Affect and Emotion: A Brief Psychoanalytic Tour

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Author: Graham Music

Publisher: Mind-Nurturing Books

Published: July 2022

ISBN: 9781739814748

Why are emotions so vital to living our best life? How does psychoanalysis shed light on this? What are the key things we really need to know about feelings? What is the difference between emotions, affects, and feelings?

Emotions are at the heart of psychotherapy, indeed of all relationships, and of life in general. Using examples from the consulting room and everyday life, Music shows how emotional decision-making is often unconscious, how early experiences influence later attachment relationships, and how the body is the seat of emotions. We learn about the effects of both trauma and neglect on emotional capacities, why some people seem to feel too much, others too little, and we see the negative effects of feelings being disowned, repressed, projected, and defended against.

This small volume is a fully revised and updated edition of a book first published by the Freud Museum. It illustrates how psychoanalytic insights get to the heart of our emotional and affective lives. The central message is that a good understanding of emotions enables us to tolerate a broader range of experience, both positive and negative, and enhances our capacity to live fuller and richer lives.

“Dr. Graham Music has provided us with a true gem of psychological richness, unearthing the hidden world of emotions with great clarity and wisdom. Composed with admirable concision, this highly readable book draws upon the insights of psychoanalysis, traumatology, neuroscience, and, also, classical literature, and helps us to appreciate the secret underbelly of our affects and emotions.” Professor Brett Kahr, Honorary Director of Research, Freud Museum London, and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health, Regent’s University London.