Why all the hype about empathy? Why is it so important?

It reduces stress and fosters resilience, trust, healing, personal growth, creativity, learning and nourishes connection. Empathy also transforms conflict, and supports sustainable collaborative action and positive social change. And if that’s not enough, it also feels really good. The pleasure centers of the brain light up when we are empathically heard and understood.

What exactly is ‘empathy’ and what will I get from attending this event?

Empathy is a quality of connection wherein we reach to touch what is alive in someone’s heart of hearts at the present moment, the life energy moving through them. 

We also use the word “empathy” to refer to the actions we take as we move toward that quality of connection: focusing our attention on sensing, understanding, and connecting with the person’s feelings and/or needs. 

The gift of our empathy can be conveyed to another in several ways, some with words and some without. We choose the level based on what is available to us as well as our assessment of what is most likely to contribute to the quality of connection and understanding we are aiming for and the context within which we operate. During the day, we will explore the following approaches:

* Empathic presence
* Empathic understanding 
* Empathic reflection
* Empathic expression
* Empathic Action

We will have the option to explore some of the following concepts and applications of the empathy process:

* Empathy vs. Sympathy and Identification 
* Empathic Sensing vs. Intellectual Guessing
* Following vs. Leading
* Staying with the Present vs. Analyzing
* Question vs. Statement Phrasing
* Words vs. Heart 
* Content vs. Quality of Connection
* Balancing Brevity and Connection
* Naturalizing the Language of Empathy
* Connecting with Strategies and “Stories”
* Relief, Healing, and Transformation
* Connecting with the Body
* Meeting Intensity
* Pacing and Silence
* Working with "Repetitive" Statements 
* Fine-Tuning Depth 
* Matching Energy 
* Self-Expression During Empathy
* Transitioning Out of Empathic Focus on One Person
* Reacting to the Other Person’s Story 
* Intensifying Emotions
* Facing Judgments and the Needs behind Them 
* Needing Empathy Ourselves 
* “Enemy Images”
* Concern About Seeming to Agree
* Letting Ourselves Be Moved 
* Power Differences

“Incredibly helpful. Completely changed my perspective on my own communication”

- S. H -


“I am very glad to have taken part and have learned very do-able and accessible skills”

- W. B -


“This training has been a real empowerment tool for me. I am so grateful for Donal bringing NVC into my life this weekend. I have a new tool kit that empowers me to meet myself and my own needs while meeting the other in a heart centred way”

- S. T -