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However, for people already somewhat familiar with this topic, or who want to go into more depth, this presentation may feel somewhat superficial relative to its length, and so more in the "edutainment" category, though I did find some of the case studies to be very interesting, especially those dealing with married couples.
To go beyond this presentation, I highly recommend reading some of the excellent books on this topic, such as Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert himself, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt, and The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner (three of my favorites).
Also, Gilbert is doubtful about much of self-help literature, though he acknowledges that some of it is good and useful. In this regard, I highly recommend Self-Help Stuff That Works by Adam Khan.
I love the way each seemingly hopeless situation is followed by a description of a treatment that does offer hope. Watching this film is an emotional experience.
I would recommend it to anyone, whether diagnosed with an emotional problem or not, as a great summary on these issues. If you have been diagnosed with an emotional problem, or if you have difficulty in relationships (who doesn't? :), you may find it especially helpful.
My only reservation about this DVD is that it represents current thinking on these issues (perhaps as it appears to a middle-aged male psychologist?) and does not quite get at some issues that were lurking in the background. As other reviewers have noted, the contexts of depth psychology (long-term psychotherapy getting at locating long buried-in-subconscious wounds, bringing their emotional content to the surface and resolving them), family systems issues, and broader "sickness" in the political-social-economic environment did not receive focus. These include:
1. Overfocus on mothering. There was some attention paid to fathers, such as the lawyer who had the son with attachment disorder. His statement that "My son's disease has meant I could not be the father I wanted to be. Instead this has been about meeting my son's needs. But maybe that is what a father is, really?" This was a great moment for showing how important healthier fathering is and how many men (and women) have a view that their authority is what is important rather than the child's needs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great show. I learned a lot. Totally love it. I am thankful to PBS for creating this show.Published 1 day ago by Anna Plotkin
educational, good mix of different life situations, relationships, struggles and the resilience of the human spirit. Well done.Published 5 days ago by Michelle
this is a wonderful film series that really gives insight into how people, emotions, and situations can impact us both in a positive and negative manner. Read morePublished 6 days ago by kim daugherty
Should be required viewing for anyone desiring to live an emotionally healthy life.Published 10 days ago by Betzi H.
"This Emotional Life" explores three emotional sources of unhappiness (anger, depression, and fear), and describes why human beings are prone to these emotions, and how... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Lona Schuyler