Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Join the International Conference on: How Might We Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion?

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International Online Conference on:
How Might We Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion?
Permanently Ongoing

Sub Conference: Home & Family

How to foster a culture of empathy within the family and home life


Teaching Empathy Magazine
Articles about Teaching and Learning how to be more Empathic and Compassionate.

Eva Scherer and Edwin Rutsch: Building Empathy with Children, Touch & Massage

Eva Scherer, professional body worker and the owner of several Sports & Therapeutic massage clinics in Auckland.  In 2000 with like-minded professionals, Eva established Child Connection Trust, a registered charity.

The aim of this organization is to introduce massage into the mainstream education system as a low-cost prevention for child abuse and family violence.  Since then, her award winning Children Massaging Children programme has benefited children in New Zealand as well as overseas. "Our programmes teach Peace and Empathy in the purest way... Most people would react with surprise or disbelief at the concept of empathy being taught in schools; however, this idea is more than mere wishful thinking. The idea of teaching children empathy has been the subject of extensive research in New Zealand and also the focus of at least two Master's degree theses in Poland."

Sub Conferences: Education and Home-Family

Anne Paris: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Children's Books

Anne Paris, PhD, author of Standing at Water's Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks, and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has practiced psychotherapy for over 25 years, and has specialized in working with artists, trauma victims, couples, and parents.

Also, Anne is coauthor (text) with Marian Brickner (photography) of  Empathy Magic: Insides Out.. A new book that is a fun and whimsical way to introduce young children to EMPATHY. Stunning photographs of bonobo apes illustrate what empathy is, and how empathy helps build good relationships with family and friends. Cute, fun, and engaging. A wonderful tool to help facilitate social skills development, as well as to prevent later problems such as bullying, school violence, and depression. Geared towards children aged 3-7.
Sub Conference: Home & Family and Arts

Robert Brooks: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy

Robert Brooks is one of today's leading speakers on the themes of resilience, motivation, and family relationships. During the past 30 years, Dr. Brooks has presented nationally and internationally to thousands of parents, educators, mental health professionals, and business people with a message based on encouragement, hope, and resilience. He is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the former Director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital.

He is author or co-author of 15 books including: Handbook of Resilience and has written numerous articles about empathy. He writes, "In my workshops and writings I have consistently emphasized the importance of empathy as an essential skill for enriching our lives...  If empathy is not translated into behavior it will indeed be a "sideshow." However, when empathy serves as a guiding light for our behaviors, showing us the path that leads to compassion and caring, it becomes a potent force that will improve the lives not only of our children but ourselves as well. The more we bring together theory, skills, and actions, the more we can engage in activities that permit us to lead purposeful, fulfilling, caring lives.."

 "a common characteristic of individuals who are successful as business leaders, teachers, parents, spouses, or healthcare professionals is their ability to be empathic. Empathic people are skilled in placing themselves inside the shoes of another person and seeing the world through that person’s eyes. It is not surprising that Daniel Goleman listed empathy as one of the main components of emotional intelligence. In my activities as a therapist and consultant as well as in my personal life, I have come to believe that empathy is implicated in all of our relationships, impacting on the satisfaction and effectiveness with which we interact with others."
Sub Conference: Home & Family

 How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Men's Groups: Owen Marcus, Ken Solin, Edwin Rutsch 
A discussion with Owen Marcus and Ken Solin, both leaders in the men's movement, on how to use micro-communities to teach men empathy and other missing emotional skills. Both Owen and Ken are long term workshop leaders and have a new initiative for building a men's movement to foster Masculine Emotional Intelligence. They hold Man Camp Weekends and have a tool kit where men can start their own circles. ;

Some of the questions addressed in this dialog were

  • How would men sitting together shift the ‘culture of empathy’?

  • What is the best way to not just educate men about empathy, but teach the skill?

  • Why are men behind on the empathy curve?

  • In your Man Camp Weekend you speak about a man “being his own hero” – what does that mean?

  • How can men learn empathy in one weekend?

