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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Christopher K. Germer

http://j.mp/XbYsPi

 Christopher Germer and Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion

 

Christopher Germer is a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.

 

He lectures internationally on mindfulness and self-compassion, is author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions and co-editor of the Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice.

 

Mindful self-compassion is the foundation of emotional healing - being aware in the present moment when we're struggling with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress (mindfulness) and responding with kindness and understanding (self-compassion).

 

To build a culture of empathy and compassion, Chris says we need to have a societal discussion about what values are really important to us.  They did this in Bhutan where they have the "gross national happiness" index.  Also, that we need to develop extensive empathy and compassion trainings. He said, the average American watches TV for 4 hours a day. What if we used that time learning about empathy and compassion? What a different world it would be.
Sub Conference: Science

 

 
 
 

Christopher Germer and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy & Compassion

 

(Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)

 

Panel 26: What is the Relationship Between Self-Empathy, Empathy,
Self-Compassion & Compassion?

In this panel discussion, Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer and Edwin Rutsch discuss the question,
What is the Relationship Between Self-Empathy, Empathy, Self-Compassion & Compassion?  There is a great deal of confusion about the meanings and definitions of self-empathy, empathy, self-compassion & compassion. We might be talking about the same experience, but are using different words, or are talking about different experiences and are using the same word, etc.

 

Parable of the Good Samaritan - G. Conti (Wikipedia)

 

There is a great deal of confusion about the meanings and
definitions of self-empathy, empathy, self-compassion
& compassion. We might be talking about the same

experience, but are using different words.
 

Some people, for instance, say there is compassion fatigue. Recently some in the compassion community have been saying it's really empathy fatigue. Kristin feels personal distress may be a more accurate term. Edwin feels there is no such thing as compassion or empathy fatigue, it is really more accurately described as empathy and compassion deficit fatigue. Join us for a wide ranging dialog about this and more with leaders in the field of empathy and compassion.


Kristin Neff is Associate Professor in Human Development and Culture, Educational Psychology Department, University of Texas at Austin. Kristin is author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind.

Christopher Germer is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in mindfulness and acceptance-based treatment.  He is a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Chris is author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions

Edwin Rutsch is founding director of The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. The center is a portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion.

 

Video: The Relationship Between Self-Empathy, Empathy, Self-Compassion & Compassion?

 
 

Sub Conferences: Science and Self-Empathy

 

05/04/2012  - Self-Compassion Expert Chris Germer on Lessons Learned From the Dalai Lama

Every now and then, you meet someone who changes your world. For me, that most recent someone is a remarkably wise and compassionate colleague, Christopher Germer. Germer is a Harvard Medical School Clinical Instructor in Psychology and a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and training of mental health professionals interested in integrating mindfulness meditation and psychotherapy.

Truthfully, Germer is more than a colleague, he's a mentor. The good psychologist not only ignited my interest in all things self-compassionate, he re-ignited my passion for book-writing. He's got that kind of inspirational effect on people.


 

Compassion Based Therapy - Interview

 

Paul Gilbert - Beginnings of Compassion-focused therapy (CFT)

  • Working with patients

  • try to generate kind voice in them

  • the inner voice - imagine a kind warm voice

    • lot of resistance,

    • a weakness, an indulgence, become tearful

  • Buddhism and compassion

  • Therapy and Buddhism - insights from both traditions

    • psychodrama

    • chair work

    • etc

    • imagery

  • Compassion-focused therapy (CFT)  emerged  out of this

    • focused on how to get affiliative feeling for the self

    • affiliative  'bring or come into close connection'

  • What does compassion and self-compassion mean?

    • Paul Gilbert

      • affiliative emotion - kindness, supportive,

      • got into attachment theory

      • mammalian caring behavior - mother caring for the child

      • calms and sooths the child and teacher emotional regulation

      • secure based for going out into the world

      • Want to activate that process in people with  (CFT)

      • the root is to feel "affiliative feeling"

    • Kristen Neff

      • what does it feel like when your heart is open

      • an excepting and an allowing, not shutting anything out of our experience

      • including pain

      • feel kind caring for self and others

      • sense of interdependence

      • an experience

    • Chris Germer

      • Suffering and wish to alienate it.

      • open heartedness in the presence of pain and suffering

      • a fundamental human resource

      • a capacity to be with pain and even transform it to something useful

      • we are hard wired for it.

      • it's a skill we can cultivate

      • how can we be with the difficulties of life without being crushed by it.

      • wrapping suffering in loving kindness

    • Paul

      • we know this and turn to others for support, understanding, a cuddle, heard, soothed

      • with self compassion - direct this toward self as well.

      • compassion is the basis of courage

  • 13:00 Phases of self-compassion

    • a new phase

    • refine our intention

    • care and comfort  

  • 15:00 Current work and future

    • Kristen Neff - did research - now teaching

    • Paul Gilbert

      • developing the compassionate self -

      • developing breathing exercises

      • imagery of what you want to become

      • how to facilitate compassion in different groups -

        •  psychosis, eating disorders

      • Cognitive behavioral therapy

      • form  "affiliative feeling"

      • shame - sense of loneliness

  • Compassion - some see it as syrupy sweet.

    • but a transformative process