The Emotes: A Psychological Perspective Matt Casper, M.A. MFT; Emotes author.

The Emotes teach us that every emotion is valid. In the world of the Emotes, everyone works together to better understand and accept the unique emotional “super power” that they each possess. These dynamic and engaging characters model how important it is for each of us to acknowledge and express all of our feelings. Each Emote is special and important, just as every human emotion is important. In the world of the Emotes, emotions aren’t denied they are celebrated. Far too often, children are discouraged from having certain feelings or are made to feel ashamed of having feelings such as anger or sadness. The Emotes are role models—they teach us that bringing all emotions into the light of awareness is much healthier than trying to hide them in the dark. When developing children are taught to push their feelings into “the darkness” of the unconscious, a deep sense of shame can occur. This shame can lead to negative “acting out” behavior such as physical aggression and hatred towards others. This shame can also be turned inward, leading to lower levels of self-esteem, depression and even self-harm. The denial and repression of feelings such as anger or sadness can have serious negative effects on the development of a child. If not modified, this pattern of denial and projection can last a lifetime. Unexpressed or repressed emotions do not simply go away just because they are ignored. Out of fear, and in an attempt to get rid of these painful feelings, these repressed emotions are often projected onto others, leading to prejudice and intolerance, and causing great difficulty within interpersonal relationships. Characters such as Boom (the angry) model for children that anger is normal—we all feel angry sometimes. Anger cannot be denied. The Emotes teach children to express their feelings in healthy ways, and to respect the feelings of others, rather than denying feelings, and allowing them to mutate into destructive and hateful behavior. The Emotes are in a sense an early intervention--they help to prevent patterns of emotional denial and projection from solidifying and carrying over into adult relationships by modeling how to identify, understand and express feelings. The Emotes, like us, are not perfect. Even the happiest Emote (Bubba) sometimes struggles to maintain his happiness when faced with the projected feelings of others. The adventures of the Emotes then normalize the emotional struggle that every human being must face. As children read about and explore the world of the Emotes, they learn to accept their own struggles as normal. What a relief! Especially for a child who feels they need to be perfect in every way. The Emotes teach children in a dynamic and playful manner that emotions do not have to be hidden. They model the acceptance and tolerance for the different emotions that everyone is capable of feeling, and they teach our children empathy and compassion for others, as well as for the self.