Expressing Emotion: Myths, Realities, and Therapeutic Strategies (Emotions and Social Behavior)

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9781572306943: Expressing Emotion: Myths, Realities, and Therapeutic Strategies (Emotions and Social Behavior)

Emotional expression is the link between internal experience and the outside world. It is intimately connected to who we are, how we feel, and how we relate to others. In daily life, expression enables people to communicate with each other and influence relationships; in psychotherapy, it provides important information about how clients are feeling and how they are relating to the therapist. This lucid volume examines expressions of such feelings as love, anger, and sadness, and highlights the individual and interpersonal processes that shape emotional behavior. It offers a lively and comprehensive discussion of the role of emotional expression and nonexpression in individual adaptation, social interaction, and therapeutic process.

Drawing upon extensive theory and research, the authors provide coherent guidelines to help clinicians, researchers, and students identify, conceptualize, and treat problems in emotional behavior. They show that expression and nonexpression come in many different forms, with a wide range of personal and relational consequences. The effects of expressing one's feelings depend on what is expressed, to whom, in what way, and in what context. Expression can lead to greater self-knowledge, enhanced coping, and fuller intimacy, but it can also result in embarrassment, misunderstanding, or rejection. Conversely, nonexpression can involve a frustrating lack of opportunity to express, or problems in accessing or articulating feelings, but it can also reflect cultural values or effective coping efforts. Through vivid clinical examples, the authors illuminate a range of problems related to both expression and nonexpression, and provide insight into how these can be addressed in individual and couple therapy.

This practical and clearly written guide is an important resource for teachers, students, and researchers of clinical, counseling, social, personality, and health psychology, as well as practicing counselors and psychotherapists. It will also serve as a text in advanced undergraduate and graduate-level courses on emotion and interpersonal communication, and in graduate-level counseling and psychotherapy seminars.

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From the Publisher:

The following review of "Expressing Emotion" appeared in "Readings: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health," 3/00, Vol. 15(1), p. 26.

"It is impossible to do justice in a brief review to this excellent contribution to the literature on emotions. The authors' comprehensive dissection of the scientific research is impressive. They have culled the literature to present a clear, sound analysis of the effects of expressing or withholding emotions on physical well-being, psychological functioning, and interpersonal relationships. They demonstrate, through multiple examples of clinical practice, the complexities and paradoxes of emotional expression or nonexpression and, in doing so, establish their central thesis: that balance emotional behavior is characterized by integration flexibility, and interpersonal coordination. Current thinking maintains that simply expressing emotions is sufficient; these authors show that integrating them into psychological functioning is of the essence. Succinct, ongoing summaries, precise definitions of terminology, and logical development of the process model all contribute to! the overall excellence of this scientifically challenging and creative book, an essential one for researchers, psychotherapists of all orientation, professors, and students.--Margaret C. Kiely, Ph.D. Dept. of Psychology, U of Montreal."

From the Inside Flap:

This lucid volume offers a lively and comprehensive discussion of the role of emotional expression and nonexpression in individual adaptation, social interaction, and therapeutic process.

Drawing upon extensive theory and research, the authors provide coherent guidelines to help clinicians, researchers, and students identify, conceptualize, and treat problems in emotional behavior. They show that expression and nonexpression come in many different forms, with a wide range of personal and relational consequences.

The effects of expressing one's feelings depend on what is expressed, to whom, in what way, and in what context. Expression can lead to greater self-knowledge, enhanced coping, and fuller intimacy, but it can also result in embarrassment, misunderstanding, or rejection.

Conversely, nonexpression can involve a frustrating lack of opportunity to express, or problems in accessing or articulating feelings, but it can also reflect cultural values or effective coping efforts. Through vivid clinical examples, the authors illuminate a range of problems related to both expression and nonexpression, and provide insight into how these can be addressed in individual and couple therapy.

This practical and clearly written guide is an important resource for teachers, students, and researchers of clinical, counseling, social, personality, and health psychology, as well as practicing counselors and psychotherapists. It will also serve as a text in advanced undergraduate and graduate-level courses on emotion and interpersonal communication, and in graduate-level counseling and psychotherapy seminars.

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