In therapeutic settings an intellectual insight is when an individual acknowledges that they know something about themselves but cannot believe or accept it as fact. It is an admission that something is wrong and that certain behaviors or emotions are due to internal feelings or disturbances without actually using this knowledge to change future behavior. You can get an intellectual insight on your own from reading a book and going "AHA! That's why I behave this way in a particular setting." It is the cognitive understanding of the irrational beliefs that are the reason for certain behaviors. But just because there is intellectual understanding doesn't mean that there will be change. This differs from an emotional insight which is when a patient is aware of the emotional factors that are responsible for their issues and are more likely to change their negative behaviors. It is when intellectual insights are are used in real life with regularity that emotional insights can occur and change can occur.