First Aid for Feelings Manual: help make it happen

by Thor A Rain in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

We did it
On 19th November 2023 we successfully raised £8,000 with 91 supporters in 24 days

Let's get the First Aid for Feelings Manual out there so everyone can learn essential skills and feel better physically, mentally & socially

by Thor A Rain in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

The extra £1,620 will help us create an audiobook version of the First Aid for Feelings Manual so that it's available to those who prefer to listen to the Manual or like the option of both. 

What is the First Aid for Feelings Manual?

This manual, much like a traditional First Aid Manual, gives practical advice on how to respond to different situations. Rather than specifically relating to medical situations though, the information and advice provided here focusses on helpful ways to respond to physical sensations and emotions. By “physical sensations and emotions’’ we mean feelings and the thoughts that can go with them.


What is First Aid for Feelings?

First Aid for Feelings is a method that helps you respond to your feelings in the moment and in real-time. Its primary purpose is to be practical and it includes concepts, tools, and techniques. Just as with medical first aid, once you know how to use it, it’s a rapid response that you can apply in any given situation when you experience intense feelings that you struggle with.


What First Aid for Feelings is not

There is no claim that First Aid for Feelings is going to radically transform your life or defuse highly-challenging situations. It isn’t a cure. It won’t replace speaking to a professional or getting medical help. It won’t, in and of itself, resolve underlying physical, mental, and social experiences. Neither will it fix situations and relationships that you struggle with. It will help though.

Why a First Aid for Feelings Manual?

So, why a manual about First Aid for Feelings? Well, because feelings are information and, when you don’t know what they mean or how to deal with them, you struggle. Our hope for you is that when you finish this book, you will understand the clues that your feelings are giving you and feel confident responding to them.

Why learning to understand the clues your feelings are giving you can be helpful

Feelings are an integral part of self-care. In fact they are the clues that let you know what self-care you need. Self-care is knowing what you need, when you need it, and being able to do something about it. If you didn’t have feelings you wouldn’t know how to care for yourself. This is essential when it comes to your health.

Why self-care is essential for good health

When you’re able to read and respond to your feelings and your self-care is solid, you can address issues that arise with your health early, before symptoms get worse. Early intervention can make a critical difference with most health issues. Even if you’re dealing with ongoing health issues, your feelings and your self-care will help you manage and ease wherever possible the impact of that experience. The relationship you have with yourself is the only relationship that is with you every breath of the way, from your first to your last, and every hour of your day. Your feelings, your self-care, and your health are vital to the well-being of this most important relationship of all, your own.


Our wish for you

By developing and strengthening our self-care skills, we’ve both seen our relationships with ourselves become sturdier, more resilient, and more enjoyable. That’s not all though. We feel the benefit within our physical, mental, and social health, including better relationships, too. Actually, our entire quality of life is just so much better because we feel better. And this is what we wish for you.

What will you learn?

• How understanding the purpose of feelings means you no longer get stuck and can respond to your feelings appropriately and move through them

• How to know if you are struggling with your feelings, what your feelings are trying to tell you, and how you currently respond or react to your feelings

• Your ABC for Feelings, a new technique which is just as important as the ABC (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) for medical first aid, and which will help you respond helpfully to your feelings

• A way of thinking of the brain that will help you to see when the oldest part of your brain is in control. The part that is more primal and less rational. Knowing this creates the possibility for you to be kinder to yourself and more skilled with your feelings

• How the practice of breathing mindfully helps to release stress and improves your ability to think more clearly

• How taking time to learn what your feelings mean, and what they are communicating, gives you the clues and power to respond better to your feelings, and make more helpful choices towards what you actually want

• Why, if you feel that you don’t have any choice, you are “crocodiling”. And how soothing your crocodile reconnects the part of your brain that can see and make choices

• Why curiosity makes it easier to respond to intense feelings and take helpful action

• How being kinder to yourself helps you be more skilful and compassionate with yourself, as well as with others

• How to start building a First Aid Kit for Feelings and set yourself up well for whatever comes your way.


Who are we?

First Aid for Feelings is brought to you by The Helpful Clinic, which is a social enterprise. Our mission is to improve health and well-being through increased health and emotional literacy. In practical terms this means helping you read and respond to your feelings in an informed and helpful way so that you can feel better. The Helpful Clinic was set up by me, Thor A Rain in 2015 to help share the First Aid for Feeling method with others and provide support to help people feel better, physically, mentally and socially. 

Why the First Aid for Feelings method was developed in the first place

I developed First Aid for Feelings twenty years ago when I was ill with ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Fibromyalgia, and dealing with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress  Disorder (C-PTSD). Dealing with the intensity of these experiences, in addition to the associated complexities of being queer, transgender, and non-binary, was, at times, life-threatening. If I was going to survive, I knew I needed something practical and quick working to support me as I worked through the ‘bigger stuff’, which would inevitably take longer. 

