Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Bruce Perry



 "An inside look at the power of empathy: Born for Love is an unprecedented exploration of how and why the brain learns to bond with others—and a stirring call to protect our children from new threats to their capacity to love.

From birth, when babies' fingers instinctively cling to those of adults, their bodies and brains seek an intimate connection, a bond made possible by empathy—the ability to love and to share the feelings of others.

In this provocative book, renowned child psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry and award-winning science journalist Maia Szalavitz interweave research and stories from Perry's practice with cutting-edge scientific studies and historical examples to explain how empathy develops, why it is essential for our development into healthy adults, and how it is threatened in the modern world.


Psychology today Articles





Bruce Perry “Empathy underlies virtually everything that makes society work—like trust, altruism, collaboration, love, charity. Failure to empathize is a key part of most social problems—crime, violence, war, racismchild abuse, and inequity, to name just a few.” 



Roots of Empathy 2015
Dr. Bruce Perry - Born for Love: Why empathy is essential and endangered


Dr. Bruce Perry - Born for Love: Why Empathy is Endangered — and Essential

"From birth, we seek intimate connections, bonds made possible by empathy — the ability to love and to share the feelings of others. Review scientific and historical examples of how empathy develops, why it is essential to our development, and how the modern world threatens it.

Explore how compassion underlies the qualities that make society work and how difficulties related to empathy are key factors in social problems, mental illness, and even physical health. Learn how recent technological changes, child-rearing practices, education, and lifestyles affect a child's understanding of human contact and deep relationships, the foundation for empathy and a caring, healthy society. Take home practical ideas for combating the negative influences of modern life and fostering social change."

  • The more you repeat an action the more the brain strengthens that neural connection.

  • 33.20 standardized empathy measures say empathy down in colleges

  • community depends on empathic development

  • how can you have a democracy if people don't engage

  • we have to have social empathic experiences to strengthen and build those networks

  • i.e. society needs to create social skills in the young

  • 42:00 relational health - deal with disaster better and heal faster

  • need to build a rich relational community for children

  • we can make a change

  • it will have a huge cultural change


Dr Bruce Perry from Chicago Ideas Week

  • In order to be empathic, compassionate - develops from being cared for, shared with, listened to, values and nurtured.

  • relational poverty





“Empathy underlies virtually everything that makes society work - like trust, altruism, collaboration, love, charity. Failure to empathize is a key part of most social problems - crime, violence, war, racism, child abuse, and inequity, to make just a few”
(Szalavitz & Perry, 2010, p. 4).

“The risks for heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, asthma, and even many cancers are all affected by trauma-related changes in the stress response system. Empathy and connection affect physical—not just mental—wellness and health.”
― Bruce D. Perry, Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--and Endangered



Dr. Bruce Perry, Childhood Development on LIVING SMART with Patricia Gras 




 Mar 14, 2013 - Dr. Bruce Perry on Empathy

"One of the most important aspects of being a human being, is being able to be in a relationship.  Being able to successfully form and maintain a relationship.  And at the heart of that capability is the capacity to put yourself in somebody else's shoes, to see the world how they see it. That capacity is empathy"



Six Core Strengths for Healthy Child Development: An Overview
This brief overview provides an introduction to the Six Core Strengths program developed by Dr. Bruce Perry and The ChildTrauma Academy.