Empathy is valued across cultures, and has a profound impact on psychotherapy, our children, and our world. Why then are many human relationships not empathetic? This volume describes in detail the neurobiological, psychological, and social elements involved with empathy. Ideas are brought to life with case examples and reflective questions which help the reader learn ways to overcome empathetic barriers. The book shows how fear, anger, and anxiety all take away the power to feel for others, while also looking at the topic through a global lens. Developing Empathy is an easy-read book, backed by science, useful to the clinician, and to all readers interested in the topic.
List of Tables and Figures Preface Acknowledgments About the Author I: Understanding Empathy 1. Perspectives on Empathy: Why is an Obvious Virtue so Elusive? 2. Nature and Nurture: The Developmental Basis of Empathy 3. Social Influences: Encouraging Empathy versus Competition II: Nurturing Empathy 4. Physical Aspects: Why Empathy Requires a Healthy Body as well as a Healthy Mind 5. Mental Aspects: Emotional Distress and Not Looking Out for Number One 6. Taming the Fight or Flight Response 7. Relationships and Empathy: Treating the Other Person as a "Thou" 8. Beliefs and Ideals that Motivate Attention to Others' Well-Being III: Developing Empathy: Why Bother? 9. Implications for Therapists 10. Implications for Parents 11. Implications for Leaders & Organizations 12. Implications for Everyone