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With more than 15 years experience of providing training and development services in health and education, Marie Roker-Jones is a  graduate of Fordham University, a Certified Breakthrough Parenting® Instructor and Intrinsic Coach® in Health and Wellness. Bruce’s BookBruce's first book takes the best of his A Dad's Point-of-View columns and other writings, plus brand new material, and puts it all together.
Empathy – the imaginative act of stepping into the shoes of another person and looking at the world from their perspective – is a more popular concept today than at any point in human history.
We all know, instinctively, that empathy is a great tool for maintaining healthy relationships. We need to take empathy out of the house and onto the streets by nurturing our curiosity about strangers. Back in the 1920s the writer George Orwell – who had a very privileged background and went to Eton – decided to rough it on the streets of East London, dressing up as a tramp and spending his time with beggars, unemployed labourers and homeless people. If all of this is sounding a bit strenuous, you can always throw a little ‘armchair empathy’ into the mix. Join The School of Life Melbourne mailing list to recieve the latest news, including program highlights, exclusive community events and inspiring ideas. Empathy is the ability to understand and experience the feelings of others, and to respond in helpful ways. Children who are empathic will be better able to cope with conflict and difficult social situations.
The case was especially unusual because the amygdala is involved in recognizing emotions, and removing it would be expected to make it harder rather than easier for a person to read others' emotions, according to the researchers involved in her case. During the woman's surgery, doctors removed parts of her temporal lobe, including the amygdala, from one side of the brain. She also described an increased ability to decode others' mental states, including their emotions, the researchers said. It's not exactly clear how the human brain is able to understand and re-create the mental and emotional state of another person, but it appears that not everyone is equally good at it. In studying the woman with hyper empathy, the researchers evaluated her psychological condition with a series of standard tests, and found that her mental health appeared normal. Her performance in empathy tests was above average, and her score on the eye test was significantly higher than that of the controls, according to the researchers. The new case comes in contrast to previous observations of people who endured damage to the amygdala and suffered emotional deficits. However, in the absence of the amygdala, other brain regions, and perhaps newly organized connections among them, may be responsible for driving stronger empathy, the researchers of the new case report said. The woman's case suggests it is possible to have unexpectedly re-organized neural networks after this kind of surgery, the researchers said, and may have lessons for a better understanding of the brain. Bahar Gholipour is a staff reporter for Live Science covering neuroscience, odd medical cases and all things health. It’s filled with 100 photos, 7 original videos, and links to many of the stops on the trip. Which is interesting, because I had an intense conversation with a colleague today about empathy. I mean skills like self-management (not judging, but noting things to process later, rather than throwing them away) and multi-modal listening (ex: helps in noticing incongruencies in body-language, tone, language etc).
They would be able to really see and listen to the world while holding on to their own values. It’s on the lips of everyone from the Dalai Lama to agony aunts, from business leaders to happiness gurus. But this leaves a question: how do we expand our empathic potential and bring the circuitry in our brains to life?

