Volunteer College Students Offer Empathy and Relief from Loneliness -- Dr. Peter Breggin's first experience with empathy and human relationship for 'mental illness' as an undergraduate college student
"They Befriend the Mentally Ill" by Steven M. Spencer, The Saturday Evening Post, October 5, 1957
Bertram Karon, PhD on Empathic Therapy and working with the severely disturbed:
Dr. Peter Breggin presents the first Lifetime Empathic Therapy Award to esteemed colleague and beloved friend Bertram Karon, PhD
Empathy recognizes, welcomes and treasures the individuality, personhood, identity, spirit or soul of the other human being in all its shared and unique aspects.
Empathic therapies offer a caring, understanding and empowering attitude toward the individual’s emotional struggles, aspirations and personal growth. They promote the individual’s inherent human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They respect the autonomy, personal responsibility and freedom of the person. They encourage the individual to grow in self-appreciation as well as in the ability to respect, love and empathize with others.
A broad spectrum of therapeutic and educational approaches can draw upon and express empathy; but conventional psychiatric diagnosis, psychiatric medication, electroshock and involuntary treatment suppress the individuality and the empathic potential of both the provider and the recipient. Empathy lies at the heart of the best therapeutic and educational approaches.
Peter R. Breggin, MD
July 8, 2010
See 'Non-Drug Therapies' for studies and essays on how to help the deeply disturbed without resorting to psychiatric drugs and other biological, damaging treatments. Note that there are a growing resource of studies and information about non-biopsychiatric approaches available through the index on the right.
"The Relationship Between Physician Empathy and Disease Complications: An Empirical Study of Primary Care Physicians and Their Diabetic Patients in Parma, Italy" Stefano Del Canale et al; Academic Medicine September 2012
Purpose: To test the hypothesis that scores of a validated measure of physician empathy are associated with clinical outcomes for patients with diabetes mellitus.
Results: Patients of physicians with high empathy scores, compared with patients of physicians with moderate and low empathy scores, had a signiﬁcantly lower rate of acute metabolic complications. Read more here.
"A recent study of the relationship between caregiver/family functioning and traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation found that higher degrees of caregiver emotional health and stability translated to better patient outcomes. The study, available online as of March 2012 in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, took place at the Brain Injury Research Center in Houston. Researchers adjusted their findings for age, education, gender, ethnicity and other potentially confounding factors. Even with careful adjustments, they found a significant relationship between the emotional functioning of caregivers and greater social and occupational integration of traumatic brain injury patients. This relationship held as long as the individual with traumatic brain injury entered rehabilitative care within six months of the injury. TBI patients who entered rehabilitation programs more than six months after injury experienced no impact with regard to caregiver emotional function...." Read more here.