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The Elusive Empathy Enigma Expanded 

My latest original post for HuffPost Healthy Living. ~~~

Expanding the Empathy Enigma

To feel seen, known and loved.

What we all want and need in this life, and what we all probably hope to provide to those we care about.

How do we truly see, know and love someone when their experiences are so different than our own?

Can we truly understand? How can we really get it?

In many ways this is the work of Therapy 101.

The difference between empathy vs. sympathy?

Sympathy: I feel for you; the opposite of what it is to be seen, known and loved. Empathy: I feel with you; the epitome of what it is to be seen, known and loved.

Are you an empathic person?

Empathy is in my bones, not only in my personality but also in my education and training as a mental health therapist. There are times of my life where I feel as if I was born with too much of it. Empathy comes very naturally to me; to consider all sides of a situation and to truly identify with what someone must be feeling.

Do you struggle to have empathy for others because you haven’t been through their exact same situation?

Continue reading on HuffPost here.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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