An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 10, Number 5

May is the quintessential spring month with flowers in bloom and a general sense of rebirth. In a very short time, we will be remembering Memorial Day as the day when many of our forefathers gave their lives for us to live in peace and affluence. We suggest that you take some time during the day to remember those of your family and friends who served in the military and made the ultimate sacrifice. Their commitment to protecting our country seems even greater now in this chaotic and troubled world we live in. And if you have the opportunity, thank those in uniform for putting their lives on the line for all of us.

This month’s E-letter focuses on Emotional Intelligence: What’s Your EQ? Our email of the month is about a bizarre suicide and our Ask the Doc question is about going off to college. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful. We also thank you for reading our E-Letters and for the many comments we have received through the years.

Practice News

Testings. If you are concerned about your child’s school placement for the next school year, this would be a good time to have them evaluated. Recent questions from parents have ranged from should their child be retained to whether they are gifted to whether they have a disability that can qualify for accommodations at school. Our practice does different types of evaluations to help answer those questions and information about these evaluations can be found on our website. If you have more specific questions, please contact Dr. Kimmel.

Depression groups.Ongoing weekly depression therapy groups meet regularly in our office. A men’s support group and a women’s support group are run by Dr. Jim Kaikobad and meets for one and one-half hours. The group is educational, supportive, and confidential and is limited to 8 people. If you are interested in attending, please contact Jillian at 954 755-2885.

Research Study.If you are overweight, you might consider participating in a research study. Our practice has been asked by Life Extension Institute to participate in research assessing the effects of cognitive therapy, nutritional supplements, and medications on weight management in overweight individuals. Early results show continued weight loss for those subjects who are in the study. For more information about the study, contact Jillian, at 954 755-2885

Handouts from previous E-Letters can be found on our website, www.KimmelPsychology.com. We invite you to read and download them if desired.


Our E-Letter this month focuses on Emotional Intelligence or EI which first became quite popular during the 1990’s and is now utilized in school, business, and leadership development. The concept of EI or EQ was described by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer who in 1990 published a landmark article “Emotional Intelligence”. In 1995, EI became hugely popular after science reporter, Daniel Goleman, published his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. EI training programs, EQ tests, and EI seminars have proliferated and several years ago our friend, Dr. Richard Mendelson, earned his doctorate writing his thesis on Emotional Intelligence.

EI has been defined as the ability to observe one’s own emotions as well as those of others in human interactions. It is the ability to distinguish and identify emotions so that the emotional information can be used to guide thinking and behaviors. In a sense, it is “smartness” about emotions and how they affect us individually and interpersonally. There are three current models of EI:

1. The ability model refers to being able to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions to navigate the social environment

2. The trait model refers to a person’s self perception of their emotional abilities and makeup

3. The mixed model refers to a wide variety of both emotional skills and abilities that motivate leadership performance

Describing the mixed model, Goleman outlines the five main competencies of Emotional Intelligence as follows:

    1. Self-awareness which is the ability to recognize one’s own emotions, strengths and weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others

    2. Self-management which is the ability to stay calm and control one’s emotions

    3. Relationship skills allow for the management of relationships based on communication and motivation

    4. Empathy involves truly listening to others and considering their feelings especially when making decisions

    5. Intrinsic Motivation which is the ability to be driven to fulfill one’s inner needs and goals and to pursue peak experiences

Having Emotional Intelligence may be just as important as intellectual ability. Consider those people who cannot do well in the structure of academia yet become very powerful leaders because of their ability to understand, empathize, motivate, and manage others. EI can help to build stronger relationships, succeed in the workplace, and achieve personal and career goals. It can also lead to better physical and mental health through the good feelings associated with achievement and through stress reduction.

People with high EI are not afraid to deal with their emotions. They monitor their feelings and their effect upon others. They are willing and able to discuss them with others and share them appropriately. They are also able to correctly identify the underlying causes of their emotions. So which is more important, IQ or EQ? Studies have shown IQ to be a major component of success and those with high IQs were thought to be headed for achievement and accomplishment. However, in reality, not all with high IQs do well. Research has shown that those with high EQs have strong leadership potential and achieve success because of their ability to emotionally manage themselves and others. EQ studies have shown that children who have been enrolled in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have better achievement scores and improved grade-point-averages. These children also had lower suspension rates, improved school attendance, and less discipline problems. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price. The answer to which is better IQ or EQ is that both are important for success.

Skills to increase EI can be learned by anyone at any time. The key is to reduce stress, to stay connected to one’s emotions and to others, and to be an effective communicator. The following are 5 suggestions to increase EI:

1. Recognize when you are stressed and use stress reduction techniques to calm down and stay in control

2. Develop an awareness of your emotions by paying attention to them in order to be able to communicate with others

3. Improve nonverbal communication by focusing on the other person, making good eye contact, and paying attention to nonverbal cues

4. Use humor, creativity, and play to keep things in perspective and reduce stress and conflict

5. Resolve any conflicts positively through forgiveness, agreeing to disagree, and deciding whether the issue is that important

We offer the following information on Emotional intelligence: What’s Your EQ?

