Interview Series with Jude Treder-Wolff Part II
Jude Treder-Wolff author of the book, Possible Futures: Creative Thinking For The Speed of Life is a performer, trainer and creative arts psychotherapist who is doing some exciting work bridging expertise in improvisation and emotional intelligence. On September 21st she will be co-facilitating “Improvisation For Developing Emotional Intelligence: A Workshop for Clinicians and Educators” an experiential and discussion training workshop for therapists, counselors, health care professionals and educators that explores the relationship between the practice and philosophy of applied improvisation and the skills and mind set associated with emotional intelligence in Smithtown, NY.
Why do you think emotional intelligence is so important for mental health clinicians, healthcare professionals, educators, and consultants?
So much of what we deal with in clinical and educational settings is the sharing and processing of information that poses some kind of challenge to our clients/patients/students. Clients in therapy have to face the discomfort – and sometimes extreme pain and loss – of accepting change that has been forced on them or that they must make to improve their lives. Students have to learn ever-intensifying amounts of information to make the grade. Patients in medical settings have to receive and act upon sometimes very challenging information about their health. Workplace settings are rife with fear about change, the economy, how everyone is getting along and myriad other issues.
The common themes in all these situation are fear, tension, pressure and some degree of change that must be faced. Emotional intelligence is a way of talking about and navigating all emotions that reduces the sense of threat while recognizing the seriousness of a situation. It is a strength that makes even the most painful dialogue about what is happening and must be addressed not only manageable but productive, useful and healing.
Empathy and awareness of others’ emotions is right up there with awareness of and mastery over one’s own emotions in the principles of Emotional Intelligence. Empathy and connection with others’ emotional states reduces the sense of threat on both sides of the dynamic. As a clinician, my capacity for empathy is enhanced by reocognizing and dealing honestly and consistently with my own emotions and keeping my life healthy and balanced as a result – and my own emotional balance makes me more available for empathy with clients. “Academic achievement and student behavior improve in schools with good social and emotional learning programs,” writes Edutopia, a website dealing with best practices in education. The McGill Journal of Medicine published an article stating that Emotional Intelligence in the medical profession allows for “the complexity, richness, sensitivity, and depth of the multidimensionality of the human being. This polyintelligence enables physicians to assume responsibilities and control complexity in an optimal way.” Professionals whose work directly address the physical, emotional, psychological and social needs of human beings are well-served by training in Emotional Intelligence, which enhances our own well-being and fine-tunes our capacity to respond effectively to the people we are there to help.
In addition to performing, Jude Treder-Wolff provides consulting for professional and personal development. Her book Possible Futures: Creative Thinking For The Speed of Life and blog Lives In Progress explores the ways technology is changing 21st century relationships and the creative mind set for success in the networked world. Her storytelling-style show Crazytown: my first psychopath was selected for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, the 2012 Chicago and San Francisco Fringe Festival and recently had 2 successful runs at Actors Theatre Workshop in New York. She has been interviewed for articles that appeared in national and local media, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Woman’s Day, and The Three Village Times. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org