Here is the proposal for a workshop that I recently sent to Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. I’d like to know your thoughts about it. Is the topic of interest to you?  The title is: Emotions Are Like Energy

Einstein’s law of the conservation of energy states energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only change form. Emotions are like energy; they too, can neither be created nor destroyed; they can only change form.  All of our life decisions are based on emotions. Often, we are not fully conscious of the feelings that underlie these decisions. For more than 35 years, I have studied the energy generated by positive and negative emotions as they are played out between members in the psychotherapy groups that I have led.  There are three ways in which emotions can be transformed in interpersonal relationships: 1: Emotions can be put into words 2. They can be put into action, either negative or positive, or 3. They can be put into physical symptoms. As a group leader, my goal is to facilitate the process of maximizing the first option, which  leads to positive action. Members have learned to put feelings into words through interpersonal exchanges as they follow the basic rule of my groups:” Say how you feel toward the others and say why you feel that way”.  This is easier said than done. Name-calling and character assassination are not allowed.  Participants in this workshop will learn new skills to identify their emotions, both positive and negative, and this way, they will have the opportunity to consciously choose which ones to act on in order to establish healthier relationships. Participants will learn that all emotions have value. They provide information about ourselves and about our environment. Participants will learn at least one very important life lesson: “You can have all your feelings without acting on the destructive ones.”  In this workshop, I will demonstrate the methods developed to resolve resistances to emotional change. Volunteers will role-play their most difficult group members and I will, as a veteran of leading group interactions, facilitate the development of progressive emotional communication between members in a safe and secure environment. A debriefing session and process group will follow the role playing. What can be gained is a deeper understanding of feelings underlying decisions in our day-to-day lives, and through my skilled leadership using unconventional interventions, the unleashing of positive constructive energy through progressive emotional communication.


About the Author
Dr. Pepper has been running groups for over twenty-five years and specializes in group therapy. He has a special gift in helping member's resolve conflicts with.
  1. Larry Liebgold Reply

    One statement that sticks out for me is: “you can have all your feelings without acting on the destructive ones.” I haven’t thought of feelings as being destructive. Also, what is the harm with some destructive feelings?

  2. Cheryl Kalter, PhD, LPC Reply

    Hi Dr Pepper
    I have enjoyed many of your posts and share your enthusiasm for group psychotherapy

    I like the new ideas you are playing with for workshops.
    I do take a different view on emotions being labeled as negative or positive. I think of emotions as being free of morality. Behaviors however are for what we take responsibility

    I think it is very important to free ourselves from judgement of our emotions such as being “destructive”
    And clairify behaviors as different

    My guess is we agree on this point but language can too often slip in how it is used clearly

    My Best

  3. clara broderick Reply

    love the idea. maybe preface with the above-cited blog? sounds like plasticity of the emotions, if we believe change is possible.

    you leave me emotional dr pepper. you are persistent in your desire to help others live more comfortably in their skin and in a challenging environment.

    forgive me for the mushiness. you are gifted.

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