When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all, and my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none, I can read the writing on the wall — Paul Simon


  • EQ or Emotional Quotient is very different from IQ or Intelligence Quotient
  • EI was first defined in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John Mayer in a landmark article
  • In 1995, Daniel Goleman popularized the concept of EI in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
  • Emotional Intelligence or EI is the ability to use emotional information to direct thinking and behavior based on a person’s abilities and traits
  • EI is the ability to recognize one’s own emotions as well as other people’s emotions and to be able to distinguish between and label different emotions
  • The abilities model of EI refers to a person’s ability to process emotional information to function within the social environment
  • The trait model of EI refers to a person’s emotional character and self perceived abilities
  • Daniel Goleman proposes a mixed model of EI consisting of skills and characteristics that contribute to leadership performance including:
  • Self–awareness which is the recognition of one’s own feelings and strengths and weaknesses
  • Self-management which is the ability to stay calm and control one’s emotions
  • Empathy is the ability to listen and understand what other’s are really saying
  • Relationship skills is the ability to communicate with others so that they are relaxed around you
  • Intrinsic motivation is the ability to be motivated to fulfill one’s inner needs and goals and to pursue peak experiences
  • At work, EI can help one understand the complexities of the workplace in order to direct and motivate others which can lead to superior job performance
  • Many businesses use EQ tests as part of their hiring process and mandate EI training
  • EI can lead to better stress management thereby reducing serious health problems
  • EI can lead to better mental health through better management of emotions and moods
  • EI can lead to better expression of one’s feelings as well as an understanding of how others are feeling which will lead to better and stronger relationships


  • Consider increasing your EI since it helps you build stronger relationships, succeed on the job or at home, and achieve personal goals
  • Increase your EI by
  • Realizing when you are stressed and using techniques to reduce your stress
  • Paying attention to your emotions and become comfortable with them
  • Being a good communicator both verbally and non-verbally by having good eye contact, focusing on the other person, and reading body language
  • Using humor, creativity, and play to counter hardships and differences
  • Resolving conflicts with others through forgiveness, deciding whether it’s worth arguing about, and agreeing to disagree
  • Seek professional help to assist in understanding and increasing your Emotional Intelligence

We Can Help!

Call us at (954) 755-2885 or email us at drkimmel@kimmelpsychology.com

Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. and Associates 5571 N. University Drive, Suite 101 Coral Springs, Florida 33067

Copyright © 2015; by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D.
As always, we would like to welcome new readers to our e-Letter. We hope that you find it informational and enjoyable. We invite you to share this e-Letter with others. If you have received this from a fellow reader, please send us your email address to include you on our list.

Ask The Doc

KB asks: My daughter will graduate high school in a few weeks and will have some time off before she starts her summer session at FSU. She is excited about starting college and that is all she talks about. She has some friends also going there and just wants to hang out with them. She devotes little time to the family and I am worried about how she will do on her own. I am sad about her leaving and don’t know if I am prepared. How does one send their only child off to college?

Dr. Joel Kimmel replies: Sending a child off to college is a rite of passage. The fact that she is going with friends makes it easier as she will know people where she is going. Her excitement is completely normal and typical. She wants to be independent and she actually should be. Hopefully you have prepared her with the survival skills of cooking, laundering, managing money, taking care of herself, etc

For you, however, it is a different story. Sending a child off to college is bittersweet. But it needs to be done. You can’t have her dependent on you forever. Rather, your job as a parent is to provide her with the tools and the confidence to manage her own life. Keeping her at home would be doing her a disservice. She is not leaving you for good as she will be home for the holidays, college breaks, and just for visits. However, she will function as an adult and not as a child. Yes, it is sad but take comfort that you have done your job. Your daughter will be independent and you can be proud of her.

I also suggest that you fill your time, if you do not work, with growth experiences for yourself. Develop a passion for some activity, take a course, exercise, or join a book club. Her going off to college gives you the freedom to pursue whatever you want. Enjoy it.

Email of the Month

We thank Bill B. for the following email about a bizarre suicide:

This amazing tale of a bizarre suicide attempt first appeared on the Internet in August 1994. It presents an entertaining logic problem yet it is not true according to Snopes.com. What is true is that Don Harper Mills made it up and did tell this very story at a meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences for educational purposes.


At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Science, AAFS President Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story…

“On 23 March 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound of the head. The decedent had jumped from the top of a ten- story building intending to commit suicide (he left a note indicating his despondency). As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been erected at the eighth floor level to protect some window washers and that Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide anyway because of this.”

“Ordinarily,” Dr. Mills continued, “a person who sets out to commit suicide ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended. That Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide. But the fact that his suicidal intent would not have been successful caused the medical examiner to feel that he had homicide on his hands. “The room on the ninth floor whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with the shotgun. He was so upset that, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window striking Opus.

When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. When confronted with this charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. The old man said it was his long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her – therefore, the killing of Opus appeared to be an accident. That is, the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple’s son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal incident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son’s financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

There was an exquisite twist. “Further investigation revealed that the son [Ronald Opus] had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother’s murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23, only to be killed by a shotgun blast through a ninth story window.

“The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.”

Till June…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

If you no longer wish to receive future E-Letter reminders, please send an email to DrKimmel@KimmelPsychology.com requesting to be removed from this list.

If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2015 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.