Emotion-Focused Communication Training

Started Sep 1, 2022

$11 Enroll

Full course description

This course is designed to increase caregivers' awareness of their own emotions and help identify emotions in others. Caregivers can learn strategies to manage the emotions of both themselves and the people they care for. 

If you are an organization that would like to have multiple individuals go through the training, please reach out to Katherine Abbott, Ph.D., at for group pricing.

Experiencing financial hardship? Special pricing may be available. Please contact Katherine Abbott at

About This Course

The way we respond emotionally to others can impact how we provide care. This course is designed to increase your awareness of your own emotions and help you identify emotions in others. Strategies are then provided for how to manage those emotions – yours and your care recipients’. While the course is relevant to any person who is a caregiver, it specifically focuses on providing care to an individual with dementia.

"This course was very interesting and educational. I am not in the caregiving industry but understanding emotions and how to observe and use emotions to effectively communicate is very important no matter which industry one is in. Thank you for such a great course!" - Julian Wong

Course Outline and Objectives

This course is 2.5 to 3 hours long. It is broken out into 6 lessons (each 15-30 minutes) which you can complete at your own pace. The course does not need to be completed in one sitting.

Lesson 1: Introduction to the course and course pre-assessment
Objectives: To learn how to navigate the course and to assess what you know before completing the training

Lesson 2: Taking care of your feelings first – Processing your emotions
Objectives: To learn what Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is, learn how to increase your Emotional Intelligence (EQ), learn how to identify your own feelings in response to an event, and learn how to identify a feeling a person is displaying based on body posture

Lesson 3: Taking care of your feelings first – Managing your emotions
Objectives: To learn how to replace a negative feeling with a positive feeling (manage your emotions)

Lesson 4: Taking care of recipients’ feelings – Processing their emotions
Objectives: To increase skills in recognizing emotions in others and increase skills in handling emotions in others through active listening

Lesson 5: Taking care of recipients’ feelings – Managing their emotions
Objectives: To learn how to use positive communication to handle emotions in others

Lesson 6: Conclusion to the course and course post-assessment
Objectives: To assess what you have learned upon completing the training

Technology Requirements

We recommend completing this course on a computer, as it contains interactive elements which may not work properly on a tablet or mobile device. This course also contains audio, so you will need headphones or speakers to complete the content.

Web browser: Firefox 39.0+ or Chrome 43+ (Internet Explorer is currently not supported)

Operating system: Mac OS X 10.7+ 64-bit, Ubuntu 14.04+ 64-bit, or Windows 8+ (64-bit)

Course Staff

Katherine M. Abbott, Ph.D.

Katherine M. Abbott, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Gerontology and Research Fellow in the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She teaches graduate courses in Qualitative Research Methods and Organizations and the Aging Enterprise. Her research and teaching focuses on preference-based, person-centered care and the social networks and health of older adults receiving long-term services and supports. She is the co-founder of Preference-Based Living, whose mission is to conduct studies that build an understanding of individual preferences and test innovative methods to honor preferences for people receiving long-term services and supports. Dr. Abbott's research focuses on social integration, social networks, and health, along with preference-based person-centered care for older adults receiving long-term services and supports.

Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D.

Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Nursing and Director of the Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care at The Pennsylvania State University. She is the co-founder of Preference-Based Living along with Dr. Abbott. Dr. Van Haitsma’s research focuses on understanding the impact of contextual issues on quality of life and care delivery.

Allison R. Heid, Ph.D.

Allison R. Heid, Ph.D., has her doctoral training in Human Development and Family Studies with specializations in Adult Development and Aging and Intervention Science. She currently works as an Independent Research Consultant contributing to course development materials, evaluating service programs for individuals with dementia and their care partners, and supporting research project management tasks and manuscript development. She also teaches as an adjunct faculty member, specializing in courses on Adult Development and Aging. Dr. Heid’s research focuses on issues surrounding ethical care decision-making, person-centered care processes, and successful aging.

Alex Heppner, B.S.

Alex Heppner, B.S., has her training in Social Work and currently serves as a Scripps Gerontology Center Research Assistant at Miami University. Her primary role is managing Dr. Abbott’s grant-funded project that provides education and resources to Ohio nursing home providers.