Bouncing Back by Linda Graham:—-Empathy!!!!


Research shows that five elements of that empathy are essential for maturing the prefrontal cortex in the first place and for continuing to strengthen it throughout our lives:
1. Resonance: picking up the “vibe” of other people

2. Attunement: feeling your way into another person’s experience and “feeling felt” by them

3. Empathy (as one part of the larger umbrella of empathy): making sense of your experience or another’s, conveying a shared understanding of the meaning of the experience, and sensing that any experience is completely understood and accepted

4. Compassion: literally “feeling with,” keeping the heart open and caring in the face of struggle or suffering

5. Acceptance: coming to terms with what is or has been, so that you can cope going forward.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nik P on September 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Marty, can I gently point out that a lot of CPTSD sufferers, due to the very nature of the source of this condition, IE mentally and physically abusive parents, will be narcissists. Narcissists do not have empathy, and aren’t capable of it. I am a recovering narcissist, I have CPTSD, and I have almost no empathy; so this would be very difficult for me or most narcissists.


  2. hey Nik,

    I was brought up in that abusive environment and am not a narcissist and you gently pointing out in your response shows empathy and concern to not offend me.

    Empathy is difficult for narcissists but it does not mean you can not heal or improve.

    Thanks for the feedback and have you tried affirmations and the breathing track.

    You have other strengths to heal.

  3. Posted by Nik P on September 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Yes, I didn’t want to offend you, you are doing a lot of good work here. I currently do not know of a way to “build empathy”, it is something I am looking into, there are many avenues to that question.

    The problem is Marty, I do not fully understand how my CPTSD works. I have only experienced one full flashback, where I was partially “in another past time” IE my childhood, and it was defending myself from being hit. My intrinsic memory tells me I was aged 0-3 when this happened to me; obviously I have no direct memory of it.

    I do not know when to use the breathing track because I do not know when I am having a flashback, sometimes I think I could use it, very occasionally I am aware that the pain is severe enough to use it.

    It isn’t straight forward for me Marty, my CPTSD flashbacks, when I CAN identify them, last days, not minutes or hours; its days.


  4. I am not easily offended and like I said you caring not to offend me shows great empathy.

    Thanks for the response and explanation.

    C-PTSD works with stored memories or trauma in the amygdala, which is directed for defense of our being. C-PTSD is a disorder that the amygdala is firing uncontrollably.

    if we can stay present while this happens with our focus then trauma starts to heal. We all have strengths, different, some inherited, some developed and some to be developed, but we all have unlimited opportunity and potential for expansion.

    you will not think your way out of trauma, you heal from the inside.

    Try giving to others, small things, listening to a needy person, entering their world and giving completely for ten minutes. It may change a day, save a life, give a needy person a gift and always is a gift to you, narcissist or not.

    Actions will define you more than words. Give, see what it does and live life fully, that is our task.

    Good luck Nik and I am here to answer questions or support you on this journey.

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