Learning how to respond most effectively to your offspring’s emotional reactions to bad news.

If you have already looked at Workplace or Law Enforcement, click here.

The goal in Responding Effectively training is to become more considered in how you respond to another person’s emotions, aware that there are always choices and tradeoffs.

RETT expects you already know how to spot the emotions that are displayed. The focus is not on how to recognize emotion but how to respond to emotions. If you want some help on recognizing emotion, go to the Face Suite and use Micro Expressions Training Tool and Subtle Expressions Training Tool. (You don’t need to also use Micro Expressions Intensive Training and Micro Expressions Profile Training Tool before using Responding Effectively training, but those training tools will expand and improve your ability to spot facial expressions.)

Uncertain about the difference between Responding Effectively, Micro Expressions, Subtle Expressions, and FACS?

Responding Effectively Training Tool helps you determine how to respond to someone’s emotional expressions. Responding Effectively Training Tool expects you already have acquired the skills to recognize facial expressions. Micro Expressions Training Tool and Subtle Expressions Training Tool are tools for sharpening your ability to recognize from facial expressions what someone is feeling. If you haven’t yet used Micro Expressions and Subtle Expressions, do so now and then come back and use RETT.

FACS (the Facial Action Coding tool) is a tool for measuring facial movements. It takes between 50-100 hours to learn. If your goal is to be more sensitive to recognizing emotions, especially concealed emotions, you want Micro Facial Expressions Training Tool or Subtle Facial Expressions Training Tool not FACS. If you want to learn what to consider when you respond to another person’s emotions you want PEG Interactive not FACS.

You will need to know the differences among macro, micro and mini (subtle) expressions to learn how to respond to them:

  • Macro expressions: these are the usual facial expressions that you can see without difficulty, because they typically are shown across the entire face, and last a few seconds. Most people don’t need help to spot macro expressions, but if you do, Micro Facial Expressions Training Tool will help you.
  • Micro expressions: these are very brief expressions that are so fast that most people do not see them. They reveal attempts by people to conceal how they are feeling. They may be the result of deliberate suppression, or they may occur when people are unaware of how they are feeling, the result of unconscious repression.
  • Mini or Subtle expressions: these are very small expressions that are usually limited to just one area of the face. They occur either when an emotion is just beginning to be felt, or a leakage of concealed emotions.


In RETT: Family you will see a son or daughter’s emotional reactions when they hear unwelcome news from a father or mother. You will choose whether the parent you are about to see has a close or strained relationship with her or his son or daughter. You will see sadness first. Then, you will choose whether the child also shows anger or contempt.

You will be offered a number of choices about how to initially respond to your son or daughter’s emotions. After you make a choice, you will receive feedback from Dr. Ekman about the advantages or disadvantages of your choice. We encourage you to select all of the choices, even ones you might not ever consider saying, in order to learn from the feedback provided for each choice.

View the adolescent’s reactions when there is a close or strained relationship

  • What might be best to say depends not just on the adolescent’s emotional reactions, but the quality of the relationship the parent has with the adolescent. You will choose whether there is a close relationship, or a strained relationship.
  • You can switch from close to strained whenever you wish.
  • Once completed, click the ‘I’m Finished’ button to see a summary of the choices.

It is up to you: what to watch, what feedback to get, and how much of Responding Effectively training you use. Remember you don’t have to finish it all in one sitting. You have RETT for one year. Use the Navigation button to view where you are in the program and to change your selections. The choices are yours!