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key hopes for this evening  think about what emotions are  introduce a model of ‘positive emotions’  glance at consciousness  very briefly consider.

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Presentation on theme: "key hopes for this evening  think about what emotions are  introduce a model of ‘positive emotions’  glance at consciousness  very briefly consider."— Presentation transcript:

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2 key hopes for this evening  think about what emotions are  introduce a model of ‘positive emotions’  glance at consciousness  very briefly consider implications for therapy

3 personal background  to help people who are in pain or distress (especially when effective help is not readily available elsewhere) particularly for those with psychological difficulties  to try to provide & encourage a whole person approach that uses what’s best in conventional, complementary, and self-help methods of health care work through a small charity whose aims are: for more details & a downloadable copy of this talk go to the ‘good knowledge’ section of click on ‘lectureswww.goodmedicine.org.uk and leaflets’ and look under ‘emotional expression’ in ‘past lectures’

4 some sources of inspiration  Damasio A. Descartes’ error: emotion, reason and the human brain. London: Papermac, 1996  Gendlin E. Focusing-oriented psychotherapy: a manual of the experiential method. New York: Guilford, 1996  Kennedy-Moore E & Watson J. Expressing emotion: myths, realities, & therapeutic strategies. New York: Guilford, 1999  Damasio A. The feeling of what happens: body, emotion and the making of consciousness. London: Vintage, 2000  Lepore S. & Smyth J. The writing cure: how expressive writing promotes health and emotional well-being. Washington: American Psychological Association, 2002  Greenberg L. Emotion-focused therapy: coaching clients to work through their feelings. Washington: APA, 2002

5 key hopes for this evening  think about what emotions are  what are they?  what do they do?  why do we have them?

6 theoretical maps are crucial “there is nothing so practical as a good theory” kurt lewin: ‘founder’ of american social psychology clients may well rate new understanding as one of the most important aspects of therapy Butler G et al Anxiety management: developing effective strategies Behav Res Ther 1987;25: “it is the theory which decides what we can observe” albert einstein: in debate with heisenberg

7 what are emotions & feelings? internal feelings physiological reactions reflection external observ- able responses adapted from: Kennedy- Moore E & Watson J. Expressing emotion: myths, realities, and therapeutic strategies. New York: Guilford Press, 1999.

8 types of emotion & feeling  six primary/universal emotions happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, disgust  secondary/social emotions e.g. pride, jealousy, guilt, shame, embarrassment  background emotions e.g. excitement, energy/fatigue, wellness/sickness, harmony/discord, relaxation/tension, stability/instability, balance/imbalance  moods, drives & motivations moods are made up of modulated & sustained primary, secondary or background emotions; drives & motivations express themselves and are detectable through background emotions the following classification system is from: Damasio A. The feeling of what happens. London: Vintage, 2000

9 what do emotions do?  prepare the body-mind for “appropriate” action heart rate, blood flow, hormones, & also changes in memory, thinking, etc  provide information on how situation is assessed noting & interpreting the feelings  send out signals to others posture, voice tone, facial expression, speed of movement send signals to others about self and assessment of environment

10 what do emotions do? prepare an individual for ”appropriate” action, emotions produce major changes in the body: 1.the “body loop” changes the landscape of the body – heart, lungs, blood distribution, muscles, viscera, etc – via both chemical messages in the blood stream and electrochemical messages in nerve pathways. 2.the “as if body loop” changes the representation of the body directly in sensory body maps in the brain. It is “as if” the body had been changed although the changes haven’t actually occurred in the body itself. Damasio A. The feeling of what happens. London: Vintage, 2000

11 what do emotions do? prepare an individual for ”appropriate” action, emotions produce major changes in the brain: 1.induction of specific behaviours such as those aimed at generating bonding, nurturing, exploring & playing. 2.changes in how signals from the body are processed such as selective filtering, inhibition, enhancement, & alteration of quality of pleasantness/unpleasantness. 3.changes in cognitive processing involving shifts in rate of production (slow to fast) and quality of focus (sharp to vague) of auditory and visual images

12 theoretical maps are crucial it may be more helpful to think of humans as having many ‘minds’ rather than just one john teasdale: cambridge psychologist these different mind-body states are linked to different emotions, different body landscapes, different ways of thinking, different access to memories, and different behaviours

