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This Emotional Life; Facing Our Fears



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This Emotional Life
Facing Our Fears
Program Number

TEMO 102

Series Description

Shown in 3 parts from January 4-6, 2010.

This series is an exploration of human emotions; how and why our brains produce them, how they can become exaggerated or misdirected, and -- if they do -- what we can do to regain control. A blend of cutting-edge science, storytelling and practical advice, "This Emotional Life" puts the human psyche under the microscope like never before; exploring the intimate interplay between our emotions and our relationships; focusing on negative emotions like anger, fear, grief, and sadness; and finally, a subject dear to all our hearts -- discovering how we can all lead happier, emotionally healthier lives. While the series draws heavily on the new "science of emotions," at its heart will be human stories and reflections on the human condition. Hosted by Daniel Gilbert.

This Emotional Life is a Co-Production of the NOVA/WGBH Science Unit and Vulcan Productions, Inc. A Film by Kunhardt McGee Productions. ©/™ 2009 WGBH Educational Foundation and Vulcan Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Series release date: 1/4/2010

Program Description

In the second episode, Facing Our Fears, we look at emotions that are commonly regarded as obstacles to happiness — such as anger, fear, anxiety, and despair.

Our brains are designed for survival, and the negative emotions they create are vital to that mission. But those negative emotions can spiral out of control with debilitating effects. We meet a woman whose inability to control her temper is jeopardizing her relationships, a college student whose fear of flying is limiting her life and a teenager who is struggling to overcome clinical depression on the eve of attending college. We also meet veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and follow their journeys to find effective treatment.

Across the episode, science reminds us that we are of two minds — a rational brain that’s relatively new and an emotional brain that’s older than time. Sometimes emotion overwhelms reason, sometimes reason outwits emotion, and it is the endless struggle that makes our lives so painful, so joyous and so interesting.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Apsell, Paula (Series Producer)
Chicago: “This Emotional Life; Facing Our Fears,” 12/09/2009, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 24, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C1CCFE0A0D854BB994666AF00A772FFF.
MLA: “This Emotional Life; Facing Our Fears.” 12/09/2009. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 24, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C1CCFE0A0D854BB994666AF00A772FFF>.
APA: This Emotional Life; Facing Our Fears. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C1CCFE0A0D854BB994666AF00A772FFF
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