• 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).

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

Image: 'The Heat of the Day', original painting by Lynne Cameron

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

Empathy and business – the next challenge

I am working with Jo Berry to plan empathy workshops for the business world and organisations. We are looking for somewhere to try out our ideas in a test run – let me know if you have any suggestions!   Meanwhile, here’s what happening in USA