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Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change




 Research in empathy and
compassion as a factor for
        change:




     Lidewij Niezink, PhD
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change




 How our world is Changing
Google Books (corpus English) 1900-2008
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change




                     How our world is Changing




Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have
been done for the terms you've entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Google
over time.
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



How our world is Changing
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Problem: what is empathy?
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Input from diverse fields of scientific enquiry:

•Psychology
•Neuroscience
•Biology
•Philosophy
•Arts / Humanities
•Anthropology
•etc
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



The Empathy Umbrella: Explosion of output!
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



The Empathy Umbrella: We all contribute
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



          The Empathy Umbrella:
         How can we come together?

Combining Research and
   Walking the talk:
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



                  Empathy Circles

• Open to anyone with a willingness to practice empathy.
• Focussed on deepening different empathic skill
  components.
• Offer a platform: from a need to be heard to a space to
  listen.
• International: online, through Google Hangouts: on
  youtube
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Empathy Circles:
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



          Empathy Circles: Intention

• Stepping out of reactivity into intentionality.
• Behavioral intentions predict intentional behavior
  (Ajzen, 1991) depending on ultimate interest.
• I am willing to empathize: from ultimate (society/
  culture) to specific (in this circle).
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Ritualize Intention
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



         Empathy Circles: Self-Empathy

• Mindfulness / Open awareness
• Meta-cognition: the ability to know that we know, to
  observe that we think (Flavell, 1979).
• Self-Compassion: extremely important for emotion
  regulation (Neff, 2003).
• Non-Judgemental
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Empathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Empathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Empathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



    Empathy Circles: Reflective Empathy
• Rogers: Client Centered Therapy
• When reflected: Better Emotion Regulation
  • Less negative affect after describing conflict
  • More alignment (language and ideas)
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



   Empathy Circles: Imaginative Empathy
• Cognitive empathy / theory of mind (ToM) or
  mentalizing: the ability to represent and
  understand the mental states of others.
• Empathic accuracy: 25-35% (Ickes, 2003)
• Block: projection
• Perspective taking: self vs other

• Story telling / Role play / Fantasizing
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



       Empathy Circles: Empathic Arising

•   Mysterious consequence... Action/creativity
•   Arising in the moment, signalled by arousal.
•   A feeling of belonging due to the circle process
•   Tapping into motivational system
•   Building resillience?
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Empathy Circles:
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



      Empathy Circles: Building a Culture

•   Restorative Empathy Circles
•   Family Empathy Circles
•   Mediation Empathy Circles
•   Scholarly Empathy Circles
•   Charter for Compassion Book Club Empathy
    Circles
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



            Empathy Circles: Invitation
•   Participate in a circle.
•   Help us in researching the effects of the circles
•   Join us in applying your findings!
•   Want to know more? It is all online ;-)
Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change



Blowing our intention into the world

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Empathy Circles: Building Understanding

  • 1. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Research in empathy and compassion as a factor for change: Lidewij Niezink, PhD
  • 2. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change How our world is Changing Google Books (corpus English) 1900-2008
  • 3. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change How our world is Changing Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you've entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.
  • 4. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change How our world is Changing
  • 5. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Problem: what is empathy?
  • 6. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Input from diverse fields of scientific enquiry: •Psychology •Neuroscience •Biology •Philosophy •Arts / Humanities •Anthropology •etc
  • 7. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change The Empathy Umbrella: Explosion of output!
  • 8. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change The Empathy Umbrella: We all contribute
  • 9. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change The Empathy Umbrella: How can we come together? Combining Research and Walking the talk:
  • 10. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles • Open to anyone with a willingness to practice empathy. • Focussed on deepening different empathic skill components. • Offer a platform: from a need to be heard to a space to listen. • International: online, through Google Hangouts: on youtube
  • 11. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles:
  • 12. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Intention • Stepping out of reactivity into intentionality. • Behavioral intentions predict intentional behavior (Ajzen, 1991) depending on ultimate interest. • I am willing to empathize: from ultimate (society/ culture) to specific (in this circle).
  • 13. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Ritualize Intention
  • 14. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Self-Empathy • Mindfulness / Open awareness • Meta-cognition: the ability to know that we know, to observe that we think (Flavell, 1979). • Self-Compassion: extremely important for emotion regulation (Neff, 2003). • Non-Judgemental
  • 15. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
  • 16. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
  • 17. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
  • 18. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Reflective Empathy • Rogers: Client Centered Therapy • When reflected: Better Emotion Regulation • Less negative affect after describing conflict • More alignment (language and ideas)
  • 19. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Imaginative Empathy • Cognitive empathy / theory of mind (ToM) or mentalizing: the ability to represent and understand the mental states of others. • Empathic accuracy: 25-35% (Ickes, 2003) • Block: projection • Perspective taking: self vs other • Story telling / Role play / Fantasizing
  • 20. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Empathic Arising • Mysterious consequence... Action/creativity • Arising in the moment, signalled by arousal. • A feeling of belonging due to the circle process • Tapping into motivational system • Building resillience?
  • 21. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles:
  • 22. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Building a Culture • Restorative Empathy Circles • Family Empathy Circles • Mediation Empathy Circles • Scholarly Empathy Circles • Charter for Compassion Book Club Empathy Circles
  • 23. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Invitation • Participate in a circle. • Help us in researching the effects of the circles • Join us in applying your findings! • Want to know more? It is all online ;-)
  • 24. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Blowing our intention into the world

Editor's Notes

  1. All empathy but: some about brainstructures, other about self reports or observations or tasks or neurons.
  2. And we ritualize this intention by lighting a candle. Not for no reason because Paul Zak, who is doing a lot of work on the role of oxytocin in empathy, suggested to us that ritual might be one way to release Oxytocin. And research shows that o xytocin facilitates closeness and generosity (Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005; Zak, Stanton & Ahmadi, 2007).
  3. in order to not end up in experiencing just personal distress but rather to be able to empathize, we need a good capacity to regulate emotions elicited in empathy contexts.
  4. As you can see, I fit in nicely too. We get our Mirror Neuron System into gear, we mimic each other as to increase affiliation and positive social judgment. Research shows that we like others better when they mimic us and that mirroring also increases pro-social orientation in general (van Baaren et al., 2004;Ashton–James et al., 2007; Fischer-Lokou et al., 2011.;Guéguen et al., 2011; Stel andHarinck, 2011). If not for all the scientific reasons, I can assure you that mirroring each other is always a very joyful exercise!
  5. Interlocutors tend to automatically align at different levels of linguistic representation, e.g., through repeating each other’s words and grammar (Garrod and Pickering, 2004). Communicates interest and commitment in understanding the other’s perspective, thereby implying that their feelings are valid and worth listening to.
  6. Rime (2009) suggests that socio- affective responses such as comfort and empathy temporarily alleviate a narrator’s negative emotions and generate a deep feeling of relief.