How Emotion Sets Our Goals In Motion

SectorFinancial Markets
CountryMiddle east

We make lasting changes during states of heightened emotional experience. getty When I reviewed major approaches to psychotherapy with two colleagues at SUNY Upstate Medical University, one conclusion jumped out at us: all the major approaches to psychological change work through a common process. That process involves introducing novelty—new skills, new understandings, new experiences—during periods of heightened emotion. Simply talking with a therapist may be reassuring and informative, but we are most likely to reprocess the world in lasting ways during novel emotional states.

The ability of emotion to serve as a gateway to change does not always prove therapeutic. Post-traumatic stress disorder is also the result of a change process, where single highly emotional experiences can completely reorganize a person’s sense of safety more...