What it Feels Like to Experience Empathy
Pp. 84-98 (15)
Chapter four stressed the importance of understanding what it feels like to be
the recipient of empathetic care. It was pointed out that, empathy requires that we resist
the temptation to do for others. Instead helpers must make it their intention to learn to
be and feel with others. For example, when directly confronted with another’s pain, the
helping professional must learn to resist the temptation to give advice or reassurance, or
to explain their own position or feelings. In the case in point a young student shares
how an empathetic nurse helped her to choose life. In the section on something to
ponder, the significance of being genuine and using silence was emphasized. A learning
exercise was also suggested to discern between words and actions that demonstrate
empathy and ones that do not.
Active listening, empathy, genuineness, human touch, narratives,
professional boundaries, silence, story.
Full Time Nurse Educator in the Faculty of Health Sciences Douglas College, BC Canada Canada.