Psychology 8 and 9 Psychology
Discussion Topic – Life Without Fear and Anxiety
SM has no fear, she lives entirely without this one emotion due to a rare medical condition. One might reason that her life should be perfect, but it is not. According to psychologist Paul Ekman, all humans are born with six basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise.
You can read more about other and more global ideas of what the range of emotions are here:
After you have contemplated being hardwired with a set of six emotions, read the transcript to this podcast about SM–scroll down to the second mention of “This is INVISIBILIA” if you are short on time and go from there. Then, speculate and discuss why we need fear and anxiety, how it can cause us mental distress, but also how it shapes a healthy life. What do you think her existence is like without one of the basic emotions? How might it affect your parenting, driving, crossing the street and do forth? Finally, If you could chose to eliminate one of your emotions, which one would it be and why?
How does this treatment differ from a cognitive-behavioral approach? How would a CBT therapist have treated this woman? Be as specific as possible, using examples from the video to “re-treat” her using CBT, and explain how CBT differs from Yalom’s humanistic approach.
Then, reflect on one of the humanistic credos “It is the relationship that heals.” Yalom felt that he should have a therapeutic relationship with his clients that was highly authentic, consisting of deep caring and empathy, even if the client was a criminal – he called that unconditional positive regard. What kinds of barriers might you have to get past to give others unconditional positive regard if you were treating clients in a prison setting?
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