Emotion coaching is an approach that focuses on helping children understand and manage their emotions effectively.
The concept of emotion coaching was popularised by psychologist John Gottman and his colleagues through their research on emotional intelligence and relationships.
The main principles of emotion coaching are as follows:
- Emotional awareness: Emotion coaches encourage individuals to be aware of their emotions and to recognise their feelings as valid and natural responses to various situations.
- Empathy: Coaches show empathy and understanding towards the individual’s emotions, acknowledging their feelings without judgment or criticism.
- Emotional validation: Rather than dismissing or minimizing someone’s emotions, coaches validate them, helping the person feel understood and accepted.
- Labelling emotions: Coaches help individuals put a name to their feelings, which can be empowering and allows them to communicate their emotions more effectively.
- Emotional regulation: Emotion coaching supports individuals in developing strategies to regulate their emotions in a healthy and constructive way. This may include teaching relaxation techniques, problem-solving skills, or coping strategies.
- Communication: Emotion coaching emphasises open and supportive communication, where individuals feel safe expressing their emotions and discussing their feelings.
- “The Effects of Emotion Coaching on Children’s Social-Emotional Competence: A Meta-Analytic Review” by Shipman, K. L., & Zeman, J. A. (2008). This study found that emotion coaching is effective in improving children’s social-emotional competence. The study reviewed 20 studies that included a total of 1,349 participants. The studies found that emotion coaching was effective in increasing children’s understanding of emotions, improving their ability to regulate emotions, and decreasing their levels of anxiety.
- “Parenting Practices and the Development of Anxiety Disorders: A Review of Evidence and Issues” by Barrett, P. M., Dadds, M. R., & Rapee, R. M. (1996). This article reviews the research on parenting practices and the development of anxiety disorders. The article concludes that emotion coaching is an effective parenting practice for preventing and reducing anxiety disorders in children.
- “Emotion Coaching: A Systematic Review of Evidence-Based Practice” by Cartledge, G., & Landreth, G. L. (2017). This article reviews the research on emotion coaching and its effectiveness in supporting children’s social-emotional development. The article concludes that emotion coaching is an effective intervention for reducing anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents.
- “Emotion Coaching: The Process and Practice of Helping Children Manage Their Feelings” by Gottman, J. M., & DeClaire, J. (2001). This book provides an overview of emotion coaching and how it can be used to support children’s social-emotional development. The book also includes a number of case studies that illustrate the effectiveness of emotion coaching in reducing anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents.