Identifying “Emotional Complexity” in Our Loved Ones

Available for Interviews:  Dr. Colleen Cira

Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Women and Trauma, and has worked with hundreds of people struggling with mental health issues.

What Dr. Cira Can Say in an Interview
About Emotional Complexity

Does Your Significant Other or Loved One Have

If your significant other or loved one is dealing with this, you need to learn about it so you can be best equipped with dealing/working with them.

Emotionally complexity can mean a lot of things, but generally, it can be understood as someone who is difficult to predict how they will feel, think, behave or react.  Your partner may be emotionally complex if they:

    • Experience frequent mood changes. If you feel like you never know what kind of mood your partner will be in, this speaks to emotional complexity.  Your partner may be easily triggered by things that happen in their day-to-day life, which means what starts out as a perfectly good day can change quickly.
    • Feel things deeply. Someone who is emotionally complex is likely also very sensitive. About 15-20% of the population meets the criteria for being a highly sensitive person (The Highly Sensitive Person).  When people are highly sensitive, not only do they experience a wider range of emotions than folks who are not highly sensitive, they also experience their emotions more fully.
    • Are very empathetic toward others. If your partner can easily take someone else’s perspective or can really feel what someone else is experiencing, chances are your partner is highly empathic. And folks who are highly empathic—again about 20% of the population (Cry at Films? Blame Your Genes)—can often quickly and frequently change mood states because they can very easily feel the energy of people around them.
    • Have a trauma history. Does your partner have a trauma history? Were they abused or neglected as a child/teen? Did they have a parent or caregiver who was really incapacitated in some way—due to substance abuse, a mental illness, or a major medical issue? If so, then this is likely a sign that your partner may be emotionally complex. People who have experienced subpar parenting or any very stressful event during childhood often go on to become adults who are emotionally complex, for a variety of reasons.


Interview: Dr. Colleen Cira

Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D., received both her Masters and Doctorate from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois.  She’s the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC, a boutique group practice specializing in Women and Trauma with locations in Chicago and Oak Park.

She was named one of the “Top 100 Women in Chicago Making a Difference” by Today’s Chicago Woman.  Dr. Cira is a trauma and anxiety expert, clinical supervisor, writer, speaker, consultant, activist, wife, and Mommy to two little ones.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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