"One of the values that I think men in particular have to pass on is the value of empathy. Not sympathy, empathy. And what that means is standing in somebody else's shoes, being able to look through their eyes. You know, sometimes we get so caught up in "us" that it's hard to see that there are other people and that your behavior has an impact on them.

 And sometimes brothers in particular don't like to feel empathy, don't like to think in terms of "How does this affect other people?" because we think that's being soft. There's a culture in our society that says we can't show weakness and we can't, therefore, show kindness. That we can't be considerate because sometimes that makes us look weak."  Barack Obama
Sub Conference: Home & Family


Stephanie Mattei & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy in the Family

Stephanie Bachmann Mattei is a Certified Trainer with The Center for Nonviolent Communication. Parenting is Stephanie’s niche. Parenting is a powerful and far-reaching tool for social transformation. Mahatma Gandhi’s said, "If we are to reach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with the children.” Parenting is one of the most crucial ways to bring about social change in terms of consciousness evolution. We are moving toward a more empathic child rearing.

How to Build a Culture of Empathy? Presently the three main unempathic "Parenting Tools" are; Corporal Punishment, Guilt and Shame inducing communication (verbal and non-verbal), behavior modification through rewards carrots and sticks.  Research show these approaches do not foster empathy and emotional intelligence. In order to change a habit, we need to know what to put in its place. We need an empathic parenting approach.
Sub Conference: NVC  and Sub Conference: Home & Family

 2013 Parenting Matters TeleConference - Stephanie Bachmann Mattei talks with Edwin Rutsch

The Parenting Matters TeleConference
Thursday, January 24 - Monday, January 28, 2013
Presented by the NVC Academy and Stephanie Bachmann Mattei.  Join us for this virtual conference packed with world renown parenting speakers and receive the latest cutting-edge information on what brain science has to offer on parenting and healthy brain development in children, and practical tips for parenting from your heart even when feeling stress. Learn how to foster empathy and compassion in the home.
Sub Conference: Home & Family

Panel 11: Nurturing Empathy in the Home: Attachment and Reflective Capacity


Elle McSharry

Kim Beuhlman

Sarah Schumacher

Edwin Rutsch

Nurturing Empathy in the home: Attachment and reflective capacity.  
Kim, Sarah and Elle discuss promoting empathy, reflection, safety, and compassion in relationships between adults and the infants and toddlers in their care.
Sub Conference: Home & Family

Kenneth Barish & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy in the Family

Kenneth Barish is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at Weill Medical College, Cornell University. He is also on the faculty of the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and the William Alanson White Institute Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program. He is the author of Pride and Joy: A Guide to Understanding Your Child's Emotions and Solving Family Problems.

How to Build a Culture of Empathy in the Family?

1) It begins with our relationships with our children. If we put aside as little as 10 - 15 minutes a day to share in our children's interests and listen to their concerns, we strengthen their willingness to listen to others.
2) All real dialogue begins with our willingness to hear - and make a genuine effort to appreciate - another person's concerns: their interests, anxieties, and grievances.
3) Then, when our children know that their feelings are valued and important, we can teach them that so are the feelings of others.
4) We can include doing for others as a regular part of our family lives.
Sub Conference: Home & Family

Marcy Axness & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy in the Family

Marcy Axness has a private consulting-counseling practice specializing in mind-body fertility, pregnancy psychology, adoption, and early parenting.  She is author of Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers.

Marcy also provides training for adoption, education, and mental health professionals about the latest findings in the science of human thriving.

How to build a culture of empathy in the family?
1. By giving our children the gift of a well-built brain -- i.e., the frontal and occipital lobes have the circuitry they need to even process empathy!! This begins before most people think parenting begins - in the womb, or even earlier. It is our birthright to experience empathy, and that right is taken from us if we don't have a well-wired brain.
2. For the child to witness and experience empathy, in an everyday, all-day way.
3. Model empathy with our own cells, through how we care for ourselves.

 Sub Conference: Home & Family