How To Guides

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The Needs Wheel

Use The Needs Wheel to identify what you need, based on your current feelings.

  • Practice prioritizing your needs
  • Identify actionable steps to meet your needs
  • Understand the relationship between your feelings and needs
  • Brainstorm creative solutions
  • Answer the question, “What do you need?”

A Step By Step Guide

  1. Identify Base Emotion. Each petal on The Needs Wheel represents a base emotion. Find the base that best represents your current emotional state.
  2. Locate your need. Move your attention to the first row of words on your selected petal. Read through them and select the word from the first row that names what you might feel is missing.
  3. Take Action. After identifying what you feel is missing, look directly above at the two actions. Select one that can help you take action toward meeting your needs, or use it as a jumping off point to brainstorm.
  4. Process. After taking action, take the time to reflect. You might want to journal your thoughts, have a conversation with someone you trust, or bring your insights into your next therapy session for further exploration.

The research that inspired us

The Research

As challenging as it is to identify your own needs, researchers have also struggled to identify a widely accepted needs theory. This makes sense, everyone’s needs are different and unique! Regardless of your unique needs, it is clear that getting our needs met matters! Fun fact, it has even been shown to help in managing the impact of our unique attachment styles (Wei et al., 2005). We used categories from Basic Psychological Needs Theory (Van den Broeck et al., 2016 ) and a rendition of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Sosteric & Raktovic, 2020) to inform our wheel. With distinct needs and actionable steps to meet those needs, The Needs Wheel is sure to be a staple for when someone asks “What do you need?”

Sosteric, M., & Raktovic, G. (2020). Eupsychian Theory: Reclaiming Maslow and Rejecting The Pyramid-The Seven Essential Needs.

Van den Broeck, A., Ferris, D. L., Chang, C. H., & Rosen, C. C. (2016). A review of self-determination theory’s basic psychological  needs at work. Journal of Management, 42(5), 1195-1229.

Wei, M., Shaffer, P. A., Young, S. K., & Zakalik, R. A. (2005). Adult attachment, shame, depression, and loneliness: the mediation role of basic psychological needs satisfaction. Journal of counseling psychology, 52(4), 591.


Everyone! We believe that every person can benefit from a tangible tool to identify and express their feelings.

Emotional curiosity is valuable to people of all ages. Many of our tools can be utilized by people of any age. If you’re ready to work on emotional curiosity with younger children, we recommend using this tool together.

No, not at all! Our therapeutic tools are a great tool to use inbetween therapy sessions If you're struggling, use a directory like to find a therapist.

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Of course they are! Our Chief Clinical Officer is a licensed professional counselor and reviews research that is used to inspire products.