“Not until the illusion of emotions is understood, will the power of emotions be revealed.”

Dear Health Care Professional:

The basis of healing and well-being, both physical and mental, is the maintenance of a healthy biological eco-system. Evolution has provided all species with a very unique and misunderstood system of bio-feedback that lets each individual be aware of their own bio-chemical balance and a system of guidance for the care and preservation of this balance.  But, because of lack of rigorous scientific analysis and experimentation, this system is erroneously misrepresented by both physical and mental biologies.  The scientific academia has inaccurately adopted the ‘emotional’ folklore of the last few millennia.

This system of individual guidance for health maintenance and well-being is the misinterpreted, biologically evolved system of emotions.  The following discussion, “Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions, and Consciousness,” provides a unique scientific argument and rationale that emotions have evolved as a biological system with correlative connections to the (a) knowing of physical and mental strength, agility, and vigor, (b) the actuality of physical and mental strength, agility, and vigor and (c) the positive emotional feelings of pleasure, joy, and happiness.  But what actually are emotions?

Academia’s cognitive construct of the emotional experience is: (a) an experience within an environment of core beliefs (b) produces an emotion which then (c) triggers a physiological/biochemical response. But, simply, how can emotions trigger a physiological/biochemical response when emotions are, instead, the physiological/biochemical response? Psychological, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical therapies, on which biological health and well-being are dependent, is based upon altering cognitive behavior to change emotional biology, which does happen, but the neural networking is misunderstood.

Can we tweak cognitive behavior therapies without changing the basis of success of these therapies, that is, in their ability to change cognitive activities and cognition’s effectual change in emotions and its correlative physiological biochemistry? What if, rather than viewing emotions as the cause which produces the physiological and biochemical responses in the brain and body, we were to reverse this paradigm to view cognitive activities as the producers of these responses?  Emotions could then be understood to be the perception of these physiological/biochemical responses. The conundrum of emotions both triggering physiological/biochemical responses and being the response is relieved, and the research of the effectiveness and success of cognitive behavior therapies is maintained.

An experience within an environment of core beliefs stimulates an (automatic) thought and other cognitive neural network activities.  These cognitive activities (thoughts, imaginations, perceptions) initiate a biochemical/physiological reaction within the brain and body.  It is this physiological biochemistry of the brain/body that actuates the neural networks of emotional perception.

Negative feeling emotions are the indications of abusive and damaging cognitive behavior creating unhealthy and destructive biochemical conditions.  Furthermore, these damaging biological conditions would worsen if emotional behavior were not to be acknowledged or to be deliberately suppressed or ignored.  This would be especially concerning if emotions were to be managed and controlled by pharmaceuticals which could easily make any therapeutic discourse of cognitive behavior misleading and even invalid because of the lack of a true cognitive/emotional correlative relationship.

There is a key difference between the paradigms of “emotions guiding cognitive behavior” and “cognitive behavior managing emotions”.  Within the construct of “cognition managing destructive emotional behavior,” it is the intellect which identifies, determines and defines that which is destructive cognitive and biological behavior.  Within the construct of “emotions guiding cognitive behavior,” it is the very presence of negative emotions which identifies, determines and defines destructive cognitive and biological behavior. If emotions are the perception of physiological biochemistry, then negative feeling emotions are the indication of very real aberrant and destructive cognitive and biological behavior.  But as a sensory perception, emotions themselves can not be aberrant and destructive, nor be a disorder in need of control and management.

Emotions provide meaningful and necessary insight into a person’s cognitive activities and their resulting constructive or destructive biological activities. Both the therapist and the patient can use emotions to guide personal, psychological, and psychiatric activities. That which feels good is good (biologically), that which feels bad is bad (biologically).  Intellect’s role, rather than to define aberrant and destructive emotions, is found in its creative capacity to define that which is wanted and desired and which feels good, while in keeping with personal, and to some extent, societal and religious ethical codes of behavior. 

The great advantage of this tweaking of a paradigm is that now cognitive behavior therapies may very well prove to be a more effective and robust tool in the treatment of severe bi-polar, psychotic, and suicidal depression and other very demanding “illnesses”.  With emotional guidance training and with a new battery of pharmaceutical medications emphasizing cognitive self-management, true healing may become the new norm.  Pharmaceuticals should be perceived as a temporary crutch only aiding the patient’s conscious control of cognitive behavior as guided by his/her own emotional guidance.

 Well-being and the success of any professional therapy, mental or physical, is not defined by the absence of illness but by the presence of health, vigor, and joy along with the necessary cognitive skills, abilities, and motivation to nurture these conditions by employing one’s own emotional guidance.

  “Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions, and Consciousness” outlines this new role of emotional guidance training.  I would appreciate any feedback and criticisms, including any additional suggestions for clarifying this presentation.


Andrew Jackson

Download PDF: Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions, and Consciousness rev2019-02-17b.PDF


  1. Symbiotic Psychology
    1. Introduction to Symbiotic Psychology
    2. Cognition, Emotions, Physiology and Neurology
    3. The Four Postulates of Symbiotic Psychology
      1. Emotions are a Consequence of Cognition
      2. Evolved Correlations
      3. “Feels Good is Good”
      4. Capacity to Change and Adapt
    4. Author’s Note
  2. Emotions as an Evolved Biological System
    1. The Mind/Body/Emotion Correlation: Evolution’s Impact
    2. Cognitive Imagination and Evolution
    3. Conclusions
  3. Depression: Mental “Illness” or Mental “Injury”
    1. Cure an Illness; Rehabilitate and Injury
    2. Responding to a Neurological Emotional Guidance Network
    3. Conclusions
  4. Cognitive/Emotional Rehabilitation
    1. Emotional Guidance
    2. Defining Mental Health and Well-Being
  5. Psychological Therapy
  6. Pharmaceutical Therapy
    1. Psychiatric Medications Designed for Healing?
    2. Masking Neurological Processes
    3. New Opportunities in Medicine
  7. Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom
    1. Development of Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom
    2. Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom in Education
    3. Criminal Justice Reform: The Unalienable Rights
    4. Reframing Antisocial Personality Disorder
    5. Military Personnel Decommissioning
    6. The Wisdom of a Champion: Let Joy Reign
    7. Emotions in the 21st Century
  8. Cognitive-Emotional Therapy
    1. Motivation to Feel Better
    2. Exercises in Cognitive-Emotional Rehabilitation
      1. Focusing on That Which Is Wanted
      2. Reframing and Appreciating
      3. Touchstones
      4. Acts of Kindness
      5. Distractions
      6. Meditation
      7. Sports
      8. Music and the Arts
      9. Stop Going ‘There’
      10. Having Compassion for Self
      11. Using Religious Ideals
    3. Stopping the Runaway Train
    4. Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom in Therapy
  9. Emotional Guidance – The Dark Side
  10. Conclusions
  11. Appendices: Essays on Emotional Wiscom
    1. Nets on Fire: Making the Air Electric
    2. Escape from Alcatraz
    3. Criminal Law and Justice Lagging Psychological Advancements
    4. Hell on Earth (So Is Heaven): My Story
    5. A Cognitive Reconstruction Between Emotions and Meditation

Download PDF: Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions, and Consciousness rev2019-02-17b.PDF