The role of emotional intelligence in symptom reduction after psychotherapy in a heterogeneous psychiatric sample

I. Nyklicek, P. Schalken, S. Meertens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Emotional intelligence of the patient has been claimed to potentially be an important factor in psychotherapy. Empirical studies are largely lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine if (i) pre-intervention emotional intelligence predicts outcome of psychotherapy and (ii) change in emotional intelligence during psychotherapy is associated with change in symptoms in a patient sample with heterogeneous psychiatric symptoms.
Methods
Participants were 166 patients with different diagnoses who were hospitalized at the Center for Psychological Recovery. Before, after hospitalization and 6 months after hospitalization they were asked to complete the BarOn-EQi for emotional intelligence and the Symptom Checklist-90.
Results
Level of emotional intelligence at the start of hospitalization largely did not predict psychological symptoms at post-intervention or at 6 month follow-up. However, an increase in the level of emotional intelligence over the course of the intervention was associated with lower levels of psychological symptoms, both immediately post-intervention and at 6-month follow-up.
Conclusions
The results suggest that while the pre-intervention level of emotional intelligence has no substantial effect on treatment outcome, an increase in emotional intelligence may have a positive effect on symptom decrease and on the preservation of treatment results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65–72
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Volume57
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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