BU's Professor Roger Baker has featured in new podcast series by mentalist and illusionist Derren Brown.
Derren Brown’s Boot Camp for Emotion explores the powerful role our emotions play in everything we think, say and do. The podcast series, which is available on Audible, is presented by Derren Brown with help from different experts and behavioural scientists – including Professor Baker.
His work into emotional processing – how we come to terms with negative events and their emotional impact – is featured as part of episode eight of the series: An emotional education.
Professor Baker, a clinical psychologist, has explored the link between emotional wellbeing and our mental and physical health and developed an emotional processing scale – a questionnaire which helps people to understand and identify their emotional processing styles.
Professor Baker said: “Stress in its many shapes and forms is something that comes everyone’s way, and we need effective ways to emotionally process its emotional impact so that it does not overwhelm us. I describe it as if the body has a second immune system, an emotional system, devoted not to physical protection, but to protection from emotional hurt and trauma.
“Our research team at Bournemouth University has for many years been exploring how this second immune system operates and consistently discovering the importance of accepting and facing one’s emotional experience, even negative experience, effectively expressing emotions and understanding connections between emotions and stressful events.”
The scale has been used by clinical practitioners across the world to help support and treat patients, and Professor Baker has recently launched a new version – the Emotional Processing Scale for Wellbeing (EPS-W) which can be used in the workplace to support employee wellbeing and build emotional resilience.
The podcast also features Olivia, a patient of Roger’s who has used the emotional processing scale, who speaks about her experiences and how she has benefitted from a greater emotional understanding.
“Of course when you are able to help a person understand and overcome their distress, it’s tremendously rewarding,” said Professor Baker. “But also from a scientific point of view, developing an assessment tool that can more broadly support Emotional Processing Therapy is also satisfying.
“Emotional Processing is a new idea and it sometimes takes time for new ideas to catch on. Having a high profile personality like Derren Brown explain the approach is a bit of a breakthrough. He discusses complex ideas in a funny and entertaining way which gets the message across so much more effectively than I could explain in scientific speak.”
His advice for anyone listening to the podcast who wants to look after their emotional wellbeing is to listen to what your emotions are telling you.
“It is interesting that Derren Brown’s podcast episodes on the various emotions including Fear, Shame, Love, Anger and Emotional Intelligence all carry the same message: your emotions are there for a good reason – try to tune in to what they are saying. They are a valuable gift not unwanted baggage.”