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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education


What it is and why it matters

ISBN 9781137276421
Publication Date December 2012
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

Empathy is profoundly important for understanding people's feelings and behaviour. It is not only an essential skill in conducting successful personal and working relationships, it also helps us understand what makes people moral and societies decent.

With this compelling book, David Howe invites the reader on an illuminating journey of discovery into how empathy was first conceptualised and how its influence has steadily risen and spread. He captures the growing significance of empathy to many fields, from evolutionary psychology and brain science to moral philosophy and mental health. In doing so, he eloquently explains its importance to child development, intimate relationships, therapy, the creative arts, neurology and ethics.

Written with light touch, this is an authoritative and insightful guide to empathy, its importance, why we have it and how it develops. It offers an invaluable introduction for readers everywhere, including those studying or working in psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, social work, health, nursing and education.

DAVID HOWE OBE is currently an Emeritus Professor in the School of Social Work and Psychology at UEA. His research and writing interests span social work theory, adoption, emotional intelligence, attachment theory, and child abuse and neglect. To date, he has written 17 books, many of them regarded as best-sellers.

Introducing Empathy
Origins and Definitions
The Evolution of the Empathic Mind
How Children Develop Empathy
The Empathic Brain
Individual Differences in Empathy Levels
When Empathy is Absent or Low
Psychopathy and Borderline Personality Disorder
Social Perspectives and Client Experiences
Empathic Communication and Helping Relationships
Why Empathy Works
Empathy, Morals and Prosocial Behaviour
Promoting Empathy in Children
Promoting Empathy in Adults
Living Well Together: Empathy and Social Cohesion
Being Human.


A fascinating, well-written and wide-ranging exploration of the concept of empathy' - Professor Ernesto Spinelli, author of Practising Existential Psychotherapy
'Throughout this highly accessible book, David Howe communicates complex subjects with magisterial clarity and ease.' - Bernard R Moss, Emeritus Professor of Social Work Education and Spirituality, Staffordshire University
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