The Gefühlsmonster cards came to life in 1996 from an idea by Jutta Höch-Corona and the implementation by Christian Corona, first as drawings in black and white. The use in seminars and school classes quickly showed how valuable the visualization for conversations about feelings was, so Christian Corona drew 2005 the Gefühlsmonster digitally and we registered the images as a trademark. Over the years the original 18 monsters have been increased to 25.
The feedback from different areas and sectors led us to test and further develop the fields of application which we have been passing on in the form of a blog since 2007.
The Gefühlsmonster cards are now available in three sizes, from business card size to postcard size up to cards in A4. Other materials for enhancing helpful emotional states and for creating custom materials have also been developed.
Both pleasant as well as difficult emotions can “invade” us. Everyone knows it: a huge joy that overcomes us when a very important friend is unexpectedly in front of us. And the anger that shows up “from behind” and makes us say words or do things that hurt others.
That’s how the name Gefühlsmonster originated. We love this name. Some users, depending on the age and background of the viewer, also employ terms like “feeling representations”, “feeling little men”, or “figures”.
Why do we use cartoon characters
The Gefühlsmonster graphics arose from a spontaneous idea to bring humour into an explanation of mediation. The second reason for creating more monsters with more expressions of feelings was an hour for social learning in a primary school, during which children could only think of words like “cool” and “not cool” as terms for feelings. The thereupon resulting monsters – originally in black and white – were immediately and easily identified and named by the children.
The use of Gefühlsmonster in mediation education and communication courses showed that, in addition to the humorous atmosphere while discussing the feelings, also spontaneous narratives of the participants about experienced situations emerged.
The cartoon representation helps to commit to a feeling from a certain distance and thus to be able to save face.