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Empathy is like oxygen for the soul (according to a famous statement by Heinz Kohut). So if you are experiencing a shortness of breath in your relationships, career, or commitments, maybe you are not getting enough empathy. My commitment is to provide a gracious and generous listening – empathy. The commitment of these books and the radio show is to expand the flow of oxygen to your soul, so you can breath easy. A Rumor of Empathy is LESS of a rumor and more of an EXPANDED reality in the community today as this work goes forward. Meanwhile…
Join Lou for an “on the air” discussion on Voice America Internet Talk Radio, about 5 More Tips on How to Expand Your Empathy – Wednesday at noon (CDT): [click to hear live or replay thereafter) – http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2448/a-rumor-of-empathy so that empathy is less of a rumor and an expanded reality in the community. Contact Lou at aRumorOfEmpathy@gmail.com to schedule an interview, event, or to work one-on-one on empathy.
Those interested in the history of empathy – the distinction, not just the word – will want to check out:
Those into a Heideggerian account of empathy with further work in Searle’s speech act approach, Husserl, and Kohut will want to check out:
In empathy one person is quite simply in the presence of another human being. Empathy is supposedly like apple pie and motherhood. What’s not to like? Yet being empathic can be confronting and anxiety inspiring because one has to dispense with evaluations, filters, diagnostic labels, and egocentrism and be with the other person as a way of being. Empathy arouses subtle and pervasive resistances. A Rumor of Empathy engages such resistances to overcome them. People are naturally empathic and given half a chance empathy will come forth, but it is inhibited by limited natural endowment, individual deprivations, and organizational conformity. Classic interventions can themselves represent resistances to empathy, such as the unexamined life; over-medication, and the application of devaluing diagnostic labels to expressions of suffering. Agosta explores how empathy is distinguished as a unified multidimensional clinical engagement, encompassing receptivity, understanding, interpretation and narrative. When all the resistances have been engaged, defenses analyzed, diagnostic categories applied, prescriptions written, and interpretive circles spun out, in empathy one is quite simply in the presence of another human being.
Lou Agosta, Ph.D., is one of the premier empathy consultants, psychotherapists, and educators in the community. He is the author of three books on empathy including the book that is the subject of this announcement and A Rumor of Empathy: Rewriting Empathy in the Context of Philosophy (Palgrave 2014), a short history of empathy in Hume, Kant, Lipps, Freud, Scheler, and Husserl; Empathy in the Context of Philosophy (Palgrave 2010), a Heideggerian interpretation of empathy with follow on results in Searle, Husserl, and Kohut. For further details on empathy therapy, consulting, and education see www.aRumorOfEmpathy.com
Credit: Cover art by Alex Zonis – http://www.AlexZonisArt.com
Credit: Lou Marinoff, Ph.D. has published a book Plato Not Prozac (Harper Press), which I liked so much that I use it as the title – with attribution – for a chapter in the book that is the occasion for this post. Thanks, Lou! – www.loumarinoff.com/books/
(c) Lou Agosta, Ph.D. and the Chicago Empathy Project