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Emotions are an essential part of our human experience, and not something to be suppressed or stifled. However, when emotions fluctuate wildly, you can sometimes feel like life is a roller coaster on which you have no control. This can be especially true with emotions like depression, sadness, anger, or anxiety. We can work together to develop tools to manage your emotions better, so you get the sense that you are holding your feelings, rather than having them hold you. I can also share some concepts that allow for an entirely different way to relate to your emotions, so you can experience your feelings in a way that doesn't overwhelm you. Through emotion regulation work, you can reach a place where your emotions are an important part of your life, but not the only force directing it.

This is a huge topic and has undergone a lot of growth in the past 20 years with more emphasis on brain research. It's too bad, because that research has led to a lot of chemical experimentation which has been helpful to some, but has complicated matters for many. Emotional regulation is central to mental health and is at the core of everything from Freud's earliest theories to the most recent cognitive-behavioral techniques. Our need to manage and control how we feel has a huge influence on our thoughts and behavior. The less safe or in control our emotions feel (fear, sadness, joy, anger, shame), the stranger our behavior becomes. We can develop fear of our feelings (that they will take us over, or make us seriously crazy), we can become excessively controlling (of ourselves and of others), we develop physical symptoms (strange rashes, immune system problems, disturbances in appetite, migraines, aches and pains), act out in various ways, and find life totally unsatisfying. Methods for increasing the ability to regulate emotions involve mindfulness and different techniques for getting more awareness, tolerance, and mastery of how we work with these strong currents of feeling--feeling that should come to fuel our sense of peace and joy, not run wild or be suppressed.

Kristen Morrison, Ph.D.
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main phone: 303-547-3700

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Jason Seidel, Psy.D.
The Colorado Center
for Clinical Excellence