Emotional Intelligence

Integrative psychotherapy places emphasis on emotions and how they affect our relationships and satisfaction in life. One of the prominent theories that influences my approach to therapy is Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a term that describes our innate ability to work effectively with our emotions. The term came into popular usage based on the bestselling book by Daniel Goleman.

According to Goleman, EI theory describes five main skills:

  1. Self-Awareness – the ability to identify and interpret our own emotions and moods.
  2. Empathy – the ability to perceive and interpret emotions in others in faces, pictures, and voices.
  3. Motivation – harnessing our emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving to help us achieve our goals.
  4. Managing emotions – the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others.
  5. Social Skills – the ability to develop and maintain effective, satisfying relationships.

Unlike IQ, which is generally believed to be “fixed” or constant, Emotional Intelligence is something that we can develop and improve, through coaching and practice.

Over the past two decades, EI skill development has been incorporated into educational programs, life coaching, corporate employee training as well as psychotherapy.

This video interview with Daniel Goleman provides a detailed explanation of EI and why it is important to successful relationships and work performance.

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