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By Daniel Keeran, MSW Mental Health Counselor Training Course (online) “As a School Counselor, At-Risk Youth Therapist, and Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, these activities could prove to be quite beneficial with school-aged children and those suffering from disassociation of the world around them. In private practice, it is often seen where children and adults alike have become so engulfed by their situations that using these activities, in a age-appropriate way, could assist them in refocusing on reality and lend a different perspective of their circumstances.”- Angela Fitzgerald, School Counselor, South Carolina ".... wonderful, every aspect being touched starting from the feel of it, the understanding of it, the application of it; simple yet so extensive. Every time I go through it I see different angles of situational application." - Luther K., Airline Staff Trainer “I am amazed at the detail, it seems to have all the answers I require.” – Faye H., psychotherapist “.... made it simple on how to communicate empathy. The creatively-developed contents and exercises are very helpful for counselling educators, practitioners and students to understand and successfully practice the empathy skills.” - Sivan K, MC, Personal Development & Counseling Centre “.... easy to read and understand and I think it would make a valuable resource for any educator wanting to develop practical exercises for students, no matter what level of skills were existing. I would use this booklet... to aid my clients in understanding the role of empathy in good listening, and I would find it valuable for that purpose.”- Lisa Testart, Coach and Hypnotherapist “Easy to read and remember. The exercises were good and down-to-earth, something that will help students and professionals alike.... to be reminded that empathy and caring are much needed in our world and the world of counselling today.”- Hazel McCorrisken, Dental Nurse “This book would be helpful for children to practice their listening skills. Many times, we fill in the blanks with what we believe someone meant rather than what they truly said. Empathy can place our own values and opinions aside while being present for the speaker. I also believe this book would be helpful for children, adolescents, and teens and their parents/guardians. Children struggle to feel heard simply because they are the child.” - Julie D'Anniballe, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Kentucky Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor
“....very impressed with the practical applications of each lesson....making the information relevant to everyday situations. This is not only good for students but also adults that lack empathy skills.- Roger Wilcoxen, MA, OWDS, Family, Career, Re-entry and Mentoring Services, Creating Foundations LLC, Broken Pieces Healing Fountain Ministries, Inc. “Your Empathy Training handbook is well written. Covers the importance of empathy and makes it attainable. Well done!” – Rabbi Moshe K., Yeshiva School, Nevada “I must say that this is the easiest read I have had in a long time. It is self explainable and well thought out. I loved the exercises as I feel that it brought me closer to my own self. I use my skills and interventions based on many of my own experiences however, through these exercises I was more aware of the fact of the differences in emotions and how they differ from person to person. I also think that with these exercises culturally diverse populations can also gain a better understanding of each other and the values and beliefs within the world, and through this find acceptance and value of self. I really enjoyed the exercise that displayed empathy for angry feeling. This showed how many times an individual is more than they appear to be and others can learn to relate with this. I currently am a clinical Mental Health Counseling student looking to open a therapeutic ranch working with substance abuse in criminal offenders. I believe these exercises would be extremely therapeutic for this population as they seek to go into the world a more healthy individual. It would assist with their own evaluation of behaviors and how to identify when a reaction is healthy or not. I would recommend this resource to everyone.” - Jodie Gonzalez, BHT, Arizona School of Psychology, Argosy University, Phoenix “For years I worked with high schoolers in a program called Teen Institute. We used some of these activities very successfully. Currently I work with impoverished folks in transitional housing, and I believe this material could be well used in this area also. The activities, being hands-on, allows for individuals to learn to express themselves in a safe environment while actually learning and practicing techniques that aide not only in expressing themselves while being concerned for others.”- Becky Larson, Life Coach, Wisconsin I am a Community Counselor with a diverse age of clientele, and I am always looking for materials for Group Psychotherapy sessions. I found the material to be relevant and easy to use. The directions were clear, precise, and targeted towards a better understanding for clients. I was excited to see how easy this material could be targeted to any age group. I will definitely use this material in the near future. - Debra S Colston, MS, Licensed Professional Counselor, Youth Care of Oklahoma “I found the book to be filled with lots of how-to's and useable for not only adults, but especially young people who want to learn to be mentors and guides. The exercises were helpful and i will be using them in my practice and in my teaching. Thanks Daniel for sharing this tool with us.” - Joe Hardenbrook, MA MFT, MDiv, Reflection Counseling, Nevada “The book is well written and can be used in many ways to educate about empathy. The excercises are accessible for any teacher or mental health professional to use and can be adjusted to fit their needs. I would use this in trainings and with clients.” - Shayna Cohen, BA, Coordinator, Community Support Program
LEARN EMPATHY Building Skills for Caring Daniel Keeran, MSW
CM HC College of Mental Health Counseling Vancouver - Kona - Rome -4-
Copyright ďƒ“ 2012 by Daniel Keeran All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without specific written permission from the author except for use in public schools and in the case of brief quotations in reviews for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast. Photocopies and electronic copies may not be sold. Special permissions and inquires can be directed to the author at email@example.com ISBN-13: 978-1470134341 ISBN-10: 1470134349
Printed in the United States of America
Consultation and support at no charge is available by contacting the author at firstname.lastname@example.org -5-
This book is dedicated to my mother and father, Ruth and Melvin Keeran, who taught in public schools for many years.
Table of Contents 1. Introduction: What is Empathy?
2. Exercise One: Building Your Emotion Vocabulary
3. Exercise Two: Distinguishing Emotions and Thoughts 11 4. Exercise Three: Making Sentences for Empathy
5. Exercise Four: Role Reversal
6. Exercise Five: Doubling
7. Exercise Six: Listening with Empathy
8. Exercise Seven: Becoming Another Character
9. Exercise Eight: Understanding the Story
10. Exercise Nine: Imagine Emotions of a Historical Character
11. Exercise Ten: Having Empathy for Anger
About the Author
About the Author Daniel Keeran, MSW, has been a counselor and therapist for over 30 years in hospital and private practice settings. He is the author of Effective Counseling Skills: the practical wording of therapeutic statements and processes, and the founder and President of the College of Mental Health Counseling providing practical online skill training in counseling, for personal and professional development.
Consultation is available by contacting the author at email@example.com