LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In her groundbreaking new book that reflects 80 years' worth of psychotherapy work with thousands of patients, psychiatrist Christine B.L. Adams introduces the concept of emotional conditioning, including how it occurs and how it harms people's relationships, and often leads to emotional illnesses.
Dr. Adams, who collaborated on the research with her colleague and mentor, the late psychiatrist Homer B. Martin, says emotional dysfunction and illness are far more widespread than mental illness, even though the two are frequently lumped together. She says, "Most of us have emotional distress and upheaval on a continuum from mild to severe. Compare that to the one to three percent of people who have mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism. What the rest of us suffer are problems arising from our emotional conditioning that create relationship conflict, not from brain pathology."
She adds that people experience emotional illnesses in the form of anxiety, depression, sleep problems, eating disorders, substance abuse, and psychosomatic aches and pains. Linking these symptoms only with mental illnesses is not helpful to those with emotional illnesses.
Dr. Adams says one of the downsides of emotional conditioning is that it causes adults to live their lives on automatic pilot. For example, people's thinking processes are short-circuited and judgment is impaired. We do not see other people as individuals distinct from us and in our relationships we use the other person to fulfill a role we learned in childhood.
Dr. Adams can also discuss why:
- There is no such thing as being normal.
- Most people choose the mates they do.
- So many people wonder why they can no longer communicate with their spouse.
- Anyone can have better relationships with their spouse, partner, children or other family members by deconditioning themselves from knee-jerk emotional responses.
Credentials: Christine B.L. Adams, M.D., is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who has practiced for 40 years in Louisville, Ky. She is the co-author with the late Homer B. Martin, M.D., of the new book, Living on Automatic: How Emotional Conditioning Shapes Our Lives and Relationships. During her career, she has worked as a forensic child psychiatrist and in academic and community mental health settings, for the Social Security Administration and for the Department of Defense. She blogs at PsychologyToday.com.
Dr. Adams has been an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both child and adult psychiatry and received the National Psychiatric Endowment Fund Award. She is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a Life Member of the American Psychiatric Association. She has been a guest on numerous radio shows and stations across the country, including Starcom Radio Network and Louisiana Radio Network.
SOURCE Christine Adams