Emotional Intelligence Based Treatment in Mental Illness: A Prospective Analysis

Article Title: Emotional Intelligence Based Treatment in Mental Illness: A Prospective Analysis

Author(s): Syeda Shahida Batool

Institute/University: Department of Psychology, GC University, Lahore

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences (PJSS) Vol. 31, No. 2 (December 2011), pp. 251-259

Correspondence Address: shahi_psy@yahoo.com


Emotions seize powerful status in mental functioning. When we are besieged by stress, the emotional parts of our brain supersede the rational part. Emotional balance and adjustment in adversities could be attained by intelligent use of emotions. A series of studies in the last two decades has established the role of emotional intelligence (EI) as vital in mental health. The detrimental impact of high alexithymia (a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions) or low emotional intelligence on physical illness, depression, low self esteem, suicidal ideation, poor impulse control, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and increased alcohol and drug use has been supported by number of studies. These findings are not surprising as there is overlap between some of the components of emotional intelligence and prerequisites of mental health. Researchers have established EI as a novel explanatory construct in mental illness and suggest that training EI may play preventive role in the onset of mental illnesses. Studies in the area of emotional intelligence and mental health have consequences for maintaining and promoting individual’s mental health. Literature establishes a vista that psychotherapy based on developing EI skills along with other therapeutic measures could be proved effective in certain mental illnesses.

Keywords: Emotions; Emotional Intelligence; Alexithymia; Mental Illness.

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