Are your emotions one big complicated jumble?

Elephant Jumble

Do you have extreme or painful emotions?

If you have ever

  • Had to deal with emotions that you don’t want
  • Been trapped or stuck by your emotional overwhelm
  • Been confused by your emotions
  • Needed more control of your emotions
  • Felt that your emotions seemed to be missing


Handling Cartoon Elephants is a whimsical, compassionate, playful guide that will give you fundamental tools for approaching painful emotions. By painting the metaphor of cartoon elephants as emotions, Dr. Hoekstra provides written guidelines, visual examples, and practical steps to help you:


  • Stop avoiding the elephants in the room
  • See elephants for what they are
  • Get emotionally unstuck
  • Get your elephants to work for you instead of against you
  • Increase your tolerance and understanding of emotions
  • Initiate conversations about avoided emotional topics

What people are saying about Cartoon Elephants

Renee Hoekstra has constructed a charming and accessible allegory that addresses painful and challenging material in a fresh and friendly light.”

–Michelle L. Imber, Ph.D., ABPP, Clinical Neuropsychologist.


Dr. Hoekstra has illuminated a mindful approach to psychological suffering, incorporating current best practices with a captivating cartoon book showing us exactly how it’s done.”

–Beth Brownlow, M.D., Psychiatrist, Concord, MA


Rarely does one find a book that is both whimsical and practical; especially one that deals with the world of difficult feelings.”

-Leisl Rockart, Ph.D., Boston, MA


With her creative and playful cartoon elephants, Hoekstra communicates complicated lessons about emotions and emotional well-being.”

–Christy Matta, M.A., author of The Stress Response: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Free You From Needless Anxiety, Worry, Anger, and Other Symptoms of Stress.


This book is a humorous, caring way to teach principles and techniques to manage intense emotional states.”

–Gordon Herz, Ph.D., Madison, WI


The (Guide) is not simply fun and engaging, it’s imminently useful for all of us – and really, it’s all of us – who must learn how to handle the cartoon elephants that inflate their way into our lives or pop up at inconvenient moments.”

–Matthew D. Skinta, Ph.D., Clinical Health Psychologist & Researcher, San Francisco, CA


In this thoughtful, sensitive and humorously illustrated guide, Dr. Renee Hoekstra distills years of clinical experience in working with clients who struggle with painful emotions into a compendium of step-by-step guidelines for dealing with one’s unwanted emotions with acceptance and wisdom, compassion and hope.”

–Mavis Tsai, Ph.D., Seattle, WA