What is the true essence of therapy? What is a key aspect in loving? What is understanding? The answer to these questions is an ability within self that requires learning and growing, this ability is empathy.
Empathy has always been a very intriguing aspect to myself, analyzing empathy when you break down the definition of empathy, and the traits that create empathy the feelings are wholesome.
Love is a trait that is vital in reaching empathy at its fullest potential. Without love one can not feel how another person is experiencing their emotions, thus limiting empathy’s potential, limiting highest potential for effective treatment.
In Psychology we are taught empathy is everything. One of a therapists’ key traits that are needed in treatment is empathy, if a client does not believe the therapist understands him or her, the client can feel as if the therapist does not believe in him or her, from feeling misunderstood. When one feels misunderstood the feelings associated around being misunderstood have a potential for feelings that are not wholesome, but feelings of being lost, scared, and empty. This is why empathy is so important in treatment, with this ability being an area of interest, grew my need in seeing how much one can grow their ability to fully understand, to truly feel what a person is experiencing in the present moment, how the person felt during the various events in their lives, and how they feel in everyday society.
Often times, I find myself subconsciously trying to send a message to the person I’m talking to, that I feel what they are experiencing, and how the situation felt, and not just with head nods and saying “I understand.” When any person learns empathy, one learns about their self. When one empathizes, he or she puts themselves in the persons many miles of their lives’ journey, thus creating oneself to reflect on own self-image. If a person can start to understand their self, that adds to their max potential of reaching happiness in life.
If a person is dealing with anxieties and have learned the ability to empathize, thus relating to others whom have similar anxieties, has a possibility to relieve negative feelings that surround anxiety for that person, aiding in treatment of anxiety for that individual.
Being understanding is a trait that is becoming lost in today’s society due to self-desires and needs. Fully understanding a person requires no external judgement of that person, creating the ability to relate, and putting oneself in the experience that is being vocalized, experiencing the same feelings.
With social media being so prevalent, with selfies and drama on Facebook, causes ones individuals ability to empathize to decrease due to the self-centered nature that surrounds social media. If more people became understanding in society the likelihood of mental health disorders related to anxieties and fears would decrease.
Now is this going to happen on a national or global scale anytime soon, it’s quite unlikely. However, if we start teaching our children of the next generation how to empathize, use kindness, and love in their everyday lives, the possibilities of a more loving and understanding society has a potential. Empathy is becoming more of a lost history than a prized treasure most of have within ourselves. This gift needs to be looked at more seriously, on a national scale in mental health, this trait should be taught in therapy, in schools, in new employee work-shops. If students were taught lessons based on age and grade level providing materials such as books that soley focus on theory of mind with various visual stimulus of situational events covering many aspects of life, growing this potential for empathy at the developmental stage, sets a possible future of fully understanding others, thus loving others. Imagine the possible change of behaviors for a more positive environment in elementary schools, carrying on to Jr. High to High School and into life as an Adult. Thus creating a more loving and livable society for all walks of life. Empathy is everything and should not be forgotten.