Teaching Empathy

Do you have clients who are having problems in their relationships that contribute to their unhappiness?  A lack of empathy may be a contributing factor. According to the website Greater Good:  “Empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking and feelings. Research suggests that empathetic people tend to be more generous and concerned with other’s welfare, and they also tend to have happier relationships and greater personal well-being. Empathy can also improve leadership ability and facilitate effective communication.”

It seems clear that people are born with different propensities for empathy, but it is also clear that empathy and compassion can be learned at any age. Like many other emotional intelligence traits, empathy can be increased when people experience the value of empathetic behaviors on their personal lives.

If your clinical judgement tells you that an individual client or couple might benefit from developing their empathy and compassion, these free tools might help.
Developing Flexible and Compassionate Thinking 

This worksheet is designed to help people consider how they think about others. It is designed to help people see that flexible and compassionate thinking can improve their relationships as well as their own self-image. The assessment asks them to rate 20 questions on a 5-point scale. A score under 75 suggests the need for people to work on being more flexible and compassionate towards others.

Loving Kindness Meditation

This worksheet is designed to teach people the technique of Loving Kindness Meditation. Research suggests that practicing this simple meditation can have a long-term effect on people’s happiness.  The meditation asks people to send out positive thoughts not only to people they care about but also to people they dislike.

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