Emotional intelligence, “can matter as much as IQ” in determining a person’s well-being and effectiveness in life.

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence. (1997)

Emotional literacy is defined as emotional intelligence with a heart. In the book Emotional Literacy I offer a love-centered approach to emotional intelligence, developed over the last 35 years, which I call Emotional Literacy Training. This approach, based on Transactional Analysis and Radical Psychiatry, inspired by the women’s and men’s movements and informed by the works of Riane Eisler, Ronald Laing and Eric Berne seeks to teach people the following skills:

1. Knowing what feelings we have, how strongly and why.
2. Caringly recognizing other people’s emotions, their strength and reasons. 3. Developing the love-centered ability to express or hold back our feelings so as to enhance the quality of our lives and the quality of life of those around us.

Emotional intelligence, is most effective in improving people’s lives, when developed with love as the central, guiding emotion. (See Learning to Love and Stroking: What’s Love got to do With it? for an elaboration of this view.)

Accordingly, “Opening the Heart” is the first phase of emotional literacy training.

The major obstacle an open-hearted way of life is the Stroke Economy, a system of rules about affectionate behavior, enforced by the Inner Critic which strangles our loving capacities. “Opening the Heart” is designed to show people how to counter the restrictions of the Stroke Economy and fully express and fulfill their needs for affiliation and bonding.

The full description of the training program is contained in the book Emotional Literacy; Intelligence with a Heart (click here to order) available free, electronically through this web site (click here). In addition you can purchase a two disk DVD ( $60, WRITE ME for information) of a weekend training led by Claude Steiner in Berkeley. You may also obtain free, electronically (click here) or purchase, a packet of handouts used for the above emotional literacy workshop. (click here, see item #9)

A program to certify emotional literacy trainers is available in Germany (click here for information) and being developed in the US. (WRITE ME for information.)

You may also want to read and/or download the following papers:


1. Emotional Awareness

2. Core concepts of a Stroke-Centered Transactional Analysis.

3. Strokes, The Stroke Economy and Opening the Heart,

4. Learning to Love,

5. Stroking: What’s Love got to do With it?

6. The Inner Critic or Critical Parent

7. The Warm Fuzzy Tale. This is a fable I wrote many years ago (1960) which inspired the development of the emotional literacy training program.

Brief Comments.

7. Emotional Literacy; A New Language

8. What’s Love Got to do With It?

9. I do my thing, You do your thing…

8. The 2003 updated version of Achieving Emotional Literacy

9. Notes for Philosophers. Philosophical issues that touch on the basic assumptions of an emotional literacy training program.

10. Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

You may also want to look into

Emotional Literature. Fiction and poetry by Jenae Marks

The German emotional literacy web site www.emotionalekompetenz.net


Other Links

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