Feeling State Examples

Feelings State Examples for FSAP

by Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC

These samples of the unique feeling states people experienced during some of their most exciting or intense experiences with their additions, have been found to help in understanding what we are searching for when your EMDR therapist strives to identify a feeling state with you. 

All we can do is do our best to identify it.  Then we try the protocol.  If the feeling state connection to the addiction doesn’t reduce soon, we need to work again to better “nail” the feeling state.

Also, please be assured that the feeling state is not bad, and you don’t have to give it up.  In fact, when the connection to the addictive behavior or substance is reduced, you will find more and better (less negative side effects) ways to feel that feeling state.  (That is the Future Template part of the protocol).

Note:  See the variety of feeling states involved in various addictions.  Sometimes people seek the same feeling state in a variety of addictions.  One example is set off in bold to illustrate this point.


ADDICTION                       FEELING STATE

Sex Addiction                    the guys admire my “conquest”

                                         I’m powerful–strippers “perform” for me

                                         I’m safe, don’t have to perform

                                         (at massage parlor, with masseause)

                                         Getting over on women/men


                                         Forbidden Excitement

                                         Pride in my ability


Smoking                            Euphoria of success plus…

                                          connection with buddies

                                          Social Connection



                                          Looking glamorous and grownup


Gambling                           Winning against the odds, I can do anything

                                          I can fit in with the guys (and Dad)

                                          I’m a winner (always felt like a loser)


Impersonating a Police Officer    Getting Over on others



Shopping Addiction                 I’m successful with high status

                                                Thrill of new toy!


Food Addiction           Connected with happy, loving people

                                  Excited with so many choices

                                  I can do whatever I want

                                  Honor and sooth my anger

                                  Soothing Comfort


                                  Joy and Ecstacy

                                  Hoard good food! (Mom a terrible cook)


©2013 Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC

EMDR Therapists who have taken Robert Miller’s FSAP Addictions Protocol Workshop have permission to use this for their clients.