Feelings and Emotions

Feelings and Emotions

Feelings and Emotions

Feelings and Emotions

Excerpt

Understanding our own feelings and emotions is a vital concern of all of us. If we mean to guide our own actions, feelings and emotions are at the heart of our problem. If we need to guide the actions of others, they are a key to our problem. And if we are theorists pure and simple, hoping only to understand life, they are an unsolved problem. And what a welter of cross pressures and dark sayings surrounds it! Emotions must be eliminated for effective thinking, emotions must be controlled for social living--but emotions must be expressed for healthy development. Emotions must be examined physiologically--or psychologically. Emotions are organizing--or disorganizing. Emotions are centrally initiated--or are peripherally determined. These views are but illustrative of lines of emphasis which recur in discussions of the topic.

Yet all this can be reconciled and understood if we follow the right lead. In the following pages, Lawrence K. Frank offers an analysis of the nature of the affective processes and provides a basis for integrating the wide variety of scientific and clinical findings. He starts with the mammalian heritage of man, elaborates and integrates the concept of homeostasis, and develops the transactional approach. In reviewing genetic development with this orientation, he reformulates the mechanisms of the unconscious, transforming them from the static and reified form descriptions so frequently give to them into truly dynamic aspects of the functioning of the organism in an understandable manner. He shows the link between repression, displacement, projection and physiological reactions preparing the organism for fight or flight. Further, his approach emphasizes the naturalness of emotional reactions and affective responses. We must live with such reactions and responses; and Frank, by providing a proper basis for understanding them, shows how we can integrate them effectively for more adequate social participation. In this paper, he also gives to the concept of the organism-personality an integrated and concrete development.

The present paper reflects the many facets of its author's work. For many years his writings have offered perspective to scientists and practitioners working at "the cutting edge" of progress. It has been truly said, "The . . .

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