voices in the family

Crying: The act and the emotion



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September 17, 2012 [Originally broadcast June 4, 2012] — Shedding tears is generally linked to intense emotional experiences like joy or pain. Some of us do it more often than others, and the results can be mixed — we might feel better, worse, or maybe embarrassed.

Experts say stress is removed in our tears when we cry. And the research tells us tears aren’t just salty; they’re a chemical mix that differs in men and women. Dr. Dan Gottlieb talks about why we cry, when we cry… and, most of all, how crying works therapeutically with Ph.D.’s Jay Efran and William Frey.

Jay Efran, Professor Emeritus of psychology at Temple University, is a clinician and author of  Why We Cry: A Clinician’s Guide (May-June issue of Psychotherapy Networker).

William Frey is a neuroscientist and biochemist and director the Regions Hospital Research Center for Alzheimer’s at the University of Minnesota. His book Crying: the Mystery of Tears was published in 1985 by Harper & Row.
Photo credit: AP Images


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