Taking my inspiration from medical First Aid, I created the First Aid for Feelings method complete with its own ABC technique and First Aid Kit for Feelings. It worked. I was able to support myself and hold steady enough to work through my recovery. Since then, I’ve been, not only well, but buoyant, sturdy, and steadfast. Life still happens and it’s tough at times. The difference is that I know my First Aid for Feelings and use it regularly.

Once I recovered and completed my clinical training I specialised in  supporting people with pain, fatigue, stress, and anxiety. Realising the First Aid for Feelings method was helpful not just to me but to others too, I designed a one day workshop. The first one was held in 2013 and now, ten years later:


  • More than 500 people have attended First Aid for Feelings workshops
  • More than 7,500 one-to-one sessions (including many ad-hoc sessions during COVID-19 lockdown) have been delivered
  • More than 2,500 people have signed up for the First Aid for Feelings 10-Day Meditation Course on the Insight Timer app. The course launched at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown and is consistently rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with student numbers continuing to grow.

All in all, more than 5,000 people have benefitted from learning First Aid for Feelings to date. Once people have learnt First Aid for Feelings, the feedback is consistently the same, people feel more empowered, more able to do self-care and enjoy much improved self-relationships. People feel better.  

What do people say about the First Aid for Feelings Manual?

"Two decades of searching for a palatable and practical book to help explain the mind-body connection has finally come to an end. Thor and Nicki have absolutely nailed it" Sue Beer, EFT Founding Master 

"First Aid for Feelings Manual offers a really clear and useful guide to explore and expand awareness of what we're experiencing, what we find comforting in times of distress and whether we can respond with curiosity and compassion to ourselves. It helps us to move from a place of stuckness into psychological awareness through to more beneficial decision making." Luan Baines-Ball, psychotherapist

"The most startling message of First Aid for Feelings is that ALL feelings are information. Getting curious about feelings and asking "is it helpful?" immediately takes us out of an emotional state and into a more logical, enquiring one. This seemingly simple technique is explained through memorable case studies that reenforce the theory and make it easy to recall helpful techniques so that effective self-care is always accessible whenever and wherever we need it" Ann Hawkins, Business advisor and mentor

What's our vision?

Our vision is a world where everyone knows their First Aid for Feelings and is able to read and respond to their feelings in ways that help them feel better. This will help reduce the impact of feelings like pain, stress, fatigue and anxiety on quality of life as well as reducing the load of preventable and chronic conditions on already struggling health-care system including the NHS.

Having supported over 5000 people to date, we now want to build on the strength of this growth and the resounding feedback we've had from participants that knowing your First Aid for Feelings really does help you feel better. Our next goal is to support 10.000 people in the next four years! Join us and help us all feel better. 

Please share this crowdfunding campaign with those you know who you think will also benefit from learning their First Aid for Feelings

Learn more about why you need to know your First Aid for Feelings

Want to learn more about why you need to know your First Aid for Feelings? Check out this blog

Sign up for the Helpful newsletter 

We'll be sharing news and updates on what we'll be doing during National Self-Care week November 13th-19th, including the Self-care Sunday webinar on the 19th. We'll also share the latest blogs, news on events and there's always a "You recommend" section with recommendations from readers like you. You can sign up here


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£23 or more

Signed copy of the First Aid for Feelings Manual

A signed copy of the First Aid for Feelings Manual sent directly to you. The First Aid for Feelings Manual is price at £18.99 and this reward includes UK postage and packaging. If you're not in the UK please add an extra £5 for international postage.

£23 or more

Helpful activist - helping others feel better

Become a health activist and help us bring this information to public libraries as well as health-care professionals and health-care students. We want to send 50 or more books with a covering letter offering support. If you’d like to nominate someone please email us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you. For international nominations please add an extra £5 to help with postage and packaging.

£50 or more

15 of 40 claimed

Signed copy of the Manual with extra goodies

A signed copy of the First Aid for Feelings Manual sent directly to you with a Helpful mug and notebook with the inscription "What are you thinking, feeling, doing? Is it helpful?" You'll also get an orange wristband with the question: "Is it helpful?" and two bookmarks with Helpful messages. This reward includes postage and packaging. Please note there are ONLY 40 of these rewards available.

£150 or more

Helpful advocate

As a "Thank you" for your substantial support, your name will be listed as a Helpful advocate in the First Aid for Feelings Manual and you'll receive a signed copy with a message from Thor and Nicki.

£169 or more

0 of 12 claimed

First Aid for Feelings one day workshop

Join us for a one day online workshop on Saturday, January 6th where you can strengthen your First Aid for Feelings skills. There are only 12 places available so you'll have a chance to work in small groups as well as benefit from learning from others. Thor and Nicki will go into more detail about specific techniques and share tips and advice on how to optimise your First Aid for Feelings. This reward also includes a signed copy of the Manual

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