The SEEDS Cycle

A tool for understanding personal and relationship patterns.

The SEEDS Cycle is a helpful way to understand the connections between things that happen outside of us and inside of us, and how we respond.

  1. Sensations
    • Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch
    • Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, temperature
    • Tense or relaxed
    • Heavy or light
    • What else?
  2. Emotions
    • When you feel that set of sensations, what do you call it?
    • Needs vs wants
    • Values and boundaries
  3. Explanations
    • “I am…”
    • “He is…”
    • “She is…”
    • “We are…”
    • “They are…”
    • “This is…”
  4. Do & Say
    • Helpful or harmful?
    • Skilled or unskilled?
    • Intention vs impact

For cycles that need to change, there are offramps at each part of the cycle.

SEEDS Cycle Offramps

  1. Sensations
    • Self soothing
    • New experiences (with a sense of control)
    • Mindful movement
    • Improved attachments
  2. Emotions
    • Deepen your practice of emotionally healthy spirituality
    • Clarify your needs vs. wants
    • Clarify your values and boundaries
  3. Explanations
    • Deepen your understanding of your faith and theology
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  4. Do & Say

Two or more SEEDS Cycles relating to each other make an infinity loop.

Applying the SEEDS Cycle as an infinity loop helps us to dissect relationship patterns that cause more disconnection than connection.

RL SEEDS Infinity Loop


Download the Printer Friendly Version of This Resource

Next Steps

If you're ready, you can get started with counseling at Restored Life. Or, if we're full, not in your area, or just not the right fit, you can get matched with a great therapist for you at Mental Health Match.
Get Started With UsGet Matched (Mental Health Match)

Try Our Free Resources

We offer these resources to the community for free. No email or identifying information is required to access these tools that can help you overcome your challenges.

Personal Challenges Survey

A free survey with brief screening scales for eight of the most common personal challenges that people face. Also provides suggestions for overcoming your challenges.

The Seeds Cycle

A tool for understanding personal and relationship patterns.

Things to Try to Improve Mood

A menu of small habits that can make big changes for depression, anxiety, or anger.

Things to Try to Improve Relationships

A menu of small habits that can make big changes in your relationships.

Things to Try to Overcome Chaos

A menu of small habits that make big changes for addiction or trauma.

Signs You've Found the Right Therapist

80% of the benefit from therapy comes from being matched to the right therapist. Here are seven signs of a good match.

How to Get the Help You Need on ANY Budget

Maximize your budget for therapy and your benefit FROM therapy.

Recommended Reading and Podcasts

A list of books and podcasts we most often recommend to our clients.

Recovery Groups

Support and accountability groups are a critical part of recovery. Here is a list of groups we recommend.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Health Insurance Coverage

Strategies You Can Use Right Now - And At Your Next Enrollment

Restored Life Counseling is a nonprofit Christian counseling center helping you overcome your deepest personal and relationship challenges.

Please help us keep this resource free and available to as many people as possible by donating below.