Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT is the author of the best selling
book, Don't Be Nice, Be Real –
Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others. He is a licensed
therapist in private practice, lecturer, workshop facilitator, and
consultant. He has been an authorized trainer for the International Center
for Nonviolent Communication for over 20 years, and has trained thousands
in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Kelly is also a humorist,
guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He in now working on building new
authentic empathy communities & cultures.
writes, "When I empathize with someone, I become a strong and gentle wind,
filling the sailboat of the other’s inner exploration. As the Wind, I
have no control over the steering of the boat. That is left up to the
captain of the ship, the person I am being present to. I do not try to
direct, only connect with where the other is in this very present moment.
I bring in no ideas of thoughts about the past or the future. I bring in
no thoughts of my own. I have no preference for where we go on this
journey – only that it come from the captain’s heart and choice. The
purpose of my presence is connection, never correction. I am a steady,
present trade wind, not an impatient and gusty gale."
"Empathy brings in nothing from the past. When I
am empathizing I am not remembering when I was having a similar
experience. In one sense I am not even there. The only thing present is
your experience, feelings and stories. I am being with the felt sense of
them. Relating to another experience is about you. Empathizing is about
them. Some people get so caught up in the fear of wondering whether they
are empathizing correctly that very little empathy or attention is left to
be with the other. It is not really about doing empathy or giving empathy
- it is being empathy."
Sub Conference: Compassionate Communication
(NVC) and Building Empathic