183. Permission to Feel: Emotional Intelligence with Marc Brackett

Emotional Intelligence is not really about feeling better but, rather, it’s about getting better at feeling. In this episode of Psychologists Off the Clock, Debbie and Dr. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and author of Permission to Feel, discuss practical skills you can use to better understand your emotions, and respond to them effectively. Emotional intelligence is often neglected in pursuit of what some refer to as “rational thinking.” However, emotional intelligence skills can actually help with thinking – and might even save you time and money. Find out how in this episode, and learn more about naming, understanding, and expressing your emotions in healthy ways!

Listen and Learn:

  • Diana and Debbie’s break down of “stress” and “overwhelm” and how they practice emotional intelligence skills in their own lives
  • Practical skills you can use to get better at feeling right now!
  • A real-time example of Marc Brackett and Debbie naming their emotions
  • Why children and adults struggle to understand and express their emotions in a healthy way (and how problematic that can be)
  • How Marc is working to make sure everyone receives an “emotion education”
  • The emotion expert’s explanation of how emotional intelligence actually helps with “rational” thinking 
  • An overview of the RULER emotional skill set, and the contexts where those skills show up
  • How learning some emotional skills might save you time and money in the future
  • What a “Meta-Moment” is, and how to do it in four steps
  • Whether the director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence thinks children will be okay after the pandemic
  • Marc’s practical words of wisdom for parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone else invested in helping kids make it through tough times like the pandemic


Photo of Marc Bracket

About Marc Brackett:

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. His research focuses on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. Marc is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based, systemic approach to SEL that has been adopted by over 2,000 schools across the United States and in other countries. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards. Marc consults regularly with corporations like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating emotional intelligence principles into employee training and product design and is co-founder of Oji Life Lab, a digital emotional intelligence learning system for business. His research has been featured in popular media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, and NPR. He is the author of Permission to FeelUnlocking the Power of Emotions to Help our Kids, Ourselves, and our Society Thrive, published by Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan. Find out more about Marc on his website,


Join the discussion

  • Greetings,

    Where can I find more information about the anti-racist training that you noted with Dr. Rosen at the beginning of this episode? I’m not seeing it listed on the Praxis website.


    • Thank you for listening and reaching out! It looks like that was a live training event that may have already happened. Keep an eye out, if Praxis offers it (or a similar training) again. Be sure to use and the promo code OFFTHECLOCK for a discount on live training events. We’ll let you know if we see it on the Praxis lineup again later. You might reach out to Praxis, too, to see if it will be available later.

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Episode 183