Tapping inner resources using the Nurtured Heart Approach®
I believe each of us has unique inner gifts to share with the world. I want to:
  • inspire leaders, parents, caregivers and educators
  • celebrate inner resources, and
  • share the journey of learning and living the Nurtured Heart Approach®.
I recently read The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness: An Empathy-Driven Approach to Solving Problems, Preventing Conflict, and Serving Everyone by Ryan Dowd. In this issue I've summarized ideas shared in a chapter titled, "Empathy: The Psychological, Neurological, and Social Bases for It".

My newsletter nuggets and resources are intended to be useful to any NHA practitioner. This is NOT a substitute for NHA training. Subscribe now!
Empathy is the ability to understand another person's thoughts, feelings and condition. Rather than viewing a situation from our own point of view, we take the perspective of the person we wish to support. Consider how the nine empathy related concepts below align with the 3 Stands (TM) of the NHA.
Emotional Contagion:  When we control our own emotions we also influence the emotions of others.

Psychology of Conflict:  Emotional conflict reduces our ability for abstract thought which makes it difficult to problem solve and use the imagination necessary for empathy. 


The Psychology of Relationship:  According to Dr. John Gottman's work, healthy relationships incorporate three aspects:
  • The 5 to 1 ratio - five positive interactions to one negative
  • Three relational building blocks - words, deeds, touch 
  • Four relationship destroyers - criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt.

The Psychology of Likability:  We generally like people who are similar to us, compliment us, whom we have helped, who share a common crisis, and who like us. We find people who deliver bad news less likable.

Reciprocity:  People have a tendency to want to repay kindness or unkindness. Keep these four caveats in mind:  1.) Reciprocity is based on perceived treatment not actual treatment. 2.) The desire to repay kindness seems to fade with time. 3.) You have to let people pay you back. 4.) The negative is stronger than the positive.

Psychological Inertia:  Once we start moving in a direction psychologically, we tend to keep moving in that direction. As we begin to establish healthy patterns, two mechanisms that support psychological inertia are commitment and consistency.

Social Proof:  We look to others for cues for how to behave. This is particularly strong in times of uncertainty, when things are unclear, ambiguous or new. 

Neurochemistry of Aggression and Empathy:  Chemicals and hormones are produced by feelings of safety or stress. 
Chemical or Hormone     Effects
  • Reduces impulsive behavior
  • Reduces violence
  • Reduces impulsive behavior
  • Reduces aggression
  • Increases empathy
  • Increases serotonin
  • Increases aggression

Legitimacy:  In order for people to view an authority as legitimate, people must feel three things:  1.) They will be listened to. 2.) The rules have to be predictable.  3.) The rule enforcer has to be fair.
Empathy promotes prosocial behaviors that come from within, allowing us to act in a compassionate manner. These nine concepts related to empathy lend themselves to building Inner Wealth (TM) through relationship, the goal of NHA.
For Further Reading
Ryan Dowd calls on his life of service with individuals experiencing homelessness, outlining many tools for empathy driven work. He also includes source material which I have omitted. Learn more at

empathy-driven enforcement:

  1. ​A system for gaining voluntary cooperation and compliance.
  2. It works with everyone, but is essential for "punishment-resistant" populations (e.g. homeless, mentally ill, addicted).
The Nurtured Heart Approach is copyrighted material belonging to Howard Glasser and the Children's Success Foundation.
As stated above, the material in this newsletter is not a substitute for NHA training.
Copyright © Paula Wick, PhD. 2019 SHINE FROM WITHIN CONSULTING, All rights reserved.

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