The Power of Empathy: A Practical Guide to Creating Intimacy, Self-Understanding, and Lasting Love in Your Life

Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Author, Katherine Ketcham, Joint Author
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Author, Katherine Ketcham, Joint Author Dutton Books $24.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-525-94511-6
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Paperback - 275 pages - 978-0-452-28228-5
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In an engaging work that is part guidebook and part heartfelt meditation, Ciaramicoli, a practicing psychologist who rejects the pervasive medical practice of labeling and medicating human anguish, contends that it is empathy--not fear, not sympathy, not drugs--that holds the key to mental health. Arguing that the ""capacity to understand and respond to the unique experiences of another"" is not only ubiquitous in relationships but is actually ""an innate force, part of our biological inheritance"" that is necessary for survival, he ponders empathy's many faces (including its ""dark side"") in the first half of the book. In the second half, he describes, and coaches readers on practicing the eight expressions of empathy: honesty, humility, acceptance, tolerance, gratitude, faith, hope and forgiveness. Inspired, in part, by his brother's suicide 26 years ago (which he believes was caused partly by a failure of empathy), Ciaramicoli vigorously examines empathy's place in an astonishing array of everyday situations--in sexual intimacy and friendly banter, in the natural world and the arena of sales and advertising--as a force of evil and a force of good. In the end, Ciaramicoli's meticulous exploration of the ""invisible connections"" of true empathy illuminates how the reader can use this long-misunderstood social skill to live a more safe and fulfilled life. Agent, Jane Dystel. 10-city author tour. (Apr.)
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