This isn't meant to be an exhaustive thesis on the subject of emotions. Instead, I'm just continuing from my earlier post on the subject of anger management and what the probation officer/psychologist is trying to teach with the exercise about emotions. If you want an exhaustive list of emotions and how they function in the brain, look up "emotion" at wikipedia.
As I said in the last message, it sounds like the probation officer has decided that you need to learn anger management tools in order to stay out of trouble in the future. If you take the training seriously and learn the tools, she'll probably figure that you're better equipped to stay out of trouble in the future and she'll give you a favorable report. If you won't learn the tools, then she'll figure there's a good likelihood that you're just going to get into the same trouble again and again in the future, so she'll give an unfavorable report.
And if you won't learn the tools and change your behavior through anger management, then the judge will probably try to change your behavior by giving you a harsher punishment. They're determined to get through to you one way or the other; it's up to you to decide which way they end up getting to you.
If you want to play around with the anger management tools a bit, then that means you have to start paying attention to your emotions. A lot of the exercises are probably going to be geared at teaching you to examine your emotions.
Naturally, you'll have to talk about your emotions with the anger management instructors. It's not because they want to laugh at you. They just want to follow your progress and make sure you're actually learning some new tools for handling your emotions.
Here is what you've said about the subject of emotions in this thread:
However, the anger management people want you to become attuned to your emotions. They want you to notice your emotions at the time that they arise and pay attention to them as an important signal. If you become aware of your emotions when difficult situations arise, you'll be in a better position to control and choose your actions more responsibly.
Naturally, when you have strong emotions like anger, you notice the anger at the time that it arises. But you also notice that the strong emotion turns slippery and difficult to control when it's right there in front of you. Here's a description of how you handle anger:
So your anger management instructors try to teach you to practice with your emotions and become more competent at handling them. They give you practice sessions where you can look at your emotions in a safe setting and learn how to handle them. It's like a martial arts class: The instructors teach you how to handle bullies in a safe practice setting.
The first step, of course, is simply to start noticing your emotions. You need to quit treating them like static or uncomfortable details. You have to face them straight on and learn how to handle them the same way you would face a bully straight on and handle him. You don't have to like your emotions (very often I don't like my own emotions), but you do have to be able to spot them and deal with them honestly and straightforwardly.
I won't go very far in-depth. But I'll write up a separate post on why your anger turns so slippery and hard to manage. If you can see the mechanism making your emotions so hard to manage, maybe it will give you confidence that the emotions can be handled and controlled with a little practice.
I'll try to keep it basic. You're a smart guy, and you can do your own research if you want more.
But right now I'm going to take a break. I'll post the in-depth section later. If you want a preview, go to wikipedia and look up "defense mechanisms." Look up the "List of defense mechanisms" partway down the page. Here's the link: