Born for Love: Why Empathy is essential and endangered

by Maia Szalavitz and Bruce Perry

Bruce Perry is an American Psychiatrist who has devoted his life to researching and educating around childhood trauma, continuing to find and validate approaches that truly heal.  In this book Bruce looks at how trauma can impact our empathic capacity and what we can do to help it heal and evolve.

Each chapter presents a new insight into factors that can contribute to “empathy deficit”, as individuals and as a society.  he does this through the telling of raw and beautiful human stories.  He ends with a vision of empathy fully expressed “in a community of nurturing interdependent people (promoting) health, creativity, intelligence and productivity.  Bruce reminds us that empathy is a collective responsibility with collective as well as individual benefits.

Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution

by Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric is an internationally recognised modern day philosopher and expert on empathy, advising organisations such as Oxfam and the United Nations on empathy and conversation to generate social change.  In this book he explores empathy as “the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions”.

With his Six Habits of Highly Empathic People, he takes the reader through practical steps to enhance your empathy, by switching on your empathic brain, making an imaginative leap, seeking experiential adventures, practicing the craft of conversations, travelling in your armchair and inspiring a revolution.

The Art of Empathy

by Karla McLaren

Karla McLaren is a social sciences researcher and educator in the field of empathy and emotion.  She has developed a six point model for understanding and developing empathy – emotional contagion, empathic accuracy, emotion regulation, perspective taking, concern for others and perceptive engagement.  In this book she tells her personal story as a high empathic person and teaches how to become more flexible with dialing empathy up or down as needed.

The Art of Empathy: A Training course in Life’s Most Essential Skill”

by Karla McLaren

An audio book from Karla McLaren with exercises to support regulation of emotion and moving into authentic relating with others.

Listening with Empathy: Creating Genuine Connections with Customers and Colleagues

by John Selby

In this book, Psychologist John Selby takes us through a four step process for interacting from empathy in the workplace – improving relating with clients and colleagues. John is keen to redress the imbalance where we receive much training at school and beyond in intellectual and practical tasks, but little on relating skills.

Working through the stages of preparation, the moment of the encounter, empathic communication and processing, he discusses the importance of empathy in generating a valued customer experience, with plenty of “how to” tips along the way.

The Social Neuroscience of Empathy

Edited by Jean Decety and William Ickes

A collection of contemporary academic essays bringing together divergent understandings of empathy as a foundation for research and clinical insight.  An up to date and comprehensive inside view for professionals working with empathy.

The Art of Somatic Coaching

by Richard Stozzi-Heckler

“Feeling means turning the attention to the life of the body and being with the core life energy that is the source of our vitality and aliveness.  Pulsations, fluctuations of temperature, currents, dark poolings, vibrations, wells of great joy, streaming, images and sensate narratives all tell us we are in the feeling self.”

Richard Stozzi-Heckler is a leadership coach who emphasises the importance of being in and with the experiences of the body, in order to feel more alive and connect in more authentic ways.