Empathy is like oxygen for the soul: So if you are experiencing a shortness of breath…

Empathy is like oxygen for the soul (according to a famous statement by Heinz Kohut). So if you are experiencing a shortness of breath in your relationships, career, or commitments, maybe you need expanded empathy.

Join me [Lou] for an “on the air” discussion about 5 More Tips on How to Expand Your Empathy – [click to hear live or replay thereafter) –  5 Recommendations to Expand One’s Empathy so that empathy is less of a rumor and an expanded reality in the community.

My commitment is to provide a gracious and generous listening – empathy. The commitment of this radio show is to expand the flow of oxygen to your soul, so you can breath easy. A Rumor of Empathy is LESS of a rumor and more of an EXPANDED reality in the community today as this work goes forward. Meanwhile…

“E” is for “empathy” – by Alex Zonis

In empathy one person is quite simply in the presence of another human being. Empathy is supposedly like apple pie and motherhood. What’s not to like? Yet being empathic can be confronting and anxiety inspiring because one has to dispense with evaluations, filters, diagnostic labels, and egocentrism and be with the other person as a way of being. Empathy arouses subtle and pervasive resistances. A Rumor of Empathy engages such resistances to overcome them. People are naturally empathic and given half a chance empathy will come forth, but it is inhibited by limited natural endowment, individual deprivations, and organizational conformity. Classic interventions can themselves represent resistances to empathy, such as the unexamined life; over-medication, and the application of devaluing diagnostic labels to expressions of suffering. Agosta explores how empathy is distinguished as a unified multidimensional clinical engagement, encompassing receptivity, understanding, interpretation and narrative. When all the resistances have been engaged, defenses analyzed, diagnostic categories applied, prescriptions written, and interpretive circles spun out, in empathy one is quite simply in the presence of another human being.

Lou Agosta, Ph.D., is an empathy consultant, educator, and psychotherapist. He is the author of three books on empathy including the book that is the subject of this announcement and A Rumor of Empathy: Rewriting Empathy in the Context of Philosophy (Palgrave 2014), a short history of empathy in Hume, Kant, Lipps, Freud, Scheler, and Husserl; Empathy in the Context of Philosophy (Palgrave 2010), a Heideggerian interpretation of empathy with follow on results in Searle, Husserl, and Kohut. For further details on empathy therapy, consulting, and education see www.aRumorOfEmpathy.com

Click here to order: A Rumor of Empathy: Resistance, Narrative and Recovery in Psychotherapy

Those interested in the history of empathy – the distinction, not just the word – will want to check out:

Click here to order: A Rumor of Empathy: Rewriting Empathy in the Context of Philosophy

Those into a Heideggerian account of empathy with further work in Searle’s speech act approach, Husserl, and Kohut will want to check out:

Click here to order: Empathy in the Context of Philosophy

Credit: Cover art by Alex Zonis – http://www.AlexZonisArt.com

Credit: Lou Marinoff, Ph.D. has published a book Plato Not Prozac (Harper Press), which I liked so much that I use it as the title – with attribution – for a chapter in the book that is the occasion for this post. Thanks, Lou! – www.loumarinoff.com/books/

Contact Lou at aRumorOfEmpathy@gmail.com to schedule an interview, event, or to work one-on-one on empathy.

(c) Lou Agosta, Ph.D. and the Chicago Empathy Project

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Categories: Empathy, recovery from trauma, resistance to empathy

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