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From Small Beginnings Come Great Things: The Growth of Emotional Intelligence in Future Counselors


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Title: From Small Beginnings Come Great Things: The Growth of Emotional Intelligence in Future Counselors

From Small Beginnings Come Great Things The
Growth of Emotional Intelligence in Future
  • Steve Koffman, Ph.D.
  • Paul Hastings, Ph.D.
  • Lisa Bennett, Ph.D.

And the Emotional Intelligence Research Team
Krystle Disney Yelena Buzinover
Adam Fisher Nicole
Langman Ron Lussier
Caitlin Parker Steve
Sauder Joel Simon Gonzaga
University Washington Counseling Association
Fall 2007
Gonzaga University Department of Counselor
  • Counselors, by necessity, must model qualities
    of humanity, sensitivity, and honesty. The
    personal growth component of the counseling
    program is essential, so that graduates live
    creative, productive, and moral lives, fulfilling
    their personal and professional aspirations while
    actively supporting the growth and development of
    others through service.
  • -Department of Counselor Education Mission

  • Emotional intelligence is comprised of multiple
    factors critical to the achievement of graduate
    students in counselor education and to their
    success as professional counselors. This ongoing
    longitudinal study measures those
    disposition-related factors considered most
    critical to practicing counselors at the onset,
    midpoint, and conclusion of personal
    growth-oriented, cohort model, counselor
    education programs. The BarOn EQ-i is used as a
    formative measure of emotional intelligence.
    Significant growth is noted with trends
    differentiating between non-traditional and those
    entering graduate school in their early twenties.
    Results provide impetus for further research
    assessing emotional intelligence prior to
    acceptance to graduate programs and throughout
    graduate studies.

Effective Counseling What Are the Requisites?
  • Empathy (Okun, 2002)
  • Self-Awareness (Okun, 2002 CACREP, 2001).
  • Effectiveness (CACREP, 2001).

Effective Counseling What are the Requisites?
  • These factors that are deemed essential to
    counseling (empathy, self-awareness, and
    effectiveness) are also major components of
    emotional intelligence (Dawda Hart, 2000
    Goldsworthy, 2000 Dulewicz Higgs, 1999).

The Big Idea
  • If emotional intelligence encompasses those
    attributes considered essential for competent
    counseling (empathy, self-awareness,
    effectiveness, etc.), then the measurement of
    emotional intelligence for counselors-in-training
    could become a standard marker of progress or a
    programmatic key assessment.

Emotional Intelligence What Is It? Various
  • …the ability to monitor ones own and others
    feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them
    and to use this information to guide ones
    thinking and actions (Salovey Mayer, 1990).
  • Empathy is a central characteristic of
    emotionally intelligent behavior (Salovey
    Mayer, 1990).
  • Increased awareness of the impact of ones
    behavior on others- on how that behavior makes
    others feel (Yalom, 2002)

Emotional Intelligence What Is It? Various
  • Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) is a combination of
    five components
  • Self-awareness
  • Self regulation or management of ones emotions
  • Self motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills or the management of relationships
  • (Goleman, 1998 and Hamacheck, 2000)

Emotional Intelligence A Closer Look at Various
  • E.I. is a move away from cognitive processes and
    toward an individuals ability to navigate ones
    life purposefully and successfully (Brady, 1998).
  • For effective E.I., it is increasingly important
    that one have knowledge and practice of
    appropriate situation-specific social skills
    (Goldsworthy, 2001).
  • The ability to process information (pertaining)
    to the perception, assimilation, expression,
    regulation, and management of emotions
    (Constantine and Gainor, 2001).

Emotional Intelligence vs. General Intelligence
Whats the Difference?
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Strongly affected in early childhood
  • Can, to some degree, be learned
  • Significant increases can occur in adulthood
  • General Intelligence
  • Considered to be a fixed entity
  • Limited by genetics and early life experiences
  • Not subject to significant changes via learning

(Goleman, 1995, 2003 Pellitteri,
2002) (Goldsworthy, 2000 Goleman, 1995
Salovey Mayer, 1990) (Goleman, 1995, 1998
Hagedorn Nora, 1996 Hamacheck, 2000 and Liff,
  • Several factors of emotional intelligence have
    been named essential to effective counseling.
  • CACREPs 2001 Standards require personal growth
    in students, which may be defined effectively by
    emotional intelligence factors.
  • Thus, to maximize the effectiveness and
    competence of our graduates, counselor education
    programs should facilitate (and evaluate) the
    development of emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence Operationalized and
  • The BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i),
    published in 2002, was the instrument for this
  • The EQ-i has been psychometrically validated and
    factor analyzed multi-culturally.
  • Measures five general areas Intrapersonal,
    Interpersonal, Adaptation, Stress Management, and
    Impulse Control.

