National Council for Behavioral Health
Published on May 15, 2014
From birth, we seek intimate connections, bonds made possible by empathy — the ability to love and to share the feelings of others. Review scientific and historical examples of how empathy develops, why it is essential to our development, and how the modern world threatens it. Explore how compassion underlies the qualities that make society work and how difficulties related to empathy are key factors in social problems, mental illness, and even physical health. Learn how recent technological changes, child-rearing practices, education, and lifestyles affect a child's understanding of human contact and deep relationships, the foundation for empathy and a caring, healthy society. Take home practical ideas for combating the negative influences of modern life and fostering social change.
Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. is an American psychiatrist, currently the Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.