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About living with (or recovering from) Mental Disorders and Co-Dependency
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Bunnies, Stinkbugs and Maggots: The Secrets of Empathy | TIME.com

Bunnies, Stinkbugs and Maggots: The Secrets of Empathy | TIME.com | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
Feeling what someone else feels isn't easy, but the brain is wired for it
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Brain can be trained in compassion, study shows

Brain can be trained in compassion, study shows | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report, published Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.

 

"Our fundamental question was, 'Can compassion be trained and learned in adults? Can we become more caring if we practice that mindset?'" says Helen Weng, lead author of the study and a graduate student in clinical psychology. "Our evidence points to yes."


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Marilyne Kubath's curator insight, May 29, 2013 5:46 AM

This is excellent.

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The Biology of Kindness: How It Makes Us Happier and Healthier | TIME.com

The Biology of Kindness: How It Makes Us Happier and Healthier | TIME.com | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

There’s a reason why being kind to others is good for you — and it can now be traced to a specific nerve.

 

When it comes to staying healthy, both physically and mentally, studies consistently show that strong relationships are at least as important as avoiding smoking and obesity. But how does social support translate into physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, healthier weights and other physiological measures of sound health? A new study published in Psychological Science suggests that the link may follow the twisting path of the vagus nerve, which connects social contact to the positive emotions that can flow from interactions.

 

By Maia Szalavitz


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Marilyne Kubath's curator insight, May 24, 2013 7:59 AM

I think this is true if you do something nice and decent you do feel a bit better about, but if do something a bit mean you feel a lot worse.

Abigail McNeely's comment, June 3, 2013 2:21 PM
I find it so interesting that we in the West need physical evidence to really start believing in something. Not that it's wrong to want evidence, after all that's what critical thinking is about. Thank goodness technology is now helping us catch up with folk wisdom.
Marilyne Kubath's comment, June 3, 2013 2:32 PM
I agree all governments need to relearn this.
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Meditation Makes Us Act with Compassion

Meditation Makes Us Act with Compassion | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

A new study suggests mindfulness meditation can help us overcome the "bystander effect.

 

In the study, Paul Condon and Dave DeSteno of Northeastern University and Gaelle Desbordes of Massachusetts General Hospital assigned people with little or no meditation experience to one of two eight-week meditation classes, or put them on a wait list for a class. One class was a mindfulness meditation class geared toward focusing and calming the mind. The other covered similar terrain but also discussed compassion and suffering.

 

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas


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The Practice of Empathy - Forbes

The Practice of Empathy - Forbes | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

A client of mine is totally fed up with his boss. He has recently undergone quite a difficult, uncomfortable operation – the second in a series. Since then, there have been several interactions with his boss. Not once has he been asked how he is; worse, the task heat is full-on with a series of late night conference calls, led by the boss who always requires my client’s attendance. Amazed by the complete lack of empathy shown by his boss, my client is fast losing trust in him.

 

Empathy is right at the core of trusted relationships. If someone is genuinely on our side, interested in what we are thinking and feeling, and intent on helping us out – then we feel safer with them, readier to talk about what is uncomfortable and challenging for us, and more prepared to give them our trust.

 

by Julian Powe 


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Forget the Placebo Effect: It's the 'Care Effect' That Matters

Forget the Placebo Effect: It's the 'Care Effect' That Matters | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
Nathanael Johnson explores the “care effect” — the idea that the opportunity for patients to feel heard and cared for can improve their health.

 

What Kaptchuk demonstrated is what some medical thinkers have begun to call the “care effect” — the idea that the opportunity for patients to feel heard and cared for can improve their health. Scientific or no, alternative practitioners tend to express empathy, to allow for unhurried silences, and to ask what meaning patients make of their pain. Kaptchuk’s study was a breakthrough: It showed that randomized, controlled trials could measure the effect of caring.

 

But there was already abundant evidence from nursing science to suggest a healing power in the interaction between practitioner and patient. A study in Turkey found that empathetic nurses improved the symptoms of patients with hypertension. Midwestern cancer patients who received massages slept better and had less pain.

 

BY NATHANAEL JOHNSON

 


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OCPD - Scattered Thoughts from the Front Lines: Empathy vs. Sympathy vs. File Not Found

OCPD - Scattered Thoughts from the Front Lines: Empathy vs. Sympathy vs. File Not Found | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

When we say we want a partner to demonstrate empathy, is perhaps what we really mean  sympathy?

 

The point has been made by some of my friends battling OCPD is that it's not that they necessarily lack empathy (though sometimes they do). In fact, when someone they love is hurting, they are often all knotted up inside, hurting with and for their partner, but often, none of that shows on the outside.

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Empathy Movement - Empathy Circle 2 (2012-10-20) be the circle user guide

Empathy Movement Home Page at: http://j.mp/QS1cBc
We are starting online discussions, organizing and planning for building an empathy movement. Join now and let's build a culture of empathy.

