This nine-part series will illustrate the emotional intelligence (EI) theory intervention paradigm. The content of these dialogues may be of interest to the casual reader as well as the therapist seeking to increase h/er understanding and application of EI theory. An update of the problem solving adventure between Elliot and his EI guide will be posted each day, for nine daysElliot: I wish I didn’t have to be gay. It would make things a lot easier.
EI Guide: It must be tough having to go back and forth between being a piece of shit and being unacceptable. What do you suppose we can do about that?
Elliot: You can make me straight.
EI Guide: How do you suppose that would help?
Elliot: People would like me.
EI Guide: Goodness, is that all it takes?
Elliot: Yes. If I were straight, I wouldn’t have these particular problems.
EI Guide: Do you think all of your problems would be solved?
Elliot: Not all of them, but most of them.
EI Guide: What about the problems you still have?
Elliot: I could work on those.
EI Guide: You would still have problems?
Elliot: Yes, but not these problems.
EI Guide: Being straight wouldn’t solve all your problems?
Elliot: No, I would just have different problems.
EI Guide: How do you suppose we can help you get to the point where you didn’t have any problems?
Elliot: I would have to be perfect.
EI Guide: If that’s the only way you can be happy with yourself, shall we set that as your goal? To be perfect?
Elliot: Not really. I don’t think I will ever be perfect. No one’s perfect.
EI Guide: How do you know that?
Elliot: The odds are you will have some problems or that someone won’t like you for some reason that isn’t under your control. That’s just the way things are. No one’s perfect. Straight people don’t have the same problems as gay people, though.
EI Guide: What kind of problems do straight people have?
Elliot: They don’t have to worry about being ridiculed, taunted, rejected and laughed at all the time. People wouldn’t be pushing my buttons all the time.
EI Guide: Really? What about a straight person who is obese? How about a straight person who is covered in planters warts? How about a straight person with two heads?
Elliot: That’s an extreme example, but I see what you’re saying.
EI Guide: I don’t think it’s a matter of being straight or gay. I think it’s what you think about being gay and what you are telling yourself about yourself. When you think about being ridiculed, what are you telling yourself?
Elliot: When my dad ridiculed me, I thought, ‘You don’t care about me and I can’t stand that.’
EI Guide: Anything else?
Elliot: It’s funny, but it was like I was looking for him to forgive me for being gay. I said I was looking for acceptance, but I was really looking for forgiveness. I was sort of saying, ‘I know this is bad and that I am not perfect, but I want you to forgive me for turning out this way.’
- The Case of Elliot (part five) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part four) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part six) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part eight) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part three) (eitheory.com)
- REBT vs. eitheory for the win! (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part two) (eitheory.com)
- Next Post (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part seven) (eitheory.com)
- The Case of Elliot (part one) (eitheory.com)