The Quest to Feel Good  book cover
1st Edition

The Quest to Feel Good

ISBN 9781138872905
Published April 23, 2015 by Routledge
313 Pages

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Book Description

Emotions, rather than simply being the result of random or disordered biochemical processes, are adaptive mechanisms that are often overly relied upon as a function of basic learning processes. The Quest to Feel Good helps the reader understand that negative emotions serve a critical adaptive purpose that functions in relation to one’s ultimate desire for a felt-positive state. Paul Rasmussen addresses the role of emotions as adaptive components, in combination with cognitive and behavioral processes, to our overall orchestration of life. To this end, the therapist is directed to use a client’s negative affect as a means of guiding critical therapeutic conclusions and decisions. Rasmussen emphasizes an integration of the basic premises of Adlerian psychology with the evolutionary-imperative model presented by Theodore Millon (1990, 1999). This integration is used to explain the primacy of emotions in the manifestation of most clinical conditions. This critical integration and focus makes the volume important, necessary, and unique to mental health professionals. Case examples and illustrations are also offered throughout the text.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction. Introduction. The Z-Factor. Part II: Theoretical Foundations. The Evolutionary Imperatives. Individual Psychology: The Perspective of Alfred Adler. Physiological Foundations. Part III: Emotional Basics. Emotions, Feelings, and Motivation. Part IV: Validating Emotions. The Validating Emotions. Part V: The Compelling Emotions. Threat Emotions. The Protest and Fighting Emotions. Psychological Distancing Emotions. The Affiliation Emotions. The Withdrawing Emotions. Part VI: Treatment Uses. Emotional Reorientation: A Clinical Strategy. Appendix A: The Adaptive Purpose of Emotional Expression. Appendix B: Emotional Self-Control (Instructions). Appendix C: Emotional Self-Control (Worksheet). Appendix D: The Three Purposes of Emotion.

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Paul R. Rasmussen, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the author of Personality Guided Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and coeditor of Competition: A Multidisciplinary Analysis. He has numerous other publications and is a Clinical Strategies and Contributing Review Editor for the Journal of Individual Psychology. In addition to his academic activities, he also maintains a private practice where he treats families and individuals.


"This is one of those rare books written for professionals as well as everyone else who seeks happiness in their lives. Rasmussen’s genius lies in helping us understand the meaning and purpose of emotional response and adaptation. I predict that this will be a foundational work that will inspire psychological research, guide counselors and therapists through diagnosis and psychotherapy, and help everyone who reads it get their Z-Factor on." - James Robert Bitter, East Tennessee State University, USA; author, The Theory and Practice of Family Therapy and Counseling

"While much has been written on the topic, this book is a brilliant contribution to the study of emotions. Some highlights include the section on the physiological foundations, which has an excellent section on neurotransmitters, biochemical imbalances, and the diathesis-stress interaction; Sections III and IV, which are helpful in describing clinical implications; and ‘Shortcuts to joy and happiness,’ a helpful antidote to an often stress-filled world." - Daniel Eckstein, PhD, Professor, Medical Psychology, Saba University School of Medicine, Saba, Dutch-Antilles, West Indies

"Dr. Rasmussen has done a masterful job in addressing the power and purpose of ‘validating’ and ‘compelling’ emotions and how counselors and therapists can facilitate emotional reorientation with clients. Although based primarily from an Adlerian theoretical framework, Rasmussen draws from diverse theoretical and research literatures in a highly integrative manner, making this a valuable book for clinicians, regardless of their theoretical perspective." -  Richard E. Watts, PhD, Professor of Counseling; Director, Center for Research and Doctoral Studies in Counselor Education, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; Editor, Counseling and Values and the Journal of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling; Author, Interventions and Strategies in Counseling and Psychotherapy