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?



New Private Empathy Circles Forming with Edwin Rutsch. Register Now

I'll be offering a series of private weekly Empathy Circles via online Google Hangouts. Each Empathy Circle is limited to four people and is 1.5 hours. After years of; practicing and studying empathy, interviewing 100's of the world's top experts on empathy and compassion, holding hundreds of Empathy Circles, I have found these circles to be absolutely the most effective way to experience, practice and deepen the benefits of empathy.

What are the Benefits of Empathy and Empathy Circles?

First, being empathic is a way of being and relating in the world. It gives us a moral foundation, clarity and groundedness for life.


Being heard and deeply listening to others, maintains emotional and physical well-being. It nurtures and deepens the wonderful cornucopia of; presence, warmth, caring, community, belonging, feeling seen, validation, openness, spaciousness, creativity, collaboration, peace, love, etc. I could go on and on.

Empathy restoratively heals us from the feelings of; stress, being stuck, anxiety, fear, loneliness, alienation, self-doubt, self-judgment, grief, shame, depression, suffering, etc.


Empathy mediates conflicts. It restores healthy connection by resolving personal and interpersonal conflicts. With these skills and attitudes, you will be able to transformationally mediate conflicts, both internally and between others.


Empathy is a foundation for creativity, innovation and action. It is the core of Human-Centered Design which is a process used for creatively designing products, systems, processes and experiences that meet people's aspirations, needs, values and dreams.

By taking part in an Empathy Circle, you will learn to host your own circles with; personal relationships, family, friends, creative teams, colleagues and the larger community. Join an Empathy Circle to build an ever more caring and connected world.

More Benefits of Empathy...

How it Works and What to Expect

 Empathy Circles are a quiet space that gives you the time to be listened to through reflective dialog, where your conversation is uninterrupted and then reflected back to you until you feel that you have been fully heard, seen and validated to your satisfaction. We accompany each other in our personal journeys. These circles of equal peers serve as a platform for nurturing and developing deeper empathy. They are a foundational base and first step in a curriculum of empathy based processes, skills and way of life. See recordings of past circles.


by Edmond Aman-Jean
Empathy is saying to someone:
Im trying to be a companion to you in your
search and your exploration.
I want to know, am I with you?
Is this the way it seems to you?
Is this the thing youre trying to express?
Is this the meaning it has for you?
So in a sense Im saying,
Im walking with you step by step,
and I want to make sure I am with you.
Am I with you?
So thats a little bit of my understanding about empathy."

Carl Rogers

Flexible Dates, Times and Fees

10 Minutes of Free One on One Empathy, focusing on your feelings and connecting with your humanity. No judgments, advice, analysis, detachment, diagnosing, sympathy or pity.

Initial 30 Minute Dialog to learn more, clarity your needs and see what next steps to take.
Schedule a time and date. ($20)

Hourly One on One Empathic Listening. ($90 hr)

Empathy Circles. Join a weekly Empathy Circle at convenient times for you and others during the week. Four week series.
($25 per circle, $100 for the series of four circles).
Let me know times you have available during the week and we can form a circle at for that time.

Some Open Upcoming Circle Series Dates and Times

Circle 20 Saturdays 10 am PDT/1 pm EDT November 2, 9, 16, 23, etc
  (I'd like to fill this circle 20 first)
Circle 21 Saturdays 12 pm PDT/3 pm EDT November 2, 9, 16, 23, etc
Circle 23 Fridays 10 am PDT/1 pm EDT November 1, 8, 15, 22, etc
Circle # We can create a circle at times that work for you.

Restorative Empathy Circle for Conflict Resolution. I can bring the mediation process into your home, office, community or online. We resolve conflict and give you the tools for holding your own ongoing Empathy Circles. This is incredibly helpful in a family or work environments. ($120 hr)

Empathy Cafe. Hosting group Empathy Circles of 10 to 100 people+. Available for using dialog and Empathy Circles for addressing social issues in organizations, churches, town halls, conferences, etc.


Empathic Human-Centered Design. Using empathy for design team building, as well as, user needs, goals and aspiration finding.


Theme Based Empathy Circles. I'll shortly be launching theme based circles. (Bring 4 people together on the topic of your choice and we can form a circle on that theme). Topics include:

  • Discovering and articulating your values, needs, desires, personal meaning and dreams.

  • Fostering Empathy in the Family

  • Addressing our Anxieties and Fears

  • Empathy and Compassion for Animals

  • Developing Creativity and Innovation

  • Learning and Book Club Circles

  • Empathy Circle Facilitator Trainings

  • Restorative Empathy Circle (REC) Facilitator Trainings

  • Nurturing Transformational Empathic Relationships

  • Addressing Stress

  • Addressing Grief

  • Addressing Depression

  • Addressing Shame

  • Addressing Narcissism and Psychopathy

  • etc. etc.




 To connect you'll need a webcam and a Google+ account.. For the setup see these instructions..
 As an alternative we can also use Skype.

 In Person Empathy Circles: If you are in the San Francisco East Bay you can join an in-person Empathy Circles.

 Send PayPal payment directly to:


Facilitated by Edwin Rutsch, Founding Director: Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

I'm here to support your needs, values and yearnings for empathy. Let me know what they are and I will work to create and design ways to support you. My purpose and vision for life is to build a world wide culture of empathy and compassion. A global culture where empathy, standing in each others shoes and supporting each other, becomes the primary and most important social value. If you have questions or to take the next step, send me an email at  I look forward to hearing from you.

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