Subject: emotions as guidance for cognition
Dear Mental Health Care Professional,
Every year, within the United States, 44,000 people violently “reject” modern psychological and pharmaceutical therapy and make a decision to kill…themselves (https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/). What is going wrong with mental wellness in the U.S.? Can the mental health community do better? What are modern psychological and pharmaceutical therapies missing? Let’s take another look at the relationship between mind, body and emotions…
Should emotions be regulated by the mind or should the mind be guided by emotions? Are emotions out of control or are emotions reflecting an out of control mind? Should psychological therapy focus on controlling emotions or on controlling the thoughts, imagination, perception and other cognitive activities of the brain that evoked this emotional response? How does regulating cognition change pharmaceutical therapy?
In contrast to traditional cognitive based therapies, emotions are not dysfunctional and in need of regulation because of an emotional problem or disorder. Emotions are a reflection of cognition and it is these cognitive activities that are maladaptive. But cognitive activities are available to the patient and his/her psychologist for manipulation and rehabilitation. Emotions have evolved as a feedback system for evaluating cognitive activities. And it is this specific relationship that must exist for humanity to have survived evolution. Emotions, physiology, and cognition must be integrated within every moment to moment decision making process.
Cognitive activity can have only two types of emotional responses; those that feel good and those that feel bad. Evolution has dictated that mental and physical well-being depends on accentuating behaviors that promote feeling good and avoiding behaviors that feel bad. But a ”feels good is good” and a “feels bad is bad” ethics of behavior can be very destructive. Therefore, the development of an individual’s “emotional wisdom” as an individual, cultural and societal necessity is also examined within the following paper.
The following paper explores and elaborates upon the neurological liaison between mind, body and emotions that promotes mental and physical health and well-being. Understanding these evolved correlations reveals an emotional neural circuitry designed to regulate cognitive behavior. This revelation is further developed and integrated into a psychological therapy that advances the symbiotic relationship between cognition, emotions and physiology and the maturation of an individual’s emotional wisdom for a healthy and successful life of prosperity and well-being.
It is my hope that this new paradigm of interconnected cognitive, emotional, and physiological behaviors will reverberate within your personal life and throughout the mental health community. Is there enough material here for individuals or institutions to begin developing their own signature psychology and text? I believe so, but the book has yet to be written.
If this material is of interest to you, it is freely available for a research group to come together and put their defining role into it. My interest is in seeing that the tens of thousands who choose death and the hundred of thousands of people who are presently rejecting current psychological and pharmaceutical theory are presented with another possibility for wellness and healing. I have been there; they need another light in the darkness.