Emotional Literacy is a term 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’.
Emotional literacy forms part of Anger Management, Therapeutic Counselling and Group work sessions. We spend a lot of time completing exercises with pupils that aim to help them to identify and understand feelings. As they begin to understand how different feelings can impact on thoughts and feelings we can begin to work towards empathy, understanding how others are feeling and supporting them in the appropriate manner.
Steiner, C. and Perry, P. (1997) Achieving Emotional Literacy. London: Bloomsbury.pp11