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Hello and welcome to Emotions Education 101!

The class can best be described as a gentle but profound learning experience to understand your emotions and defenses and help you work the Change Triangle tool to find your calmest, most authentic self. Connecting and sharing with others about emotions helps normalize emotions and decreases aloneness.

The structure of the class will be a mix of didactic learning, gentle experiential exercises and meditations, questions and answers, and processing of what it is like to talk about emotions authentically with others. The class is low-pressure - no one has to participate but all our invited.


In this course, you will learn to better understand and work with emotions - not changing emotions, but having a different experience with them.  These experiences will lead to a richer and more authentic life.  This course is based on Hilary’s award-winning book It’s Not Always Depression

Learn how to move through the Change Triangle tool and land in the Open-Hearted State of the Authentic Self! 

This course is designed for all people since we all have emotions. In particular, people who are working through their own struggles with anxiety and depression will benefit greatly, as well as those who are supporting others on their journeys like spouses, partners, parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals.


For healthcare and wellness professionals: To be the best clinician you can be, you have to be your best self!  We, Heather and Hilary, are much better therapists and coaches since learning and working with the Change Triangle tool.

Module 1: Introduction to the Class and the Change Triangle®

Module 2: Cost and Benefits of Defenses - What are defenses? 

Module 3: Anxiety - Using anxiety as a signal to validate core emotions, conflicts, and needs

Module 4: Shame and Guilt - Differentiating between shame and guilt; soothing shame

Module 5: Core Emotions & Being with Sadness 

Module 6: Core Anger - Anger has a purpose

Module 7: Expansive Emotions - Joy, pride, gratitude, excitement

Module 8: Openhearted State/Working the Triangle - Final Q&A

The Facts:

What: Registration is open for the next weekend edition of the Emotions Education 101 Group Class on Zoom.

Who's it for: Open to everyone 18+ years or older.

When: This live interactive class takes place on 11/2-11/3, 2024Class meets from 10 to 5 PM EASTERN TIME. (Sign up for my newsletter below to get notified about future classes.)

Who is teaching: Heather Sanford, LCSW will be facilitating this class. 

Why: Because learning basic things about emotions is a game-changer for individual mental and emotional health, wellbeing, relationships, and parenting.


Please also obtain a copy of the book It’s Not Always Depression prior to the beginning of the course.


Questions? Requests? Contact Heather Sanford at or Hilary Jacobs Hendel at

Train the Trainer workshop:

Want us to train your organization to run these classes? Visit the Train the Trainer webpage here to learn more. For questions, contact Heather Sanford at or Hilary Jacobs Hendel at

EE 101 Turnkey Curriculum

Want to purchase the Emotions Education 101 Turnkey Curriculum? Visit here to learn more. For questions, contact Heather Sanford at or Hilary Jacobs Hendel at

Meet the Curriculum Developers and Class Facilitators:

Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW, is the author of the award-winning book, It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self (Random House & Penguin UK) based on her work as an AEDP therapist. She received her BA in biochemistry from Wesleyan University and an MSW from Fordham University. She is a certified psychoanalyst and AEDP psychotherapist and supervisor. She has published articles in The New York Times, Time, Oprah, and other major media outlets. Her blog "the Change Triangle" is read worldwide. Hilary is the co-developer of the Emotions Education 101 Curriculum and Turnkey Program.


Heather Sanford, LCSW, MPA, is the co-developer and lead facilitator of the Emotions Education 101 curriculum. Heather received her MPA and MSW degrees from Cornell and Binghamton Universities.  She has taught Emotions Education 101 in community mental health agencies as well as in private practice. She is a licensed AEDP psychotherapist.  She specializes in group work and individual sessions with LGBTQ + teens. Heather is the co-developer of the Emotions Education 101 Curriculum and Turnkey Program.



“The Emotions Education 101 online course was of high quality. It was inspirational in terms of discovering my, and each others, own emotion processing."

-Suzanne Bindels, Amsterdam, Holland

"The Emotions 101 Course that I took with you, exceeded my expectation on how helpful it was. Personally, I felt and feel more embodied and calmer.  And the Course helped my confidence in assisting people with understanding and experiencing their emotions in their body, in the moment.  This was huge for my Couples Workshop which involves learning to talk with each other about their most vulnerable feelings in their relationships. Additionally, people I teach it to have consistently found the Change Triangle very powerful in helping them understand emotions and defenses. Thank you both for the excellent, valuable work that you are doing!"
-Diana Weiss-Wisdom, Ph.D., 
Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist

“I knew the class would be good, but I had no clue just how good. It's been outstanding and a pleasure and a joy. The epiphany that it was my authentic self that I was missing after today's first exercise was an enormous relief. Thank you!”

-Debbie Fray, Valparaiso, IN

"After 20 years of on and off therapy, and a lot of bibliotherapy in the last year and a half (I've read about 50 books on this subject since the beginning of 2020), I have to say that that this course (and Hilary's book) were what helped me the most. The Change Triangle is a compassionate map that helps you identify where you are in the present moment and helps you predict how you might feel as you start to heal, so that nothing is shocking or surprising and you feel a sense of pride and ownership throughout the process. By meeting weekly to learn more about how this all works, and to practice feeling emotions in the presence of others in the group, I have seen a significant improvement in my ability to trust others as well as myself. I wish I had been introduced to this empowering content earlier in my life, so I am doing my best to educate parents and teachers about your work so that they can hopefully pass on the benefit to their children."

Anne Kubitsky,

“Thank you for such a wonderful and meaningful experience.  This class was truly one of the best things I have done in my training to be a therapist (and probably to be a person in the world too!). I love how simple yet profound the lessons are and have been trying to incorporate them into my work and life.  You both and the other trainers brought a lovely grounded warmth and professionalism to the experience.  I will certainly recommend it to others (and do further training in AEDP!).”

-Linda Siegel, Class Participant

"I'm very much enjoying and getting a lot from this course ladies, thank you. The container you have created offers an open and sharing space for folks to come together with intention to better understand, and be with, ourselves; complex emotions and all that comes with having a beating heart. I've loved the psycho-education and the need to 'not fix' rather 'be with' myself... and what's happening inside. Participants' willingness to be vulnerable, and to share openly, has been so helpful in acknowledging 'me too', and feeling understood. Beyond class, I'm slowly showing up for myself in deeper awareness, more subtle and gentle ways too. I feel that I'm cultivating a more intimate level of 'emotional awareness' within, the good and the not-so-good, and am finding I'm less judgemental of myself in it all. A lifetimes' work. Thank You for creating and -so helpfully- facilitating this active learning group." 

-Fiona, (Dublin Ireland)

“This course has been an amazing experience. I think you should do a lot more of these for people. Thank you for offering it!” -Anonymous

“Great amount of homework, class is well run, good participation, could use more time for reflections” - Anonymous

“I’m loving the course and learning so much.” -Anonymous

“I wanted to take the course because I want to be my authentic self. At the beginning, I didn't think it would be possible because I didn't understand how one knows when they are being authentic. I think I understand now. I don't know if it can happen for me but you have given me the tools to know how. It's up to me to do it.” -Anonymous

“This course has been an amazing experience. I think you should do a lot more of these for people. Thank you for offering it!” -Anonymous

“Going well. glad to be here” -Anonymous

“Very very good” -Anonymous

“Great class.” - Anonymous

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