Identifying your needs worksheet

What is the theory behind this Identifying your needs worksheet?

This worksheet is based on Schema therapy, a part of which places great emphasis on five core emotional needs that all humans share in childhood and how their satisfaction both in our early and later years determines a positive and content adult life. Many psychological problems in adult life have a basis in unmet emotional needs. 

Most of us are unaware of what these needs are and how they are affecting our lives without our knowledge.A good exercise to connect with them again is to identify one’s unmet needs and figure out ways to satisfy them 

How will the worksheet help?

This worksheet will help your client identify which of the five core emotional needs they feel are currently lacking in their life. It will also help them determine what they can do in order to satisfy those needs given their current position and resources. 

How to use the worksheet?

Instruct the client to answer the series of question related to each of the mentioned core emotional needs. In the worksheet, there are the five core emotional needs that we all share in our early years. It is our parents/caretakers job to satisfy these needs when we are young but as adults it is up to us to identify and address these emotional needs if we want to feel content. 

Identifying your needs worksheet

For each of the mentioned core emotional needs, evaluate what you feel is missing in your life. Why do you feel like this need is not being met? What is stopping you from fulfilling these needs? When was the last time that you remember this need was fulfilled? How did it feel then?

To feel safe, stable, nurtured, protected and loved in our relationshipsTo have autonomy, a sense of identity and feel competentTo  have the freedom to express our needs and feelings Learning and expressing yourself through spontaneously and playTo live in a world with realistic limits, which help you to apply self-control


Young, J. E., Klosko, J. S., & Weishaar, M. E. (2003). Schema therapy: A practitioner’s guide. Guilford Press.

You can download this worksheet here.

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