Helen Riess, M.D. is Associate Clinical Professor of
Harvard Medical School and Director of the Empathy and Relational Science
Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The mission of the Program is to enhance empathy and
interpersonal relationships in healthcare. She is also Chief Technology
Officer of Empathetics
which offers scientifically based empathy training proven to optimize
Helen is a coauthor of the study,
Empathy Training for Resident Physicians. The study concluded;
"A brief intervention grounded in the neurobiology of empathy
significantly improved the physician empathy as rated by patients,
suggesting that the quality of care in medicine could be improved by
integrating the neuroscience of empathy into the medical education."
Empathy is like,
getting underneath the skin of another person, to merge temporarily with
their experience, then getting out, to reflect on the experience.
Empathy can be taught, although a certain endowment may be inborn,
research shows that it is a mutable trait. Our study demonstrated that
empathy could be increased significantly in the training group and it
decreased significantly in the control group.
Sub Conference: Health Care
Empathy is undergoing a new evolution. In a global and interconnected culture,
we can no longer afford to identify only with people who seem to be a part of
our “tribe.” As Dr. Helen Riess of Harvard Medical School has learned, our
capacity for empathy is not just an innate trait—it is also a skill that we
can learn and expand. With The Empathy Effect, the leading researcher presents
a groundbreaking teaching book to help us learn essential skills for
transforming the way we relate to others in any situation.
“Nourishing empathy lets us help not just ourselves,” says Dr. Riess, “but
also everyone we interact with, whether for a moment or a lifetime.” Drawing
from her empathy training curricula now used internationally in health care,
business, and education, she takes us step by step through her EMPATHY
program. Here you’ll learn to enhance empathic behavior in yourself and
others; recognize and reverse dehumanization and scapegoating tactics;
practice empathy at work, home, and in everyday settings; discover ways to
build empathy in groups and leadership positions; and much more.
August 31, 2018
When I started reading The Empathy Effect it did not take long for me to
realize I was gulping every word like someone who was on the verge of
starvation. My first thought was “I don’t want to write a book review, I want
to have a conversation with Dr. Riess and Liz Neporent.” Having Alan Alda in
the conversation would have been nice, but that would have been risky,
particularly if I found myself starstruck and distracted from the conversation
I wanted to have. However, the book review must be written.
Director of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy, hosts a
discussion with two of the
primary leaders in the movement to transform medical
culture from detachment to a culture of empathy.
Riess M.D., Ph.D is Associate Clinical Professor of
Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Director of the Empathy and
Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. She
is Chief Technology Officer of
which offers scientifically based empathy training
proven to optimize interpersonal engagement.