emotional intelligence counseling approach

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is composed of the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. EI doesn’t just stop at our personal emotional expression and regulation either. It’s essential to our humanness that we understand, interpret, and respond to other’s emotions, as well. Good news- emotional skills can be learned! None of us are born with all the emotional skills we need to navigate this complex world.

Emotions Influence

  1. Attention, memory, and learning
  2. Decision making
  3. Creativity
  4. Mental and physical wellbeing
  5. Ability to form and maintain positive relationships
  6. Academic and workplace performance

Key Components of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Social Skills & Rapport
  4. Empathy
  5. Motivation

Why It Matters

Even the smartest, most hard-working people can be undercut by emotional dysregulation. Being emotionally unintelligent is deconstructive to our relationships, careers, and problem-solving abilities.

Emotions are here to stay. If we did not need emotions, they would not exist. From an evolutionary perspective, emotions ensure our survival. Emotions give us information. They impact every facet of the human experience. So, if we can’t get rid of them, we might as well learn to use them to our benefit.

I get it; emotional intelligence or emotion skills can sound fluffy and touchy-feely. Especially, in business environments or if you were raised in a family that made no room for emotions. However, they are completely necessary, and just like any other skill, they help us become more effective, innovative, and collaborative. Emotional intelligence keeps us aware and productive as opposed to being stifled, reactive, and skill-less.

Typically, higher emotional intelligence indicates you’re are more approachable, you have better relationships with romantic partners and colleagues, and overall, you’re more confident and secure. Emotional intelligence allows us to identify, understand, and communicate our experiences. Hence, we are more confident because we don’t doubt our experience (thoughts, emotions, sensations). Secondly, it allows us to listen and relate to other people’s experiences. Thirdly, it gives us the skills to rationally express our experience and communicate back to someone that we understand their experience. This is the fundamentals of connection- which as humans we are hardwired for.

In Practice

You can learn emotional skills. You can learn to thrive when feelings threaten to override your intentions. Research shows individuals can enhance their emotional intelligence when they are taught social-emotional skills. Together, in therapy, we will identify your patterns of behavior and equip you with skills from evidence-based practices.

What The Research Says

  • Emotionally intelligent individuals earned bigger merit salary increases and held higher positions in companies. In addition, peers and supervisors said that high EI employees had superior interpersonal skills and were better at managing stress.
  • Among adolescents, higher emotional intelligence is associated with less depression and anxiety and can be a protective factor against suicidal behavior.
  • Those who are higher in emotional intelligence also are rated both by themselves and by their teachers as being easier to get along with than students with less developed skills.
  • There is also data suggesting that emotional intelligence is related to higher SAT scores, greater creativity, and better grades among high school and college students.
  • In one study, emotional intelligence was a predictor of academic success above grit, a well-known predictor of achievement.
  • Individuals who score higher on emotional intelligence tests tend to report better relationships with friends, parents, and romantic partners.
  • Emotional intelligence is linked to important health and workplace outcomes, including less anxiety, depression, stress, and burnout, and greater performance and leadership ability.
  • Individuals with higher emotional intelligence scores also tend to perform better particularly in service-oriented jobs and those involving contact with customers.


Brackett, M. A. (2019). Permission to feel: unlocking the power of emotions to help our kids, ourselves, and our society thrive. Celadon Books.