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This Emotional Life: Family, Friends And Lovers

Airs Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Philip and Monica Pitts and family, who are featured in

Credit: THIS EMOTIONAL LIFE/Vulcan Productions

Above: Philip and Monica Pitts and family, who are featured in "This Emotional Life: Family, Friends & Lovers."

This three-part series explores ways to improve social relationships, learn to cope with depression and anxiety and become more positive, resilient individuals. The series host, Harvard psychologist and best-selling author of "Stumbling on Happiness," Professor Daniel Gilbert, talks with experts about the latest science on what makes us “tick” and how we can find support for the emotional issues we all face. Each episode weaves the compelling personal stories of ordinary people and the latest scientific research, along with revealing comments from celebrities such as Chevy Chase, Larry David, Alanis Morissette, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Richard Gere.

The first episode looks at the importance of relationships and why they are central to emotional well-being. What are the cognitive and neurological processes underpinning everyday interactions, and can they help us understand why some relationships flourish and others fail?

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Viewers meet a young boy, adopted from a Russian orphanage, whose story illustrates how attachment in infancy fundamentally shapes his ability to build relationships for years to come.

Viewers also meet young parents of newborn twins; a couple in therapy for a troubled marriage; a teenager who was bullied with tragic consequences; two women grappling with the stress of workplace conflicts; and others — all to better understand the importance of social connections and relationships.

Watch an overview and the episodes online.

This Emotional Life: Author Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love," talks about intimacy and relationships and why people are like porcupines.

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