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 Empatheticswhich offers scientifically based empathy training proven to optimize
Helen is author of
Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work,
and Connect Across Differences.
"In this book, I hope to demonstrate how showing
greater empathy toward your fellow human beings can enhance your own life
and society as a whole. Through empathy, parents see their
children for who they are, and help them realize their potential. Teachers connect with students in ways
that help learners discover and expand there talents.
Businesses are more likely to thrive because they invest in the people
working for them. Politicians start to represent the needs of their
The arts have always been a connector for
people of all walks of life to learn more about one another, find common
ground, inspire curiosity rather than judgment, and provide shared mind
empathic experiences that remind us that all people are part of the fabric
of humanity. "
"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."
"Relating and communicating in the doctor’s office can sometimes be a matter of
life or death. Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda is devoting a special series of
three shows to doctor-patient relations and how better understanding can be
achieved through empathy and deeper listening. First up is Dr. Helen Riess
whose research has shown that not only is empathy important to the
doctor-patient relationship, but that, when it’s lacking, empathy can be
her latest book, The
Helen Riess, the associate clinical professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical
School and director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at
Massachusetts General Hospital, shares her years of scientific investigation
into how empathy develops and works throughout the stages of our lives and
interconnects us all. It also gives tools for how we cannot only improve our
own lives but those around us, even the experience of patients."
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."
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.