Identifying and Addressing Alexithymia, Emotional Clarity, and Emotional Differentiation

This session is from the NASP 2022 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 4,9
  • Skill Level: Advanced

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. use their skills in delivering behavioral health interventions as outlined by the NASP Practice Model.
  2. identify the personality traits called alexithymia and emotional clarity when counseling students who evidence difficulties in emotional processing.
  3. compare the various tools for identifying difficulties in self-awareness, emotional processing, and emotion regulation.
  4. explore various interventions for students with symptoms of alexithymia, poor emotional clarity, and/or poor emotional differentiation.


Three concepts related to self-awareness and emotional competency could place students at risk of mental health difficulties. Alexithymia can cause students intense distress in everyday interactions. Low emotional clarity is related to symptoms of depression and dysregulated reactions to stress. Decreased ability to accurately label emotions can cause students to be overwhelmed in emotionally negative situations. Learn to identify these students and to use mental health interventions specific to each of the weaknesses identified.



Gayle L. Macklem, William James College


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