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Don't Look To Feelings As A Reliable Guide

Therapy often teaches kids to see their feelings as a valid and important signal. But feelings can be unreliable and manipulable, according to Dr. Yulia Chentsova Dutton. She argues emotions don't necessarily reflect reality and can lead us astray if followed uncritically.

Asking kids repeatedly how they're feeling has downsides. Dr. Michael Linden argues it inherently elicits negative responses, as most of the time we feel "just okay" while ignoring minor discomforts. Chentsova Dutton says focusing on momentary emotional states promotes an unhelpful "state orientation" vs the "action orientation" needed for achievement. For emotional regulation and success, kids need to be taught to be sometimes skeptical and dismissive of passing feelings.

Section: 1, Chapter: 3

Book: Bad Therapy

Author: Abigail Shrier

Books about Emotions

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