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Emotional competence

Emotional competence

In the last decade, emotional literacy, emotional intelligence, and for me the deeper idea of emotional competence, have become quite widespread notions. They appear to be part of wider cultural tolerance of emotionality that has been accompanied/driven by greater awareness of the emotional damage caused by the child-abuse and other trauma, and the importance of grief in healing loss. The much greater voice that women now have in the world, coupled to the widespread popularity of psychotherapy and counselling and its accompanying self-books, have helped too.

What is emotional competence and how does it influence our capacity to live from love?

In this downloadable article I have defined Emotional Competence in the following way:

  1. ready access to feeling and emotion.

  2. capacity for expressing/managing feelings.

  3. is adequately aware of formative early experience.

  4. is active in seeking to identify and own projection/ displacement, transference/counter-transference.

  5. appreciates the contribution of oppression to feelings and emotions.

  6. can supportively confront unaware behaviour in others.

  7. can cathartically release strong emotions. 7a. can transmute tense emotion through choosing to make a shift in consciousness.

  8. takes responsibility for continuing to develop and sustain their emotional competence.

  9. has an adequate repertoire of skills for dealing with the feelings and emotions which accompany co-operation, participation, or negotiation.

  10. has a self-reflexive approach to monitoring the quality of their attention, relations with others, and general health.

The criteria are not very sharply differentiated. Some overlap, others branch from a common stem. Keep in mind that each of them may be matched by a range of levels of competence, depending on our life experience, as well as time and circumstances.

Some might be considered more essential than others. More could be added to the list. For example ‘congruence’ between verbal and non-verbal behaviour might have been included, as might a capacity for taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions/inactions.

So far as we are intent on living from love all of these seem to me essential.

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This document was last modified on 2005-10-24 06:56:49.