Empathy – Is it Essential?

Roxane is a Recovery and Grief Empowerment Coach, who shows women in recovery experiencing loss how to be empowered by their grief so that they can move beyond loss rebalance, reclaim and renew their lives without relapsing. Women who are ready to move beyond the victim consciousness to the creator consciousness. She offers encouragement and guidance in all areas of their life in order to ensure best possible outcomes. Roxane’s own life experiences and training have given her the empathy, passion and desire to support others in their recovery and grief journey.

Roxane uses a self-empowering, client-directed and personalized approach that promotes ownership and involvement in the recovery process. She follows the philosophy of meeting an individual where they are at in their journey. She listens carefully to the individual in order to create a coaching program that is tailored to each individual based on their needs and beliefs. In her Recovery Coaching, she applies and uses a holistic approach, which focuses on mind, body and spirit. This integrates the social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical dimensions of wellness.

Roxane is currently offering powerful Coaching Sessions that will assist women in being empowered by their grief and moving beyond loss so they can rebalance, reclaim and renew their lives. Roxane lives in San Diego, California and enjoys the beach, hiking, reading, fitness, photography, and spending time with family and friends.

Empathy – a deep appreciation for another’s situation and point of view

It is imperative that a Recovery Coach has the ability to empathize with their clients, whether the client is an individual with a substance use disorder (SUD) and/or their concerned significant other (CSO). Empathy builds trust, respect, and creates a safe environment for the client. It also invites relationship and creates an important bond from the start.

Showing empathy towards a client doesn’t mean we condone their behavior, we just understand their reasons. A client will most likely see the insincerity so it’s critical that empathy is genuine or it could damage the relationship.

Care should be taken to not confuse empathy with compassion. Compassion allows one to sympathize with another individual, but doesn’t allow one to necessarily understand their feelings. Empathy allows one to act compassionately towards another individual, there by making them feel at ease. It has the effect of helping and individual not feel alone.
One can display empathy by using reflective listening, which involves careful listening and reflecting back to the individual what you heard them say. Empathy goes both ways, so opening up to your client will allow them to display empathy as well. Another crucial way of displaying empathy is by withholding judgment.

The internationally known Psychologist, Daniel Goleman, lists 3 distinct categories:
Cognitive Empathy, means that we can understand how the other person thinks; we see his point of view. this makes for good debaters, sales people and negotiators.
Emotional Empathy, refers to someone who feels within herself the emotions of the person she’s with. This creates a sense of rapport.

Empathic/Compassionate Concern, means we not only understand how the person see things and feels in the moment, but also want to help them if we sense the need.

If one feels they do not have enough empathy it is possible to build up their empathy.
Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D. wrote in Psychology Today that we have the ability to boost our empathy. She also states that we have the ability to empathize anytime we want. We just have to practice.

Empathy is clearly an important skill. It inspires us to help others and is crucial in building strong relationships. What do you think, is empathy essential? Comment below.

References:
“Empathy” — Who’s Got It, Who Does Not, by Daniel Goleman, Psychologist
Giving Your Empathy a Boost, by Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D.

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