The BarOn EQ-i A Closer Look
  • Intrapersonal Composite Scale
  • Subscales
  • Emotional Self-Awareness
  • Assertiveness
  • Self-Regard
  • Self-Actualization
  • Independence

Intrapersonal Subscales A Closer Look
  • Emotional Self-Awareness
  • The ability to recognize ones feelings
  • Differentiating between feelings and knowing what
    they are
  • Knowing the origin of the emotion or feeling

Intrapersonal Subscales A Closer Look
  • Assertiveness
  • The ability to express feelings, beliefs, and
    thoughts and defend ones rights in a
    nondestructive manner

Intrapersonal Subscales A Closer Look
  • Self-Regard
  • The ability to respect and accept oneself as
    basically good
  • Seeing the positive and negative in oneself and
    experiencing self-acceptance
  • Feelings of security, inner strength,
    self-assuredness, self-confidence, and

Intrapersonal Subscales A Closer Look
  • Self-Actualization
  • The ability to realize ones potential capacities
  • Involvement in pursuits leading to a meaningful,
    rich and full life
  • An ongoing process to maximize the development of
    abilities, capacities, and talents

Intrapersonal Subscales A Closer Look
  • Independence
  • The ability to be self-directed and
    self-controlled in ones thinking and actions,
    and to be free from emotional dependency
  • Being able to function autonomously while still
    consulting others
  • Based on self-confidence, inner strength, and
    desire to meet expectations and obligations

The BarOn EQ-i A Closer Look
  • The Interpersonal Composite Scale
  • Subscales
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Social Responsibility

Interpersonal Subscales A Closer Look
  • Social Responsibility
  • The ability to demonstrate oneself as a
    cooperative, contributing and constructive member
    of ones social group
  • Doing things for and with others, accepting
    others, acting in accordance with ones
    conscience, and upholding social rules

The BarOn EQ-i A Closer Look
  • The Adaptation Composite Scale
  • Contains the following Subscales
  • Problem Solving
  • Reality Testing
  • Flexibility

Adaptation Subscales A Closer Look
  • Problem Solving
  • The ability to identify and define problems
  • Generating and implementing potentially effective

Adaptation Subscales A Closer Look
  • Reality Testing
  • The ability to discriminate between what is
    experienced and what actually exists
  • Searching for objective evidence to confirm and
    justify ones experience
  • Keeping the correct perspective
  • Sizing up immediate situation

Adaptation Subscales A Closer Look
  • Flexibility
  • The ability to adjust ones emotions, thoughts,
    and behavior to changing situations and
  • Adapting to new and unfamiliar conditions
  • Includes changing ones mind when new evidence
    presents itself

The BarOn EQ-i A Closer Look
  • Stress Management Composite Scale
  • Subscales
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Impulse Control
  • General Mood Composite Scale
  • Subscales
  • Happiness
  • Optimism (Dawda Hart, 2000)

General Mood Subscales A Closer Look
  • Optimism
  • The ability to maintain a positive attitude, even
    in the face of diversity
  • A measure of hope in ones approach to life
  • A positive approach to daily living

General Mood Subscales A Closer Look
  • Happiness
  • The ability to feel satisfied with ones life, to
    enjoy oneself and others, and to have fun
  • Self-satisfaction, contentment that is
    transcendental to lifes circumstances

Stress Management Subscales A Closer Look
  • Stress Tolerance
  • The ability to withstand adverse events and
    stressful situations without falling apart by
    actively and positively coping with stress
  • Similar to ego strength
  • Choosing action to cope
  • Optimistic disposition towards change
  • Feelings of control over stressful situation

Stress Management Subscales A Closer Look
  • Impulse Control
  • The ability to resist or delay an impulse, drive,
    or temptation to act
  • Accepting impulses, remaining composed, and
    controlling the behaviors

Purpose of Study
  • Conducted in order to examine the levels of
    emotional intelligence (E.I.) of incoming
    students and measure their personal growth
    throughout their participation in three distinct
    tracts of two-year masters degree counseling

Preparation of Professionals M.A. in
Community Counseling (CACREP) M.A. in School
Counseling (CACREP) Masters of
Counselling(site-based, Canada)
  • Identify beginning dispositions
  • Implement dispositional growth into program
  • Assess burgeoning dispositions
  • Ensure that individuals are of appropriate
    character and fitness as they leave their
    preparation program

Research Questions
  • What are the E.I. levels of incoming graduate
    students compared to people in general?
  • Do E.I. levels of students enrolled in a program
    designed to facilitate personal growth show an
  • How might these findings impact counselor
    education programs, and how do they relate to the
    CACREP 2001 Standards regarding personal growth?

