Emotional Intelligence course

What you will learn

Emotions can be confusing. They can be frightening. They can overwhelm us. They can dictate what we do although we try so hard to control ourselves.
In short, handling emotions can be a big challenge. Yet if we want to live a satisfying life, guided but not ruled by emotions, we need the skills to handle them. Possessing emotional intelligence means that you are able to:
– feel and tolerate emotions
– express & explore emotions
– regulate emotions
– understand and reflect on emotions

In this course you learn the right tools for this, taken from Emotion Focused Therapy.

First we will focus on developing self-control techniques that allow you a workable distance towards emotions. You can’t work with emotions when you’re either overwhelmed or when you feel numbed. Self-compassion is one of the tools you will learn here.

Second, you will learn to allow difficult emotions. Mindfulness and pendulation are the two main tools here.

Third, you will learn to use your emotions as a source of information. Emotions offer you essential information about your relationship to situations and your needs. Focusing will be an important tool which you will learn here.

Fourth, you will learn to reflect on emotions. We all carry some deep emotions with us, based on earlier life experiences (like for example a sensitivity for rejection or a fear to commit). And these are often also connected with important decisions we take in life and the way we generally deal with challenges (our coping strategies). Reflection on core emotions helps you to better understand yourself and to lead a more meaningful and authentic life. Writing assignments are an important tool here.


There are 8 weekly live online group sessions. During the sessions some theory and exercises will be explained. Usually there is one exercise which you do in small groups (2-3 persons) in an (online) breakout room. You practice with the same people throughout the course.

In between the sessions, there are home exercises. You will need at least one (ideally fixed) moment per week. You can choose to do these exercises alone. It’s however recommended to do the exercises with other people, as it makes them more effective. You could do them with a partner or a friend. It’s also possible to practice together with one or two other course participants. You will then be “buddies” during the course. Together you decide when you practice and if you like to do this online or in real life.

There is an option (for no extra costs) to take an ‘individualized learning route’. This means that you write short reflections after each exercise and hand these in. You will then get personal feedback.

All sessions are recorded, so if you cannot attend a session you can watch it at a different moment.

Structure of the course

Session 1: overview of the course, stress regulation techniques part 1
Session 2: stress regulation techniques part 2
Session 3: allowing emotions & strategies we use not to feel them
Session 4-5: understanding emotions
Session 6-7: reflecting on emotions
Session 8: summary
Optional follow-up session

About the trainer

The course is taught by me, Francisco Beisterveld. I’m a certified mindfulness trainer and EFT-therapist. I work also as a POH-GGZ for the student GP’s office de Uithof/Janskerkhof in Utrecht and GP’s office UT Campus in Enschede. More information about me you can find here.


  • Language: English
  • Price: free with a Dutch health insurance
  • As I work under the supervision of a GP, the costs are fully and automatically paid by your health insurer. This is the case for every person with a Dutch health insurance, regardless of the insurance policy or the health insurance company. Costs are billed as GP services. In The Netherlands, GP services (like when you visit a GP) are fully covered. You won’t receive a bill. And your own deductible (“eigen risico”) will not be used. And you don’t need to declare the costs yourself, the billing is done automatically. 
  • If you don’t have a Dutch health insurance, then the course fee is 200 euro.
  • Number of sessions: 8 + 1 optional follow-up session

For whom is this course

This course can be valuable for everyone. It can be especially valuable:

  • if you sometimes feel too much or too little (overwhelmed or numb)
  • if you have problems allowing emotions out of a fear to drown in them
  • if you have troubles understanding your emotions
  • if you feel stuck in certain emotions (like depression, anxiety, powerlessness, guilt, shame)
  • if you feel that you haven’t quite processed experiences from earlier in your life
  • if you find it difficult to make (important) decisions
  • if you tend to ruminate
  • if you find it difficult to know what you’re feeling, e.g. in a relationship
  • if you suffer from physical complaints which don’t have a clear medical explanation or a physical cause
  • if you experience strong self-criticism
  • if you have sleeping problems


Is the listed price for one session or for the whole course?

The listed price is the price for the entire course.

Can I miss a session?

That’s not a problem. All sessions are recorded, so you can watch them at a different moment. 

I prefer not to work with a buddy, is that possible?

Sure, it’s just an option.

Will I learn how to control emotions?

The best way of emotion regulation (= what most people consider to be ‘control’) is allowing emotions more & understanding them better. This will reduce stress, decrease the likelihood of stress-driven behaviour (fight/flight/freeze) and allow you to better address your needs.

Is the idea of the course that I should always act on my emotions? I don’t want that, I can act pretty impulsively. 

No. You obviously don’t always want to act on your emotions. But you can only take an informed decision about whether or not to act on an emotion, after you experienced the emotion fully (allowing, feeling, understanding its meaning, knowing its history, feeling the connected need and urge).

I feel often overwhelmed by emotions. Can this course help me?

Feeling overwhelmed by emotions is a challenge many people experience. In this course you learn how to be close enough to an emotion so you can work with it, but keep enough distance not to be drowned in it. 

I find it difficult to feel emotions/to know what I feel. Can this course help me?

Difficulties feeling emotions and not knowing what you feel are challenges many people experience. In this course you learn how to recognise and allow emotions. 

Upcoming editions

24 February (Fridays)

Dates: 24 February, 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 March, 7, 14 April 2023

Time: 17.00-18.00