Empathy for Relationship Building

Parental empathy is advocated by a number of authors of parenting books and developers of parenting programs including Greene (2001), Brooks and Goldstein (2001), Gordon (2000), and Faber and Mazlish (1980). It is a very effective tool to connect emotionally with and support another person, especially one who is upset. Competent therapists are experts at expressing empathy and routinely do so a great deal. Parents also may acquire expertise in this arena, and the reality is that parental empathy is infinitely more powerful in building parent–teen bonds, relieving distress, and bolstering self-esteem, than empathy delivered by a trained therapist.

Mary Nord Cook, in Transforming Teen Behavior, 2015

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