Thought for today:

‘I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.’

— Walt Whitman

#thoughtfortoday #empathy #sympathy #feelings #emotions #therapy #counselling #coaching

I am often asked about the difference between empathy and sympathy.

I was taught this and still struggle to succinctly describe the difference in a way that is helpful.

I think I can feel the difference better than I can express it.

I have a few “heroes” I can turn to for guidance.

One is Julia Samuel the highly experienced grief counsellor and author.

Another is Irvin Yalom – I am following one of his masterclasses right now.

Empathy is about feelings and emotions where sympathy is about thoughts and cognition.

Then I found a Brené Brown TED talk which breaks it down into four elements.

This is the work of Theresa Wiseman.

Wiseman used a model of concept analysis by Lorraine Walker and Kay Avant.

How can a concept of caring be so involved?

Well, watch this RSA Short video drawn to match Brené Brown’s words to see:


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