Cultivating Empathy: Inspiring Health Professionals to Communicate More Effectively

Research demonstrates that even if empathy – the capacity to perceive or share emotions with other beings – is not part of a person’s communication skill set, it can be taught. Empathy can, therefore be viewed as an acquired communication skill. Cultivating and practicing the skill of empathy among health care providers enhances the quality of care experienced by their patients which, in turn, can even improve work satisfaction for health care providers.

Many communication textbooks or manuals for care giving professions primarily focus on specific communication skills and techniques. Cultivating Empathy takes a different approach; the book sets empathy as the foundation of all therapeutic interactions and teaches the reader to learn the art of empathy by using constructive approaches and research findings from social sciences and neuroscience.

Cultivating Empathy is perfect for any student or practicing health care professional who has felt that there was an absence of rapport when interacting with clients or patients and their families. Real case narratives, dynamic interactive exercises and simulation techniques are also provided in this text to assist helpers to learn how to be more empathetic. Readers will gain awareness about human and emotional aspects of patient care, which will hopefully make a positive contribution to their professional practice.