Method Participants
  • Recruited from three graduate cohorts at Gonzaga
  • Community Counseling, School Counseling, and a
    site-based Counseling program in Canada
  • Sample 93 Counselor Education students at
    program entry Fall 2005, Fall 2006
  • 80 female, 13 male
  • Age range 21 to 58
  • Age mean and standard deviation 31.8(10.16)

Race/ Ethnicity BarOn EQ-i norming sample
compared to our 3 counseling cohorts
Method Participants
  • Expedited IRB Approval Response was voluntary
    and no enticements were offered for
  • Participants were given a brief introduction to
    the study and completed the informed consent
  • They were then asked to complete the BarOn EQ-I
    at the onset of their respective program, and
    then a year later, at the midpoint of their

Method Instrumentation the BarOn EQ-i
  • 133-item Likert-type multidimensional measure of
  • High reliability and validity across a variety of
  • Cronbach alpha scores range from .69 to .86
  • Retest coefficients range from .75 to .85
  • These indicate that the instrument successfully
    assesses what it was designed to assess- and it
    is consistent.

The EQ-i Scoring
  • The EQ-i results in composite and subscale scores
  • It also yields a total EQ-i (global) score
  • Four validity indicators assess the subjects
    approach to the test
  • Looks for random responding
  • Also looks for those seeking to appear favorably
    or unfavorably.

The EQ-i Scoring
  • Correction factor utilized to assure accurate
  • Presented as standard scores with a mean of 100
    and standard deviation of 15
  • (similar to Wechsler I.Q. scales).

  • Three participant pools
  • School Counseling, Community Counseling,
    Site-Based Counselling
  • Participants were introduced to the study during
    their program orientation
  • Asked to complete BarOn EQ-I via an online
  • Estimated average time for administration 14
    minutes (range six to thirty-two minutes)

Scoring and Data Analysis
  • Protocols electrically scored and analyzed by
    Multi Health Systems, Inc. (MHS)
  • Researcher received and downloaded the coded data
  • Individual data was aggregated by cohort
  • For purposes of statistical analyses, data was
    entered into SPSS 14.0

The BarOn EQ-i A Refresher
  • Intrapersonal Scales
  • Self-Regard
  • Emotional Self Awareness
  • Assertiveness
  • Independence
  • Self-Actualization
  • Interpersonal Scales
  • Empathy
  • Social Responsibility
  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Adaptability Scales
  • Reality Testing
  • Flexibility
  • Problem Solving
  • Stress Management Scales
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Impulse Control
  • General Mood Scales
  • Optimism
  • Happiness

  • The baseline descriptive statistics for those
    students beginning in 2005 and 2006 (six cohorts)
    suggested no statistically significant difference
    between this studys sample and the North
    American Norming Sample Provided in the BarOn
    EQ-i technical manual (see Table 1)

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  • The 2006 mid-program assessments (n41) do
    demonstrate significant difference from the
    norming group and from data collected from the
    same group during program entry (see Table 2).
  • Means on every variable are greater.

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  • The MANOVA performed on the at-program-entry
    (N42) and mid-program (N41) data demonstrate
    statistically significant increases from program
    entry to mid-program in many factors (see Table

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Which subscales increased?
  • Self-Regard (F4.279, p.033)
  • Optimism (F4.432, p.038)
  • Self-Actualization (F10.123, p.002)
  • Stress Tolerance (F7.095, p.009)
  • Reality Testing (F8.471, p.005)
  • Problem Solving (F0.131, p.003)
  • Total EQ (F10.003, p.002)
  • Adaptability (F11.551, p.001)

Preliminary findings Ethnicity and Gender
  • Trend One students of non-Caucasian ethnic
    origin, for the most part, chose not to
    participate in this study (only one of the five
    such students in the original subject pool
    volunteered to participate)
  • Trend Two Males tended to score higher on
    assertiveness, self-actualization, flexibility,
    optimism, and total EQ. Women produced elevated
    scores on emotional self awareness, empathy, and
    impulse control.
  • Further research is warranted!

