Just what is an emotion?

In this Olympics season emotions are running high. But, what are “emotions”. We all have them. We all express them. We all criticise them: “Stop, being so emotional.” “You are being over emotional.” “I’ve stopped being emotional.” “Why do you keep hiding your emotions?” Do we ever stop to think if we really understand what we mean or even agree what an emotion actually is? What is an emotion? I ask this question of my clients, my colleagues, my friends and my family. It’s usually followed by surprise and confusion, then by deep thinking and the struggle to find the right words. It can end in distraction, as in “Oh for heaven’s sake everyone knows what an emotion is!” “It’s simple, it’s…

I just want to be seen as complete

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01kpvj1/Heart_vs_Mind_What_Makes_Us_Human/ I watched this BBC programme with a growing sense of frustration and then one of growing sadness. Astoundingly, to my mind, there was no contribution from either a psychotherapist or even a counsellor. Throughout its 50 minutes or so despite throwing around the word “emotion” there was no attempt to define either the word or what an “emotion” was – how to identify such an animal. Given that working with various emotions is the stock-in-trade of my profession this absence of perspective and experience baffled me. Which is odd because the majority of my clients, and Mr Malone as well on the basis of this progr

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