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Recently, at a family party, a few of us were talking about plays and films we’d seen and Elaine remarked ‘I cry buckets at sad films. It’s awful. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.’

Why did she think that? Where did Elaine learn that it was ‘awful’ to cry at sad films and that there’s ‘something wrong’ with her?

Our ideas and beliefs about emotions are established quite early in life. Typically, as children, we tend to have intense emotional responses to situations and events – they are often out of proportion to whatever triggered the emotion. We depend on others – parents, family members, teachers – to help us learn to manage what we are ...

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