13 ‘body-mind as house’ model  it’s easiest to recognize the different ‘rooms’ by noticing the different characteristic emotions they are linked to  all human beings have much the same set of emotional mind- body ‘rooms’ in our ‘houses’  all the rooms are there because, in the appropriate situation, being in the room promotes survival  when we’re in one room, it’s hard to remember there are any other rooms in the house – feelings/thoughts/memories  problems arise when we get stuck in inappropriate rooms humans are like houses with different rooms which represent our different mind-body states

14 key hopes for this evening  think about what emotions are what are they? what do they do?  why do we have them?

15 why do we have emotions? “in the wilderness in which the human race developed its current genetic characteristics, individuals who had the capacity to respond to dangerous or otherwise significant circumstances with an adequate set of emotions, and acted accordingly, had a better chance to survive, to have children, and to raise them than indiv- iduals who were deficient in that respect” Gut, E. Productive & unproductive depression. London: Routledge, 1989 emotions can help us survive & thrive:

16 examples of emotional functions anxiety can serve an individual by making them hypervigilant - ready to run or freeze and it also alerts others to possible danger anger can help an individual act rapidly to defend themselves when their territory is invaded & it serves to frighten others away depression can occur when our movement towards a major goal is blocked - it causes us to pause, re-evaluate and change direction

17 ‘body-mind as radar’ model the body-mind is like a radar & rapid response system constantly assessing whether the outer & inner environments are favourable or unfavourable emotions (like a constant wash of changing colours) are the ‘readings’ from this radar & rapid response system the emotional radar system is ‘quick & dirty’ triggering rapid responses that may be accurate, adaptive & possibly life-saving or inaccurate & unhelpful

18 key hopes for this evening think about what emotions are  introduce a model of ‘positive emotions’  glance at consciousness  very briefly consider implications for therapy

19 what about ‘positive’ emotions?  Fredrickson, B. L. What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology 1998;2:  Fredrickson, B.L. et al. Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and wellbeing. Prevention & Treatment 2000 (a web-based APA journal available at  Fredrickson, B. L. The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Am Psychol 2001;56:  Fredrickson, B. L. & Joiner, T. Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychol Sci 2002;13:  Fredrickson, B.L. The value of positive emotions. American Sci 2003;91:  Fredrickson, B. L. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2004;359:  Tugade, M. M. & Fredrickson, B. L. Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. J Pers Soc Psychol 2004;86: Barbara Fredrickson’s ‘broaden-and-build’ model

20 what about ‘positive’ emotions? emotions such as joy, contentment, gratitude & love ‘negative’ emotions narrow the thought-action repertoire to solve problems of immediate survival ‘positive’ emotions broaden the thought-action repertoire to build resources for future survival feeling good promotes flexible, integrative thinking; relationship building; exploration; & skill development

21 consciousness as evolutionary step Antonio Damasio The feeling of what happens: body, emotion and the making of consciousness London: Vintage, 2000 evolution of consciousness – major survival advantage going beyond non-conscious reflexes & conditioning changes in the body’s internal environment are monitored by basic brain stem structures making up the ‘proto-self’ a major leap forward occurs when an organism develops the capacity to recognize that responses are ‘mine’ stimulus consciousness response core consciousness is the ‘feeling of what happens’ when we see, hear or touch

22 three levels of being  extended consciousness & autobiographical self  core consciousness & present time core self  unconscious biological state & the proto self

23 key hopes for this evening think about what emotions are introduce a model of ‘positive emotions’ glance at consciousness  very briefly consider implications for therapy

24 possible implications for therapy  clients frequently come because they are unhappy with their emotional state – emotions are at the heart of therapy.  working with the client to construct maps & models of what has been happening is often very therapeutic.  becoming clearer what a client is feeling is a crucial aspect of therapy (‘arriving’).  what one does with the feeling (‘leaving’) depends on whether or not the underlying emotion seems ‘adaptive’.  try to use ‘adaptive’ emotions – including ‘positive emotions’ – to fuel constructive action.  therapy aims to help process ‘non-adaptive’ emotions. some of the many possible implications


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