Cultural Issues

Emotions: Finding a Path through the Chaos of Current Beliefs

Understanding the realm of emotions is beset by an elemental difficulty: the meaning of words that refer to emotion are so ambiguous that we hardly know what we are talking about. Virginia Woolf stated it succinctly: “The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted” (1922). Compared to maps of the...
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Cultural Issues

The S-Word: Shame as a Key to Modern Societies

This study seeks to reclaim the many fields of study of shame that so far have used alternate terms, such as honor, stigma, fear of rejection, disrespect, and so on. Although there is a literature on shame, it is dwarfed by the many studies that use other terms. The s-word, like the f-word, seems...
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Diagnosis & Therapy

Side-Effects of Medical Encounters: the Pride/Shame System

Although seldom considered, medical encounters may have emotional effects on a client and/or the client’s social network. This essay expands upon a brief earlier statement by the physician Aaron Lazare (1987) who noted several ways that medical encounters may produce shame. The main point in this note is that ALL social encounters, not just...
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