Dr. Edward Hoffman, adjunct associate clinical professor in the department of psychology, recently published “Tears of joy among Japanese young adults: implications for counselling” in the July 25, 2016 issue of Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

“Though there are many literary references to tears of joy in diverse cultures,” Hoffman said, “there isn’t much empirical research about the phenomenon.” In this investigation, Hoffman and his fellow researchers asked 257 students of Japanese birth to respond to a survey asking them if they had ever experienced tears of joy. If they answered yes, they were asked how often they had tears of joy, when was their most recent experience and to what extent they believed it relieved stress and improved physical well-being immediately afterward.

They found that the frequency of tears of joy had a positive correlation with perceptions of improved physical well-being and perceptions of reduced stress after a good cry.

“We concluded that incorporating tears-of-joy experiences into counseling,” Hoffman said, “might help overcome social stigma about mental health treatment and promote a more positive sharing of negative emotions among non-family members. In this way, a fresh and potentially more viable therapeutic path for this population may be available to counselors.”

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