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You may wonder what the counseling process is all about. Part of that process is to help increase the quality of life for the counselee in all areas of their life: their relationships, career, school, and personal sense of who they are and what they are accomplishing. There has been a big emphasis on intelligence as measured by IQ. However, in the last 10-20 years, psychologist Dan Goleman has shed light on a very important area of intelligence, known as Emotional Intelligence.
Here is a great definition of emotional intelligence, as written about over at Pick the Brain:
Emotional intelligence: “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.” - Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer.
“The abilities to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and others” – Daniel Goleman and Gary Cherniss.
In light of this definition, I work with my clients to do increase their emotional intelligence (or 'people smarts' as my younger clients would call it) in the following areas: (and I quote the following from Margaret Meloni)
Self-Awareness – A person who is self-aware understands their own moods and emotions and also how those moods and emotions may impact others.
Self-Regulation – Someone who exhibits self-regulation thinks before they act. Remember that person you worked for? The one who used to get red in the face, yell and scream and throw notebooks across the room? They were not exhibiting self-regulation at all.
Motivation – If you love to work and it is not just for money or for status; if you have a strong drive to achieve; then you know about motivation.
Empathy – The empathetic individual is able to understand the emotions of others and also learns to treat them as they wish to be treated.
Social Skill – Do you know someone who is able to meet new people and immediately develop a rapport with them? It is likely that they are very accomplished in the area of social skill.
I hope this takes some of the mystery out of that thing they call "psychotherapy."
Please comment and let me know what you think!
Image Credit: slark @Flickr
Photo Credit: JavaProgrammer @Flickr
The first step in effectively dealing with the diagnosis of attention deficit disorder in yourself or in a loved one is to get a correct understanding about the condition.
I am going to list these MythUnderstandings briefly, and then you will have the option to read more in depth about them at the end of my post.
Myth #1: ADHD isn't a real medical disorder.
"Truth: ADHD has been recognized as a legitimate diagnosis by major medical, psychological, and educational organizations, including the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education. The American Psychiatric Society recognizes ADHD as a medical disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - the official mental health "bible" used by psychologists and psychiatrists.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (also known as attention-deficit disorder) is biologically based. Research shows that it's a result of an imbalance of chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, within the brain. Its primary symptoms are inattention, impulsiveness, and, sometimes, hyperactivity." from ADDitude Magazine.
Myth #2: Children who are given special accommodations because of their ADHD are getting an unfair advantage.
"The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public schools address the special needs of all children with disabilities, including children with ADHD. Special accommodations, such as extra time on tests, simply level the playing field so that kids with ADHD can learn as successfully as their non-ADHD classmates. " from ADDitude Magazine.
Myth #3: Children with ADHD eventually outgrow their condition.
Truth: > 70 percent of the individuals who have ADHD in childhood continue to have it in adolescence. Up to 50 percent will continue to have it in adulthood.
Unfortunately, many children and adults are never diagnosed properity. and may end up highly vulnerable to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, career difficulties, and troubled personal relationships.
Myth #4: ADHD affects only boys.
Truth: Girls as just as likely to struggle with this condition. But because of this myth, unfortunately many end up not diagnosed.
Myth #5: ADHD is the result of bad parenting.
Truth: Because of this myth, parents may often punish their child even more for things the child cannot control. Unfortunately, overly strict parenting and punishment may actually increase the very behavior it is trying to extinguish. The impulsive behavior is often rooted in brain chemistry, not in discipline.
"Professional interventions, such as drug therapy, psychotherapy, and behavior modification therapy, are usually required." (from ADD Magazine)
MYTH #6: Children who take ADHD medication are more likely to abuse drugs when they become teenagers.
Truth: Left untreated, ADHD actually increases the risk that the adolescent will abuse drug or alcohol. Treatment intervention actually reduces this risk.
Myth #7: People who have ADHD are stupid or lazy - they never amount to anything.
Truth: "People with ADHD are of above-average intelligence, recent studies show. They certainly aren't lazy. In fact, many well-known, high-achieving individuals from the past are thought to have had ADHD, including Mozart, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Bernard Shaw, and Salvador Dali. The list of high-achieving ADDers in business today includes top executives, such as David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways, and Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko's."
You can read this entire article at ADDitude Magazine online.
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