THE EQ INTERVENTION describes a system Dr. Adam L. Saenz designed after years of experience in public school settings, as a response to school shootings and other violence. He spends the first couple of chapters explaining exactly why emotional intelligence is key to maintaining the ability to function effectively in difficult situations. He also spends a bit of time discussing the history of emotional and intellectual measurement tools and how they have been used and misused.
The goal of this particular system is to help students, and those who work with them, identify, understand, and manage their emotions and their behavior. The first step is to identify where they stand with respect to five key personality traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The strengths and weaknesses of each are discussed in clear but non-judgmental language, with some suggestions to help compensate for the weaknesses and use the strengths to greatest effect. Saenz makes it clear that there is no “right” or “wrong” personality type, just different assortments of positive and negative possibilities. Awareness is only the first step, of course, and he uses some examples to demonstrate how to recognize and acknowledge difficult emotions without allowing them to control behavior. He also discusses how to use assertive, as opposed to passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive styles of communication, to stand up for oneself and draw boundaries while also maintaining relationships and demonstrating care and empathy for others. His language is clear, engaging, and easily understood by the layperson. There’s no excessive jargon or technical terms here, just a cheerful, personable tone, with information presented simply and straightforwardly.
Saenz isn’t afraid to talk about his own experiences in therapy, either, providing encouragement for those who might be afraid of the emotional vulnerability involved in seeking professional emotional and mental help. The information here is aimed at teachers and other school professionals primarily, and is meant not only for self-help, but to allow the reader to assist children in developing their emotional intelligence. To that end, he offers useful guidance in how to respond to children in a way that both validates their emotions and helps them learn to manage them intelligently. Appendices present sample testing reports that show teachers their students’ personality style and provide guidance on how to develop emotional intelligence, recognition and regulation of one’s emotions and those of others, and healthy stress management skills in their students and in themselves.
THE EQ INTERVENTION by Dr. Adam L. Saenz offers a clear, rational explanation of the concept of emotional intelligence, aimed primarily at teachers but useful for anyone, along with simple but useful tools for measurement, understanding, and emotional self-regulation, told in an engaging and accessible style.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader