talk therapy

Top 7 Empathy Lessons in Leadership: The Video Replay

In the webcast the participants will engage how to:
•    Distinguish empathy from compassion, forgiveness, pity, and “niceness”;
•    Establish and maintain boundaries with bullies, slackers, difficult individuals, and friends while still honoring one’s commitment to empathy, to client service, to flourishing financially, to inclusiveness and community;
•    Identify failures (breakdowns) in empathy and what to do about it; and
•    Expand or contract empathy on demand by overcoming obstacles to empathy.

Psychiatry and Horror – in the Movies!

In addition to mastering the unknown through its depiction, the “pay off” is to confront images of the fragmentation of the self, annihilation of the self, and loss of control of the self’s boundaries. That is perhaps why audiences are strangely attracted to horror films. They give a specific form to our most primitive fears, binding these deep fears to a specific something that can be objectified and can be overcome by the cinematic equivalent of the “cavalry to the rescue” or even by counter magic. It should be noted that people run from the theatre if they believe their lives are really in danger; but the views stay in their seats, having actually paid money to be frightened vicariously by the experience of watching a horror film.

Empathy on Bastille Day

When one experiences the lack of empathy as a boundary issue or even a boundary violation, including a dignity violation, then the response is narcissistic rage in an attempt to get back one’s own and re-establish the boundary. I suggest this is a primitive, primary process response that is rarely well thought out or even all that adaptive – except perhaps in a context of self-defense against an immediate danger – but it is a common response. This does not jive with the average everyday understanding of empathy but it is the heart of the matter: wherever there is empathy – can narcissistic rage be far behind?