Category: Uncategorized

More on Empathy and Compassion

I’ve been blogging about the differences between empathy and compassion, and the pitfalls of empathy. Recently, I’ve had conversations with several patients, many of whom also who work in the helping professions, to learn more about the appeal of empathy. Remember that empathy is the…

Fall: A Season for Letting Go of What No Longer Serves You

With a change of seasons, we can learn from nature: Like the leaves that fall from the trees, Fall is a time to let go of those things that no longer serve us. This is borrowed from Native American lore. May you be inspired…

More on Empathy and Burnout

In an earlier blog entry, I described  some of the differences between empathy and compassion. In another blog entry, I outlined some of the pitfalls of empathy, to include burn out at work. This writing is devoted to describing how empathy can drive burnout…

Empathy Interefering with the Care of Others

Empathy has been named an “essential learning objective” by the American Association of Medical Colleges in there is a special focus on empathy training in medical schools. For the most part, empathy can be useful when it includes all sorts of good things and…

Empathy vs Compassion

A widely held belief is that we all benefit from having more empathy. The ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and our ability to imagine the suffering of others is often regarded as being at the core of humanity. In recent years,…

What Is This Thing Called Joy?

I recently read “The Book of Joy,” by his holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The question is, What is this thing called joy, and how is it possible that it can evoke such a wide range of feelings? Paul Ekman, famed…

Learning How to Be Your Own Best Friend

We all want to have our feelings validated. This is a great tool for being present with other people and demonstrating that we understand how the other person feels. You aren’t trying to fix the problem or tell the person that they shouldn’t feel…

Responding to Others’ Feelings

We all want to have our feelings validated. This is a great tool for being present with other people and demonstrating that we understand how the other person feels. You aren’t trying to fix the problem or tell the person that they shouldn’t feel…

Mindfulness and the Power of Now

The practice of mindfulness is based on the idea that life is best lived in the present moment. Mindfulness calls us to the be right here, right now. There are several advantages of being in the present moment. We let go of sadness about…