 

Center for Building a Culture of Empathy - A portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion.
http://CultureOfEmpathy.com


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Is There Such Thing as Too Much Empathy? - Addiction Recovery

Is There Such Thing as Too Much Empathy? - Addiction Recovery | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

A critical task of addiction recovery is restoring empathy. By sharing stories and reaching out to help others in recovery, addicts gradually repair the empathy deficits caused by drug and alcohol abuse. But is it possible to have too much empathy? When does being “too nice” become a problem?...

 

Keeping Empathy in Check
When empathy goes into overdrive, people put themselves at risk for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and physical complications such as heart disease and high blood pressure....

 

By DAVID SACK, M.D.


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Psychopaths can feel empathy on demand

Psychopaths can feel empathy on demand | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

Psychopaths do not lack empathy and can turn it on when they want to, according to new research that challenges the current understanding of the psychological disorder.

 

Psychopaths involved in the study showed very little empathy for others, but this was reversed once they were told the experiment would measure their levels of empathy.

 

“It was one of the really exciting and surprising results,” said Christian Keysers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, who announced these results at the Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin, Ireland.

 

by Tara Francis

http://j.mp/OJBCKr


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"Empathy leads you to very bad decisions." What?? Empathy, the brain, and relationships. | Psychology Today

"Empathy leads you to very bad decisions." What?? Empathy, the brain, and relationships. | Psychology Today | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
"Empathy leads to bad decisions." What?? Empathy, the brain, and relationships. By Marsha Lucas, Ph.D....
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5 Ways to Deal with Emotional Oversensitivity

5 Ways to Deal with Emotional Oversensitivity | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
To help with my emotional oversensitivity so my feelings aren't hurt so often, I've developed a way to examine the true cause of any pain I feel.
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WATCH: Learning To Read Someone Else's Mind

WATCH: Learning To Read Someone Else's Mind | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
Cooperating in large groups is a signature accomplishment of the human brain: among similar species, we are remarkably good at working together and negotiating our differences.
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Science Seat: Where morals come from

Science Seat: Where morals come from | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

By Kelly Murray, CNN  The Science Seat 

 

CNN: Tell us more about the origins of empathy.

 

De Waal: We think that the origin of empathy, in the mammals at least, has to do with maternal care. So a female, whether you’re a mouse or an elephant, you need to pay attention to your offspring, you need to react to their emotions when they’re cold, or in danger, or hungry, and that’s where we think the sensitivity to others’ emotions come from.

 

That also explains why empathy is more developed in females than males, which is true in many animals, and it’s true for humans, and it explains the role of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a maternal hormone. If you spray oxytocin into the nostrils of men and women, you get more empathic (empathetic) reactions from them,  and so the general thinking about empathy is that it started in the mammals with maternal care, and then from there it spread to other relationships.  So men can definitely have empathy, but they on average have a little bit less of it than women.

 

CNN: By empathy, you mean that they feel each others’ pain?

 


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I Don't Feel Your Pain: Overcoming Roadblocks to Empathy

I Don't Feel Your Pain: Overcoming Roadblocks to Empathy | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
Why empathy is import at home and work and how to be better at it.

 

Neuroscientists have recently discovered that humans are wired to experience empathy through multiple systems of mirror neurons in our brains. These mirror neurons reflect back actions that we observe in others causing us to mimic that action in our own brains.  When we observe someone in pain or when we are with someone happy, we experience that to a certain extent. These mirror neurons are the primary physiological basis of empathy. They create a neural Wi-Fi that connects us to the feelings of people around us. 

 

Many people seem to be naturally empathetic. Others are not.  The good news is that research shows that empathy can be learned. There are however a few potential roadblocks to empathy that must be overcome.

 

by David F. Swink


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Barbara Kerr's curator insight, March 10, 2013 2:55 PM

Did you know that the training for negotiating with hostage-takers includes "faking" empathy--and that those being trained actually come to feel some empathy for someone they despise?  Good article about how we can learn to develop our empathy for improved relationships.

Barbara Kerr's curator insight, March 10, 2013 2:56 PM

Did you know that those who negotiate with hostage-takers are trained to "fake" empathy?  Read more to see what happens!

Garth Sanginiti's curator insight, August 1, 2013 9:57 PM

Empathy is a key skill to dealing and interacting with people in a manner that produces positive outcome and builds healthy relationships.  The article does a good job explaining what emphathy is, as well as giving some tips to improve in this area.  It also includes facts to support the assertion that empathy matters at work, "Empathy is also important in the workplace. A study conducted by the Center for Creatively Leadership investigated 6,731 leaders from 38 countries. Their results reveal that empathy is positively related to job performance. The study concluded that managers who show more empathy toward direct reports are viewed as better performers in their job by their bosses."

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Reading Fiction Can Make You More Empathetic

Reading Fiction Can Make You More Empathetic | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

Fiction as an empathy workout. What makes bookworms such bleeding hearts? A new study led by P. Matthijs Bal of VU University in the Netherlands finds that readers who emotionally immerse themselves with written fiction for weeklong periods can help boost their empathetic skills.

 

The researchers discovered this by having university students read either fiction by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and José Saramago or items from a newspaper. Gauging the participants' empathetic abilities and self-reported emotions before and after such reading sessions, they found that the fiction readers got more of an emotional workout than the nonfiction readers. And they became noticeably more empathetic after a week of such experiments.

