Emotional Iceberg Worksheet

Emotions are reactions that human beings experience in response to events or situations. They are often triggered and involve three distinct components;

  • Subjective experiences, also known as the universal emotions experienced by everyone, e.g., anger.
  • Physiological response experienced during an emotion. E.g., sweaty palms.
  • Behavioral or expressive response, e.g., smiling, to indicate happiness. 

Anger is an emotion that can be witnessed as “the tip of the iceberg”; however, underneath the anger lies fear, stress, or anxiety.  This is an emotional iceberg that explains how emotions manifest.

An emotional iceberg explores the visible and underneath parts of thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

What Are The Theories Behind This Worksheet?

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 

CBT is a type of psychotherapy used to help individuals identify and change negative thoughts and associated behaviors. 

It is a great source for people wanting to understand their emotions and behaviors in a skilled-based method that focuses on thoughts and thought patterns.

  1. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) 

DBT is a talking therapy adapted to treat individuals suffering from highly intense emotions. It’s used to help individuals manage their problems by changing how they think and behave. 

  1. Iceberg Theory of Behavior

This theory helps patients understand that a person’s behavior can be properly understood in the context of the factors that caused it. 

What a person does is “the tip of the iceberg”; we don’t see the underlying emotional factors that cause the behavior. 

How Will This Worksheet Help You?

This worksheet is a helpful way of identifying emotional triggers and improving self-awareness. In addition, this worksheet will assist you in processing conflict in an effective way to build, maintain and restore relationships.

How Should You Use This Worksheet?

This worksheet is a great way to examine the connections between your feelings and behaviors to life events, stressors, or memories to expose and understand how your emotions manifest.

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Healthy Place. (© 2023). Understanding the Icebery Theory of Behavior. Available at: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2021/7/understanding-the-iceberg-theory-of-behavior.  [Accessed February 25, 2023]


Heem Publication. (© 2023). How to Explore the Emotion Iceberg. Available at: https://heem.substack.com/p/how-to-explore-the-emotion-iceberg. [Accessed February 25, 2023]


Zen Care. (© 2023). Using the “Anger Iceberg” to Identify Your Underlying Emotions. Available at: https://blog.zencare.co/anger-iceberg/. [Accessed February 25, 2023]