. Understanding Deep Emotions, and the website is TheMoodCards.com. Thanks, Andrea. Andrea Harrn:                      Thank you so much, Steve. It’s been a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you very, very much.

Understand deep emotions

Explore more complex emotions and behaviours for healing, happiness and inner peace.
Based on mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy and positive psychology, this pack demystifies psychology and mental-health labels, and offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore moods, feelings and emotions. Following the success of the original bestselling MOOD CARDS box, this new, stand-alone volume offers 50 cards to help you work with more complex emotions and behaviours, so that you can embark on a deeper journey of self-discovery. Learn more about your issues and obstacles, and how you operate in relationships and work situations, and gain new insights and perspectives that will take you forward to success and a healthy work/life balance. Each card includes guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking, and the pack is suitable for personal and professional use alike.

£17.99 ISBN: 9781859064030

£14.99 ISBN: 978-1-85906-392-7

The Mood Cards

Make sense of your moods and emotions for clarity, confidence and well-being
Psychology doesn’t have to be complicated. Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology, The Mood Cards offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore your moods and emotions. Each card includes guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking. Whether to help you manage difficult moods, approach relationships more skilfully, become more sensitive to the needs of others, or simply be able to communicate and listen effectively, using the cards will encourage you to be con dent in who you are, expand your emotional intelligence and help you move forward in a positive way.

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