Just think of all those times you’ve been arguing with your partner and thought, ‘I wish he could see my point of view!’ or ‘Why can’t she understand what I’m feeling?’ What are you asking for?
It was an experience that totally blew his mind, shifted his priorities in life and expanded his moral universe, as he revealed in his book Down and Out in Paris in London. It can also flower on a mass scale and start shifting the contours of society itself, creating a revolution of human relationships. This is about reading books and watching films that catapult our imaginations into other people’s lives that are vastly different from our own. Who in your life do you need to develop more empathy with – and how might you go about doing it?
Some children seem to develop empathy more naturally than others, but all children need to be taught this critical skill. Children who are empathic will be less likely to engage in bullying behavior, and more likely to jump in and help a friend or peer who is being bullied. You teach them how to get dressed, you teach them how to put on their shoes, and you teach them how to brush their teeth. The surgery is a common treatment for people with severe forms of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) who don't respond to medication. She reported these feelings when seeing people on TV, meeting people in person, or reading about characters in novels, the researchers said.
Her newly acquired ability to empathize was confirmed by her family, and she performed exceptionally well in psychological tests of empathy, the researchers said. 14 in the journal Neurocase, is the first in the scientific literature describing this kind of emotional change after removing parts of the temporal lobe, Richard-Mornas said.
For example, people with autism are thought to have difficulty understanding other people's intentions, and psychopaths are thought to show a lack of empathy, being unable to experience the emotional reaction people usually have when seeing another person in distress. It appears to be involved in social interaction, and is thought critical for quickly evaluating and responding to emotional stimuli, such as a frightening predator or a sad face.
In a 2001 study involving 22 people who had parts of their temporal lobe removed, researchers found that people with more extensive damage to the amygdala performed worse in learning emotional facial expressions.
Joseph Sirven, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, who was not involved with the case. As an adult, this was both a blessing and a curse: I could really listen to people, all kinds of people, withoug judging, and they felt heard and respected. My new book, Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution, aims to provide the answers, showing how empathy has the power to transform our relationships, from the personal to the political. Make sure you get beyond everyday chatter about the weather and talk about the stuff that really matters in life – love, death, politics, religion.
Many of those who took part in the Occupy Movement and Arab Spring were motivated by empathy – empathy for those whose lives had been ravaged by the financial crisis, or who had suffered police brutality. Think of a movie like City of God, which reveals the violent world of two boys growing up in the shantytowns of Rio. Children who are empathic are more likely to grow into well-adjusted adults with adaptive coping skills. Pick your child up when he falls, label his feelings and let him know that you’ve felt that way too, and listen to your children. Give your child a specific job, allow your child to care for a small pet, and get involved in family community service projects. When she's not doing all of that, you can find Katie sipping a latte (or maybe a glass of wine) and enjoying time spent with her husband and her two kids. She has worked as a research assistant at the Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives at ENS.

In the United States, for instance, empathy levels have dropped nearly 50% over the past 40 years, with the steepest drop occurring in the last decade. You might strike up a discussion with one of the cleaners at the office, or the woman who sells you bread each morning. Maybe you could sign up to sleep rough for a night as part of a charity appeal for your local homeless shelter. An important way to boost your empathy levels is to join with others to take action on empathy-related issues that matter to you – whether it’s child poverty or the fate of future generations whose lives will be affected by our addiction to high-carbon lifestyles. Instead of walking away from that temper tantrum, stay calm and talk your child through it. Label their feelings for them (positive and negative) so that they can connect feelings words with emotional reactions. But if we solve every problem, we rob them of the opportunity to learn a critical life skill. It’s surprising how fascinating, energising and enlightening it can be to talk to someone different from yourself. Or if you are a strong believer in a particular religion, try a ‘God swap’ and spend a month going to the services of other faiths (and maybe a Humanist meeting too). You’ll find the very best novels, non-fiction, kids’ books, feature films and video shorts all about empathy. When children see you respond to difficult situations with empathy, they will internalize those behaviors and learn to do the same. When children have secure attachments with their parents, they are more likely to show empathy toward others. It’s nearly impossible to understand how another person feels if you can’t even understand how you feel. How do we parents teach them to care about others, the world at large, and away from their own immediate needs and wants? The headlong pursuit of high-consumption material lifestyles has left us hungry for more meaning in our lives. Conversations with strangers can really help challenge our assumptions and prejudices about people, so we get beyond our snaps judgements about them based on their appearance or accent. Next time things are getting tense with your partner, simply focus intently on listening to their feelings and needs – without interrupting (and this might just induce them to return the favour). Observing Feelings: Don’t just read through a book quickly or sit quietly through an episode of Franklin…point out the facial and other non-verbal cues and try to identify the feelings.
One in four people say there are lonely, and the same proportion will suffer a mental health problem at some point in their lives. You will be reading the books and taking TV breaks anyway, why not make them a learning experience?
Call Today For a Free Consultation.MOST POPULARRECENT Dementia Care Dos & Don'ts: Dealing with Dementia Behavior Problems Posted On 14 Jan 2016 Anosognosia and Alzheimer's Posted On 22 Mar 2016 Communication Strategies for Dementia Posted On 09 Oct 2015 Top 7 Physical Alzheimer's Symptoms Posted On 13 Nov 2015 Is a Cruise Ship Retirement Cheaper than Assisted Living? It’s amazing how doing this can prevent niggling annoyance turn into serious resentment or full-scale arguments. When children know how to problem solve, they are more likely to jump in and help a friend or sibling.

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