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Emotional Intelligence & its Application in Therapy

Emotional intelligence

Table of Contents

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions.

The term emotional intelligence was first introduced by the two US psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in 1990.

Their colleague, the US psychologist and bestselling author Daniel Goleman, made the term really popular around seven years later: in 1997 he dedicated an entire book to the EQ, which became an international bestseller. Since then, EI has often functioned as an alternative to classic intelligence research.

Goleman calls it “the ability to recognize our own feelings and those of others, to motivate ourselves, and to manage emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”

Basically, emotional intelligence is based on the idea of ​​being able to understand and assess feelings in oneself and others, and to be able to deal with them and react appropriately. Also, everyone has some degree of emotional intelligence in them. 

According to Goleman, the essential characteristics of emotional intelligence include a total of twelve competencies:

  1. Emotional self-awareness
  2. Emotional self-control
  3. Adaptability
  4. Achievement orientation
  5. Positive outlook
  6. Empathy
  7. Organizational awareness
  8. Influence
  9. Coach and mentor
  10. Conflict management
  11. Teamwork
  12. Inspirational leadership

Application of Emotional Intelligence in Therapy

When a person really wishes to understand and develop emotional intelligence, therapy can be really helpful. Therapy helps people improve their ability to recognize and understand their own emotions. Therapy can help people become more mindful. Once a person is mindful of their feelings, they can learn to practice the art of responding to emotions productively. For example, rather than lashing out when they are angry, a person can spot their frustration as it grows and take steps to calm down before speaking.

At ICHARS we follow an eclectic approach to psychotherapy. An eclectic approach is based on seamless integration of different approaches to psychotherapy like cognitive, behavioural, humanistic, and psycho-dynamic with transformational techniques from Clinical Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Mindfulness and Meditation, and Metaphors and Stories. An eclectic approach works on all components of a problem be it behaviours, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, values, defence mechanisms, secondary gain, traumas, and repressed memories.

SOFTSEA framework of Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy

The cognitive hypnotic psychotherapy course offered by ICHARS is based on the SOFTSEA framework. This framework has a lot of techniques that are inbuilt as a part of it that enables the client to be mindful of their emotions.

This process encompasses delayering as a fundamental part. Each layer helps the client gain immense clarity. For example, we begin by helping the client become aware of how they understand the problem and how they verbalize it.

The second step would then be to help clients be mindful of the kind of future they are wanting to create for themselves. This future is visualized not just in abstract terms but more in concrete terms, meaning, in terms of observable indicators that they are wanting to see as a part of their outcome or what they are aiming at.

These observable indicators would be sensory-specific indicators which would indicate the underlying emotions that the client undergoes while narrating their desired future.

This eventually helps the client become mindful of all the thoughts that are stopping the client from taking action in the present. Now, as a part of the therapy, these thoughts are worked upon and restructured. 

Emotional intelligence

The above delayering also helps the client become aware of their emotions and helps them access some of the unconscious elements like automatic thoughts, beliefs, and past experiences which are preventing the client from being able to put his or her best foot forward. These unconscious elements thereafter, act as triggers leading to unwanted behaviour. There are different processes in the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching and Psychotherapy framework that the coaches and the therapists can use to help clients become aware or become mindful of each of these elements or factors. 

Name of Techniques from Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching and Psychotherapy

Names of some of the techniques from the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching and Psychotherapy module that the coaches and the therapists can use as a part of their practice to help their clients include

  1. SOFTSEA coaching framework: As described earlier, this process helps in delayering and helping the client gain clarity of the current situation as well as their desired outcome. Subsequently helping the clients create an exhaustive task list to achieve their desired outcome.
  2. When-then statement: A thought restructuring process known as the when-then statement is used to understand the underlying emotion that accompanies the current thought or ongoing thoughts and thereby replace them with new positive emotions and new positive thoughts.
  3. SWISH Technique: SWISH is a process that helps people change those aspects of their life where they are facing trouble. Understand what images are playing in their mind concerning those bothering emotions that lead to bothering behaviours or beliefs and help them recreate and replace them with an empowering representation. 

There are many other such belief awareness and change processes that work as effective tools in bringing about the desired change. Some of them are-

  1. Emotional Empowerment Technique: Therapists can also use delayering processes like the Emotional Empowerment Technique (EET) or the Self Validation and Integration Technique (SVIT) to help clients be aware of the deep emotional issue or the core issues that they are facing.
  2. Core State process: A core state is a state where one feels invincible. The Core State process is to identify and become aware or mindful of the core strength of the client. Being mindful of the core state shall help the client address the core issue and thereafter smoothen the transformation process. 
  3. Levels of Transformation: When clients are looking at transforming an overall area of their life an effective diagnostic and transformational tool called the ‘Levels of Transformation’ can be used. Levels of Transformation is a process that will help people become aware of the various levels in their circle of life. Beginning from their current environment, behaviours, skills, beliefs, and identities that they are holding on to which are stopping them from creating their desired change. 
  4. NLP Reframing: Reframing is a process that helps people bring about a change in their behaviours. This process helps people become mindful of the positive intention behind their current behaviour and thereafter helps them identify and apply an alternate behaviour that would help them get closer to their outcome.
  5. Representation System: Coaches and therapists can use representation systems and accessing systems to help their clients become mindful of how their mind is accessing and processing information. 
  6. Meta-model: The meta-model is a powerful questioning model which elicits specific answers and will help people think deeper and explore what is the challenge they are facing in the now.

These are just some of the techniques, there is a lot more that you will learn as a part of the program that will help you as a therapist develop mindfulness and that will help you help your clients become more mindful about important components of therapy.

If you are a coach or a trainer who would like to help your clients/participants access desirable mental states quickly and effectively you must join us for our comprehensive Certification course, Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching®. But if you are a psychologist you must check out the Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy® Program.