Age and Emotional Intelligence
  • You better get cracking. By the time I was your
    age, I had done my best work.
  • -Anthony Hopkins, Proof

Age and Emotional Intelligence
  • There were significant correlations based on age
    at program entry for seven of the fifteen factors
    as well as total EQ-i scores (see Table 4)

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Age Median Split Program Entry to Mid-Program
Age and Emotional Intelligence Factors
demonstrating significant positive Pearson r
correlations to age, in order of increasing
  • Self-Regard
  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Flexibility
  • Problem Solving
  • Total EQ
  • Adaptability
  • Reality Testing
  • Optimism
  • Stress Tolerance

These findings suggest that emotional
intelligence may increase with age.
Additionally, graduate experience in a cohort
model counselor education program that emphasizes
personal growth may accelerate this growth.
Age and Emotional Intelligence
  • Operational terms
  • Those under 27 comprise the younger group
  • Those over 27 comprise the older group
  • Findings
  • At the midpoint of the program, the correlations
    between elevated BarOn EQ-i scores and age are
    not as pronounced
  • Thus, on most factors, the younger group either
    caught up to or surpassed the older students
    levels of E.I. (See Table 5)

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The Importance of Effective Training Programs
  • Results suggest that significant growth in E.I.
    may well be related to the intentional,
    personal-growth oriented structure of the program.

Methodological Limitations of the Study
  • Lack of a control group
  • Issues inherent in self-report instruments
  • Small sample size

  • Internal Validity concerns Randomization not
    available with pre-determined sample Effects
    of pre-testing (exposure to the instrument)
    Possibility of statistical regression
    effect External Validity concerns
    Interaction between testing and treatment
    Reactivity concerns Sample bias (relatively
    small N, private university)

Future Research
  • Currently expanding data base with a new cohorts
    of counseling students
  • Addition of comparison group samples
  • Other demographic variables, such as gender and
    ethnicity, will be studied
  • Possibly reform the methods utilized in student
    selection for admission
  • Future impact may be monumental in shaping the
    future of counselor education and supervision.

The Lived Experience of Our Students………
  • Bar-On, R. (2002). Bar-On emotional quotient
    inventory A measure of emotional intelligence
    Technical Manual. North Tonawanda, NY
    Multi-Health Systems, Inc.
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and
    Related Educational Programs (2001). The 2001
    CACREP standards. Alexandria, VA Author.
  • Constantine, M. G. Gainor, K. A. (2001).
    Emotional intelligence and empathy Their
    relation to multicultural counseling knowledge
    and awareness. Professional School Counseling,
    5(2), 131-136.

  • Dawda, D. Hart, S. D. (2000). Assessing
    emotional intelligence Reliability and validity
    of the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i)
    in university students. Personality and
    Individual Differences, 28, 797-812.
  • Goldsworthy, R. (2000, September-October).
    Designing instruction for emotional intelligence.
    Educational Technology, 43-48.
  • Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New
    York Bantam Books.

  • Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional
    intelligence. New York Bantam Books.
  • Hagedorn, L. S. Nora, A. (1996). Rethinking
    admissions criteria in graduate and professional
    programs. New Directions for Institutional
    Research, 92(4), 31-44.
  • Hamachek, D. (2000). Dynamics of
    self-understanding and self-knowledge
    Acquisition, advantages, and relation to
    emotional intelligence. Journal of Humanistic
    Counseling, Education Development, 38, 230-242.
    Retrieved September 26, 2004, from Academic
    Search Premier.

  • Kramer, D., Ber, R. Moores, M. (1989).
    Increasing empathy among medical students.
    Medical Education, 23, 168-173.
  • Liff, S. B. (2003). Social and emotional
    intelligence Applications for developmental
    education Electronic version. Journal of
    Developmental Education, 26(3), 28-34.
  • Okun, B. F. (2002). Effective helping
    Interviewing and counseling techniques (6th ed.).
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada Brooks/Cole.

  • Pellitteri, J. (2002). The relationship between
    emotional intelligence and ego defense mechanisms
    Electronic version. The Journal of Psychology,
    136(2), 182-194.
  • Salovey, P. Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional
    intelligence. Imagination, Cognition, and
    Personality, 9, 185-211.
  • Yalom, I. (2002). The Gift of Therapy An Open
    Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and
    Their Patients. Harper Collins New York.