Helen Riess

Also By Author

Helen Riess: Seven Keys to Increase Empathy

Dr. Helen Riess is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. With Sounds True, she has published The Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, and Connect Across Differences. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Helen about the development of the E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. program—a method for teaching and promoting empathy that draws on neuroscience and physiology. They talk about how Helen became interested in the science of empathy and why recent research into the subject has yielded such positive results. Helen walks listeners through each step of the E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. process, highlighting the benefits of more actively attending to every social interaction. Finally, Helen and Tami discuss the active training of empathy in education, business, and the medical community, emphasizing why these skills are necessary for the survival of human civilization. (64 minutes)

Tami’s Takeaway: A very simple technique that Dr. Helen Riess teaches for establishing empathic connection with people is to mentally note the eye color of the person when you first meet. This is a technique that she teaches to doctors and medical practitioners who are often moving quickly in a task-oriented way, not pausing to make genuine contact with the people they are serving. (Sound familiar, anyone?) My takeaway is to employ this technique in the office at Sounds True with the 130 people who work here. The early reports indicate that these experiments in noting eye color (even during hallway conversations and in meetings) have quickly created a sense of real connection—moments that I cherish.

You Might Also Enjoy

Christian Conte: Healing Conflict: Listen, Validate, T...

How do we fully meet and support someone experiencing emotional distress—anger, in particular? In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Christian Conte about his Yield Theory of emotional management, focusing on the process of “listen, validate, and explore options.” Dr. Conte explains the events that led to his interest in anger management, as well as the origins of Yield Theory. He emphasizes the importance of meeting others where they are, giving them the opportunity to drain anger’s charge from their limbic system. Dr. Conte and Tami discuss why it’s necessary to cultivate humility and how Yield Theory might be applied to our currently divisive culture. Finally, they speak on the “cartoon world” that angry responses often create, as well as the importance of watching what we add to our minds.

Yung Pueblo: Becoming Lighter Through a Strong Determi...

If you meditate on the truth of change, your life can start to flow like a river, with opportunities for healing at every bend. This spirit of liberation infuses Yung Pueblo’s newest book, Lighter, in which he shares healing wisdom accumulated over his years of devoted meditation practice. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Diego Perez (who writes as Yung Pueblo) about his inspiring new book and the potential we each have to be part of “the healing generation.”

Listen in to Tami and Diego’s heartening conversation, in which they discuss the shift from focusing on survival to sitting with the truth, having a strong determination to heal, the difference between satisfying cravings and following your intuition, why power makes the ego so dense, how meditation can open up the concept of self, “structural compassion,” and much more.

This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.

Gabby Bernstein: The Self-Led Journey Through Addictio...

Is it really possible to heal our deepest wounds and live a life without fear and anxiety? According to Gabby Bernstein, the answer is an emphatic yes. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Gabby about what it means to be led by the Self—that mysterious center of our being that can witness everything we experience in life from a compassionate center connected with source energy. 

Settle in for an inspiring conversation exploring: why our “clean vulnerability” can be our greatest strength; Internal Family Systems therapy and how it helps us heal from the inside out; activating calmness, connection, curiosity, commitment, and other “C qualities”; invoking our loving and wise inner parent; the four S’s: to be seen, soothed, safe, and secure; the connection between healing our trauma and healing our attachment style; embracing our shameful experiences with compassion; psychosomatic illness and “hiding behind the body”; the power of co-regulation; developing a relationship with your spiritual guidance system and reaching a place of faith in the future; and more.

This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.

>