PSYC18 Psychology of Emotion
Chapter 14 – Psychotherapy, Consciousness, and Well-being
Mindfulness meditation has been found to have effects similar to positive emotions, shifting activation
to the left hemisphere (Eastern practice).
West transformation of self; roman Catholics use confession as means of removing negative emotion
tied into sin.
As well fall out of right relation with ourselves/communities/God, we experience negative emotions
Practices are followed that center on distorted emotion
- Attempts to mediate/interpret/induce conscious states.
- Typically involves meeting with others (e.g. mentors).
- Aims to heal – making self whole – reintegration with society.
Attempts to make sense of emotion-based symptoms.
Freud recall trauma, become conscious, experience/express associated emotions in order to free
patient from continuing harmful effects of trauma.
- Neurotic people – suffer from inner conflict (e.g. feeling sexually attracted to someone &
inhibited by prohibitions of society at same time).
Therapy’s focus on the emotions
Eclectic – incorporating selected aspects from different variants of therapy into practice.
Close relationship with therapist
Explicit talk of emotions
Then attempt to discover & change how emotional schemas of anger, anxiety, etc. operate.
Psychoanalysis: unconscious schemas of relating
Transference of client to therapist is a distinctive feature.
It is the manifestation of emotion schemas that embody ways of relating to other that become habit
- Set of emotional attitudes towards significant others from past such as parents that are
projected onto people of the present (including therapist).
Experiment showing people descriptions of new people that resembled that of significant others
that they had positive feelings for ↑facial expressions of positive emotions (vs. when person
resembled significant who participant had negative feelings for).
Transference of positive emotions invites other into a warm and cooperative relationship, making
them respond warmly in return.
Psychoanalytical therapy is designed to recognize transferences, and bring them to consciousness.
Transferential styles are demonstrated by attachment styles of infancy carried into adulthood.
If relationships are based on figures from past (rather than real people in present), there will be
misunderstandings and problems.
When unconscious terms of schema become conscious, client can choose new solution in
relationship with therapist that can generalize to relationships outside of therapy. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Changing Emotions by Thought
Idea that we can change our emotions by thinking about them in the right way.
Traced back to Epicureans and Stoics
Epicureans may have been first to discover the unconscious.
Fear of death is irrational; must depend on reasons of which are unconscious
Taught to live simple way, enjoying simple pleasures rather than chasing after things that make once
anxious like wealth, luxuries, etc.
- Chasing such things leads to painful emotions (e.g. anger, greed, envy, etc.).
Stioics thought that emotions derive from desires, to free oneself from destructive emotion, one should
remove almost all desires.
Most emotions are damaging to the self & society
Stoics & Epicureans saw emotions as primary causes of the soul’s disease.
Developed by Beck – CBT works on thoughts in a similar way.
Teaches people to recognize/avoid errors of evaluations about the incidents that lead to emotions.
Patterns of appraisal that cause anxiety or depression are arbitrary, absolute, and personalizing.
Appraisals that are more external, local, and impermanent about events can allow different
emotions to occur that will break vicious cycles.
The answer to “what can I do about it?” must then be changed.
Asserting human purposes over those that are merely genetic requires thought, i.e. metacognition.
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT): changing emotions by emotions
Emotions signal that some goal/concern is being affected, and may be best clue about importance of
the concern. EFT works on such clues to build model of our goal structure.
EFT encourages a fuller experience of primary emotions – allowing them to become more
comprehensible. Implications become clearer.
Clients tend to experience some emotions too much (troublesome), called secondary emotions –
derive/changed from or emerged to cover up primary emotions that were unacceptable.
- E.g. men brought up never to be afraid may have covered their fear with anger, and their angry
disposition has distanced themselves from others.
When primary emotions are unknown/unaccepted, they can easily