All About Empathy

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person's condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Empathy is known to increase prosocial (helping) behaviors. While American culture might be socializing people into becoming more individualistic rather than empathic, research has uncovered the existence of "mirror neurons," which react to emotions expressed by others and then reproduce them.

Recent Posts on Empathy

Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann: Creativity in Psychotherapy

Treatment of psychotic patients is very difficult and many practitioners believe that it is impossible to employ psychotherapy ef with such patients. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann was a courageous and creative therapist who extended and improved treatment in dramatic and sustaining ways. Her work has been a model for all mental health practitioners treating severely ill patients.

The Real Reason People Think Promiscuity Is Wrong

Why do many people think promiscuity is morally wrong? STDs may sound like the simplest explanation, but it's probably not the correct one.

Teenagers Are From Earth

Our black-and-white thinking about adolescence is getting in our way.

It’s Complicated: Ten Years After

By A Guest Blogger on March 27, 2015 in Brainstorm
Grief is a fickle and complicated lifelong journey that can assault its victims with debilitating symptoms at any time after its origin. Understanding that grief knows no time limit can ease the path toward acceptance.

Genetics of Longevity

By Mario D Garrett PhD on March 27, 2015 in iAge
There is a schism between lifespan and theoretical lifespan…human behavior.

Let´s Go to the Movies

By Ana Nogales on March 26, 2015 in Family Secrets
Movies have the ability to change our attitude, how we think and feel, and even our values.

Violent Expression: Sign of Our Deep Need to Communicate?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on March 26, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
When notions of fair play are violated, our ability to speak helps keep the peace. We are capable of sudden, violent physical outbursts, but calm expressions of anger through language can keep us from resorting to brute force – sometimes.

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a powerful method of overcoming trauma via the mind-body connection, and often without medication. This piece by Saint-Laurent and Bird is a great introduction for those considering the treatment as well as for therapists interested in SE training.

Surprise

By The Book Brigade on March 26, 2015 in The Author Speaks
Surprise is good for the brain, great for relationships, and adds a certain frisson all around. Without it, life is lackluster. So why don't more people embrace the unexpected? They run from it or try to subdue it when they should instead roll with it.

Anorexia and the Dangers of Blog Post Titles

By Emily T. Troscianko on March 26, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
Few topics induce stronger emotion than parenting and children’s illness, and where emotions are heightened miscommunication can easily occur. Here I try to clarify my mother’s original argument, respond to some readers’ comments which blur the crucial distinction between personal and scientific ‘findings’, and reflect on the role of choice in recovery from anorexia.

The 5 Weirdest Psychology Experiments

Over the years, psychologists have come up with some ingenious experiments in an effort to study human behavior. Here are some of the oddest psychological studies ever conducted.

What We Need Most From a Relationship

When you think about your ideal romantic partner, it’s not hard to generate that list of traits that describes your dream man or woman. And the closer your current partner is to those ideals, the happier you’ll be. But not all ideals are created equal. Partners who meet your ideals on certain types of traits are more likely to make you happy.

Should You Make Choices for Your Kids?

Parents need to be concerned about the choices their kids make. The quality of your presence and support as your child explores and sorts through the options establishes the basis for his and her confident and solid decision-making when he and she are on their own.

Emotional Intelligence: Do Women Have an Edge?

Remember emotional intelligence can be learned; while it may be a part of women's "conditioning," many men have or can learn these behaviors.

The Quiet Advocate Behind Thriving Youth

All youth need supportive adult relationships beyond their parents—mentors who believe in them and their potential. Are you a mentor to young people? Learn how to foster their success.

Resilience: 4 Ways to Move Forward After Time Stands Still

Resiliency is a gift, but in some ways it is an art that can be cultivated.

Principles of Parting

By Wendy Paris on March 24, 2015 in Splitopia
Create principles of parting to help you adhere to your values, manifest your strengths and move through divorce more smoothly.

Is Digital Life Risky?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Human Beast
Young people who grew up with digital technologies and cannot conceive of a life without the Internet, digital games, and social media are sometimes called “digital natives” whereas older generations who acquired these technologies as adults are “digital immigrants.” Digital natives have many advantages but “addiction” to screens has its critics.

Dad Publicly Shames his Bully Son

With punishments becoming increasingly difficult to enforce, parents of defiant children are beginning to consider publicly humiliating them

Is America Addicted to War?

By Ray Williams on March 23, 2015 in Wired for Success
War has become the new normal for the U.S. Militarization, the justification for violence, and the privatization of war are now firmly entrenched.

You Can't Have Real Intimacy Without This

Being human means being vulnerable. But oftentimes we try to control love and intimacy, not realizing that true intimacy can only arise as we develop the awareness to notice and the courage to embrace our vulnerabilities. Our task is not to transcend our humanity or take flight into a spiritual self-image, but rather to engage with vulnerability in a skillful, gentle way.

Do As I Say: Be Oppositional!

Oppositional behavior by children would seem to run counter to arguments in my previous posts that family members often do what they think their families want them to, even at great personal sacrifice. But oppositionality can be more apparent than real. People often act that way to accomodate what they perceive their parents to want and need from them.

13 Ways to Be Friendship Smart

How does your Friendship Quotient measure up? Here are 13 key personal traits that strongly influence friendship quality.

Yes, You Can Get Addicted to Exercise

For approximately 3 percent of the population, striving to stay fit does them more harm than good.

Five Strategies to Tame Your Inner Critic

You can’t get rid of your inner critic. It's just part of the human mind. But you can greatly reduce its fear level, and get it serving, rather than running, you. Here's a 5 Step Process to Tame Your Inner Critic.

Remembering 9/11

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Exceptionally vivid memories we have concerning traumatic events have a way of staying with us long after other memories fade with time. Known as "flashbulb memories", they are a form of autobiographical memory that are especially powerful due to surprise and shock that ensures that the memory stays with us. But how accurate are these memories?

If Selfish Genes Build Brains, Why Aren’t We All Solipsists?

Contrary to what you might think, the “selfish gene” paradigm does not imply that we should be self-centered to the point of believing that only we exist.

Is A Bad MarrIage Dangerous To Your Health?

Is an alienated spouse a matter of life or death?

Adolescent Excellence and Managing High Expectations

When parents either support or encourage their teenager to have high personal performance expectations, they also need to provide guidance about how to manage their feelings when these outcomes are not met, as will sometimes occur.

When Words Are Weapons: 10 Responses Everyone Should Avoid

By Peg Streep on March 23, 2015 in Tech Support
We often wrongly discount the effect of emotional abuse that's unaccompanied by the physical component. But words can and do hurt. What you need to realize so that your vocabulary doesn't become an arsenal.