 

DAVID WAGNER

 

 


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Scott Swain's curator insight, February 25, 2013 9:32 PM

Being a book nerd since 4 months old when mom put books in her vagina, I love hearing stuff like this!

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Oakland Effect: Can a lack of empathy lead to violent behavior?

Oakland Effect: Can a lack of empathy lead to violent behavior? | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

Several months ago, I was talking to an Oakland police officer on the telephone, discussing a particular homicide investigation, when the conversation turned broad.

 

...science is increasingly showing us that repeated exposure to violence -- whether it's gang-related, domestic abuse, psychological torture, maternal separation or substance abuse -- has the long-term effect of dulling and in some cases eliminating the trait of empathy. This is key. Empathy is paramount to socialization, understanding social cues, conversing and communicating with others. It is one of the things that makes us most human. Conversely, a lack of empathy, or a dulled and stunted sense of empathy, is a crippling handicap, as well as a pretty good marker of someone bearing the traits of a psychopath.

 

By Scott Johnson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland,_California


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Alcoholic men demonstrate a deficit in empathy and distorted view of irony

Emotions are often implicit undertones to our communication interactions, and decoding them requires substantial social and cognitive abilities. A study of the ability of chronic male alcoholics to recognize the emotional component of irony in relation to their empathic abilities has found a clear deficit.

 

More specifically, the alcoholics demonstrated: a deficit of empathic functions; a specific impairment of the "social skills" component of empathy; a disturbed comprehension of irony; difficulties in recognizing the emotional dimension in communication; difficulties in identifying speakers' emotional states and intentions; and an overestimation of positive emotions and a misunderstanding of the negative connotation of ironic situations.

 

[Of course . . . hard to know which came first. It's entirely possible that their low levels of empathy and resulting relationship difficulties led to the chronic alcohol abuse to begin with.]

 

 


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Anette Due Rosenzweig's comment, November 12, 2012 9:02 PM
I tend to agree with the last statement!
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The Link Between Meditation And Empathy

The Link Between Meditation And Empathy | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
Meditation could help people to be more empathetic, according to a small new study from Emory University.

 

"It's an intriguing result, suggesting that a behavioral intervention could enhance a key aspect of empathy," study researcher Jennifer Mascaro,

 

After the eight weeks, all the study participants completed the "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" test again. The researchers found that people who underwent the meditation training program had a 4.6 percent higher score on the empathy test at the end of the study period. Meanwhile, people who only partook in the discussion classes didn't experience any increase in empathy scores, and some even experienced a decrease in their scores.

The brain scans also revealed that people who took the meditation courses also had increased brain activity in the regions linked with empathy.


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Empathy, Education, and Musical Chairs: brains are actually primed for both competition and cooperation

Empathy, Education, and Musical Chairs: brains are actually primed for both competition and cooperation | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

...As it turns out, however, recent scientific advancements in the field of neuroscience are showing that actually, these parents--and everyone else who believes that people are only inherently competitive--are wrong. Instead, human brains are actually primed for both competition and cooperation: which side of us emerges as more dominant is dependent on our culture....

 

But of course, right now, our culture does not nurture empathy and cooperation. Instead, in schools, our homes, in the media, and in every aspect of our lives, we value competition...

 

Multiple fields of scientific research, including neuroscience, primatology, evolutionary biology, cognitive ethology (the study of animal behavior in naturalistic settings), social psychology, and subfields in philosophy have produced enough evidence over the past two decades to confirm that our greatest hope for the future rests in understanding the real possibilities of human biology, and beginning to translate these findings into our culture (de Waal, 2009).

 

 by Nadine Dolby

img wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OCP_Musical_Chairs.jpg

 


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Individual differences in altruism explained by brain region involved in empathy

Individual differences in altruism explained by brain region involved in empathy | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

What can explain extreme differences in altruism among individuals, from Ebenezer Scrooge to Mother Teresa? It may all come down to variation in the size and activity of a brain region involved in appreciating others' perspectives, according to a study published in the July 12th issue of the journal Neuron. The findings also provide a neural explanation for why altruistic tendencies remain stable over time.

 

The junction (yellow) between the parietal and the temporal lobes, in which the relative proportion of gray matter is significantly positively correlated with the propensity for altruistic behavior. ..

 

Individuals who excel at understanding others' intents and beliefs are more altruistic than those who struggle at this task. ...


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Social Entrepreneurship, Empathy at the Heart of Rio+20 and the New Economy

Social Entrepreneurship, Empathy at the Heart of Rio+20 and the New Economy | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

And the forum featured expert debates and inspiring stories to feed these eager changemakers; the main sessions touched on critical concepts, such as empathy, new social business models, and the new challenges of social activism, while the parallel workshops brought practical examples of what is already being done (and working!) to change systems worldwide.

 

Empathy was the constant, unifying concept at the heart of every discussion, from the first panel, where Leonardo Boff argued that human society is transitioning from a conquest paradigm to a paradigm of care (or give-a-damn), to the last session, where Boaventura de Sousa Santos said that to make life sustainable in cities the most important value was reciprocity.


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