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Let's talk about New Experiences!

All around the world, we are constantly learning, correcting, growing, and evolving. In alignment with our co-relational model, and our belief in co-development with our clients and our supporters, at The Calgary Therapy Institute, we encourage this growth, both individually and as a community.

Have you tried something new lately?

You know that feeling? When you’ve finally committed to that thing that you’ve been wanting to do, but have been scared to start, or circumstantially you were forced to learn something new? This could look like starting a new position for work, a new volunteer experience, or education program, going traveling for the first time, trying out therapy, telling someone you love them for the first time, learning to drive a car, how to change a tire, or how to operate a computer. There are so many things out there that could be regular, everyday things for one person, and feel like massive obstacles or learning curves for another.

What comes to mind when you reflect on a time you started something new?

For me, the process seems to go as follows: initial avoidance, commitment, nerves leading up to the start, discomfort, stress, coping with these feelings. Then, slowly, confidence building, happiness, excitement, and finally, growth. It kind of looks something like this:

Figure 1: [Photograph of The Learning Pit]. (n.d.) Miss Mac's Classroom. Retrieved February 08, 2023, from

Knowledge Emotions

Interestingly, there is a group of emotions specifically associated with learning, exploring, and reflecting. We call these “knowledge emotions,” and they have four main members: surprise, interest, confusion, and awe. According to Silvia (2023), these are considered knowledge emotions for two reasons:

  1. These emotions are evoked at times when something happens that defies what an individual believes and / or expected, and

  2. These emotions are building blocks for knowledge about the world around us

So, what exactly are each of these emotions?

  • Surprise is an emotion that helps people to respond to events quickly. This is due to the mind evacuating itself of what was happening previously and focuses the individual’s attention on the source of surprise.

  • Interest is the driving force behind what motivates explorati