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Emotional Literacy and Emotion Coaching

Event code SCH 19/724 
Event description Emotional Literacy is the term used to describe the ability to understand and express feelings. Emotional Literacy as a term was first used by Steiner (1997). It refers to ‘the ability to understand your emotions, the ability to listen to others and empathise with their emotions, and the ability to express emotions productively. To be emotionally literate is to be able to handle emotions in a way that improves your personal power and improves the quality of life around you. Emotional literacy improves relationships, creates loving possibilities between people, makes co-operative work possible, and facilitates the feeling of community’.

Steiner, C. and Perry, P. (1997) Achieving Emotional Literacy. London: Bloomsbury.p11

Emotional Literacy involves having self-awareness and recognition of one’s own feelings and knowing how to manage them, such as the ability to stay calm when angered or to reassure oneself when in doubt. It includes empathy, i.e. having sensitivity to the feelings of other people and it has been said that emotionally literate people are able to employ self-discipline in order to harness their emotions and identify and reach their personal goals. Emotional Literacy also includes being able to recognise and adapt to the feelings of other people, whilst at the same time, learning how to manage and express one’s own emotions effectively. This is helpful to developing good communication skills and the enhancement of our relationships with other people.

Emotional intelligence is learned, and a child’s first teacher about emotions is his or her parents. Parents and carers can help their child develop emotional intelligence by “coaching” him, using principles researchers have found work well. “Emotion coaching” can help avoid common pitfalls as they guide children toward becoming successful, happy adults.

What Is Emotion Coaching?

Emotion coaching is predominantly about helping children understand the different emotions they experience, why they occur, and how to handle them. In the simplest terms, we can coach our children about emotions by comforting them, listening and understanding their thoughts and feelings, and helping them understand themselves. As we do this, our children will feel loved, supported, respected, and valued. With this emotionally supportive foundation, we will be much more successful at setting limits and problem solving.

In this 1 day course, Tina will introduce the concept of emotional Literacy and present activities and strategies to measure and develop our skills. She will then proceed to present Gottman’s Emotion Coaching philosophy and practices as a means of developing positive relationships with children and young people. Learning How to Emotion Coach will therefore be a key focus of the day.

Tina will outline the key steps to emotional coaching as developed by Gottman:

Step 1: Understand how you deal with feelings. Before you can become an emotion coach, you must first understand your own approach to emotions. Some parents, for example, are uncomfortable with their child’s negative emotions. If a child feels sad, you might think that if you fix the problem that created the sadness, the sadness will go away. You might be uncomfortable with your own anger because it makes you feel out of control, and in turn you discourage anger in your children.

Step 2: Believe that your child’s negative emotions are an opportunity for closeness and teaching. Reasoning away your child’s emotion with logic rarely works. Parents who try to do this usually end up arguing with their child. Instead, a child’s negative feelings are more likely to go away when children talk about them, label them, and feel understood. When children feel understood by their parents AND TEACHERS, they feel closer to them.

Step 3: Listen with empathy and understanding, then validate your child’s feelings. In the book Between Parent and Child, psychologist Haim Ginott discusses his belief that children need to be understood before they can accept correction. If you want to understand your child, you need to put yourself in his or her shoes. Empathetic listening can help you do this. Empathetic listening is the heart of emotion coaching.

Step 4: Label your child’s emotions. Children often don’t know what they’re feeling. If you label an action – observe aloud that they seem “angry” or “sad” or “disappointed” – you can help your child transform a scary, uncomfortable feeling into something identifiable and normal. Researchers have shown that the simple act of labelling an emotion has a soothing effect on the nervous system, which helps children recover more quickly from an upsetting experience.

Step 5: Set limits while exploring possible solutions to the problem that caused the negative emotion.

Tina will present this approach and provide participants with opportunities to develop key skills. She will particularly focus on how teachers and support staff in schools can and should make use of emotion coaching in order to foster the development of emotionally intelligent and resilient children and young people. The benefits for us as adults will also be highlighted.

Training objectives  
Key stages
All image Foundation image KS1 image KS2 image KS3 image KS4 image KS5 image 14-19/24 image 
Subject areas Health & Wellbeing
Target audience
All Support Staff / All Teaching Staff
target audience
Qualification level
Ashford International Hotel, Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8UX map
Location Ashford
Training Provider GOLDWYN SCHOOL (I)
Admin contact Angela Jarrett (
Dr Tina Rae
Part of SLA? No
Kent LA cost
Other LA/Academy cost
Independent/PVI cost
Number of credits 0
Funding information Please supply a Purchase Order number in Booking Requirements field. The course fee invoice will be raised by Goldwyn School.

This is a Goldwyn School policy - if we do not have a PO number they will not allow you to attend the course.
Start date Tuesday 19 November 2019
Times 09:30-1500
Number of sessions 1