• This blog resulted from my academic research projects "Living with Uncertainty: Metaphor and the Dynamics of Empathy" and "Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation" (2009 - 2013).

Berlin, 20 December 2016

Horrible – the word that came to mind last night in Berlin. I thought of the people selling in the wooden huts in the Christmas markets, people trying to make a living from making candles and glühwein and knitted hats. Working long hours in the cold weeks before Christmas. And now scared, hurt, even killed. … Continue reading

The power of words

After the Brexit vote, those of us who wanted the European project to continue are sometimes struggling to do empathy with those who voted to leave. We have to try. Empathy is not about agreeing. Empathy is about trying to understand other people in the context of their lives. Empathic understanding matters because it helps … Continue reading

Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation: A Manual

The Empathy Manual is now available! Are you interested in the nature of  empathy? Are you concerned by what happens to empathy in conflict situations? Ready for inspiring stories about how empathy can be rebuilt? You can download Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation: A Manual absolutely free for ipad here There’s a summary and a downloadable … Continue reading

It’s all very confusing – or is it?

I was excited to see that my favourite Saturday columnist, Oliver Burkeman in the Guardian, was this week writing about empathy. Then I was disappointed because he seems to be saying that compassion is more important than empathy. In the Empathy Manual I argue that the most important thing we need is empathic understanding of … Continue reading

Videos available as a resource

The EDiCT project (Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation) has a YouTube channel, that links to the Empathy Manual. There you can find videos relating to conflict transformation in Kenya and Nepal, and a video of the Empathy model. Click here or follow the Link

Seeing Israeli action in Gaza through the idea of dyspathy

First reactions: Impossibly complex, impossibly painful to watch from a distance, impossible to comment usefully. Attempting to ‘make sense’ with tools from EDiCT: Dyspathy is anything that blocks empathy. In conflict transformation, we need to understand the roots and processes of dyspathy. We can re-enable empathy by dismantling dyspathy. This morning, a tweet from Robert … Continue reading

Empathy in police-community interaction

We’ve just published a new academic article about talk in a public meeting after a police shooting in Portland, Oregon, in which we examine how metaphors interact with empathy: Ritchie, D. & L. Cameron (2014) Open hearts or smoke and mirrors: Metaphorical framing and frame conflicts in a public meeting. Metaphor & Symbol, 29, 204–223. … Continue reading