Warmth, Empathy and Respect are so Important

Two weeks ago I headed over to Western Seminary, Sacramento where I interviewed two students in the marriage and family therapy masters degree program. These students shared what they were learning in the program and how they were impacted personally and professionally in very positive ways. I have a real heart and warmth for Western Seminary, having taught masters level marriage and family students there for 15 years.

One student, Nathaniel, shared how important it is that the therapist’s relationship with the client be based on warmth, empathy and respect. Research over the years shows that the degree of comfort and warmth you feel from your therapist impacts growth and change more so than what any information he/she shares with you.

You can see Nathan’s one minute video below

It was such a treat meeting with these two students and hearing about all they are learning.

https://westernseminary.edu/academics/faculty/bev-wiensAfterwards, I stayed to do a demonstration with their class of an actual counseling session. My client for this session, was Dr. Bev Wiens, the professor of the class who was sharing a real life struggle with me. Afterwards, the students asked me lots of questions, and shared that they felt themselves relax on the inside as I related to Bev with warmth, empathy and respect.

I’m not sharing this to toot my own horn, but to share with you that after this class, I thought about how powerful it is to not only relate to others with warmth, empathy and respect, but to relate to ourselves in these ways as well.

So ponder with me…what does it mean to relate to ourselves with warmth, empathy and respect?

 http://kimfredrickson.com.s217696.gridserver.com/2016/12/14/warmth-empathy-and-respect/

Warmth…

When I relate to myself with warmth, I approach myself kindly and gently. I strive to be accepting and caring toward myself no matter what I’m going through, even if I am struggling and making poor decisions. Warmth communicates openness and lessens my defensiveness and helps me build a trusting relationship with myself.

 

 http://kimfredrickson.com.s217696.gridserver.com/2016/12/14/warmth-empathy-and-respect/

Empathy…

When I am empathetic with myself I take time to understand my thoughts and feelings, as well as why I am struggling. When I make poor decisions, I take a look at what underlying pain or situation led to my actions. If I am going through a difficult time, I give myself the kindness and compassion I would give to a friend who is struggling.

 http://kimfredrickson.com.s217696.gridserver.com/2016/12/14/warmth-empathy-and-respect/

 Respect…

When I have respect for myself, I try to treat myself with both grace and truth. I’m able to recognize where I am falling short without rejecting or being critical of myself. I see myself as a precious creation of God, who is having a hard time. I am genuinely interested in what I’m going through and use my energy to help and care for myself, as well as seek support from God and others.

I encourage you to take time to reflect on what I’ve shared because I believe learning to relate you yourself with warmth, empathy and respect will be life changing.

So what do you think? I would love to get your input…

When have you felt warmth, empathy and respect from another person? What difference has this made in your life? What is your response to treating yourself with warmth, empathy and respect? How can you relate to yourself in this way today?

Please leave your comments below and share on social media or via e-mail with others who might benefit!

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10 thoughts on “

  1. Hi Kim, You showed me warmth, empathy and respect from the first time we met. I felt valued, heard, and compassion from you. Because of that I feel like I was able to be vulnerable and real and healing in my heart began to happen. I was lead by you to have those same feelings for myself ~ warmth, empathy and respect. Today, I give myself compassion instead of guilt, respect instead of shame, and permission to make mistakes.
    Thank you Kim for caring for others and teaching others to care for themselves.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Darla. I’m so delighted that you give yourself compassion instead of guilt, respect instead of shame, and permission to make mistakes. What a beautiful way to love and value yourself! So lovely to hear from you, and thanks for your encouragement.

  2. Oh, Kim, your messages always come to me just when I need them. I am so thankful for your wisdom and gift of communication. You have no idea how much your words have calmed my heart and provided exactly what I needed this morning as God speaks through you so powerfully and lovingly!
    Blessings and love.

    1. Dear Ann I’m so blessed to hear that these words came just when you needed them. God is so good about that! Many blessings to you Ann…

  3. Thanks Kim for your timely comments. This is one particular issue I have a problem with as I’ve lived with criticism, bullying, ostracism and/or rejection in many areas for most of my life so it is very hard for me to treat myself the same way as I always endeavour to treat others. There is one other thing I feel is equally important and fits well with the issues you have raised, and that is patience. I learned patience with others through caring for my Mum in her later years and also from my younger Sister who had disabilities and I had infinite patience with her. However, I have never been able to settle and be patient with what is happening in my own life, though I really need to be, especially now in my own senior years – I can now understand almost exactly what my Mum dealt with daily, as I am there albeit 20years earlier.
    If you have the opportunity to teach these principles to children and young people then do it well as it will arm them for the hard knocks that occur in life.

    1. Hi Dalma, I love your suggestion of being patient with yourself! I think most of us have trouble extending patience to ourselves. The good news is that because you learned patience toward others you can learn to be patient with yourself. Try this: Next time you are impatient with yourself, say to yourself, “Now how would I respond if Mum was struggling with this? Maybe you’d say, I’d be patient with her, understanding all she’s going through. Maybe I’ll be this way with myself…I’m going through so much now, and it makes sense that I’m struggling. I’ll be patient with myself, and do the best I can”.
      So appreciate your sharing with us your words of wisdom.

  4. This reminds me of Paul as I’m reading Romans 7 :16 “and if I do what I do not want to do I agree that the law is good as it is it is no longer myself who do it but it is sin living in me I know that nothing good lives in me that is in my sinful nature for I have the desire to do what is good I cannot carry it out for what I do is not the good I want to do no the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing”. This reminds me of troublesome me that we can be our own worst critic comma as it was with Paul in the Bible it is with us too. Thank you for the reminder that God’s grace and love covers Us.

    1. Hi Valerie, Thanks for your comment. It is comforting that God’s grace covers us and helps us learn how to be graceful with ourselves as well. Nice to have you share with us!

  5. Dalma expressed my current situation to a “T”. Right on point, even 20 years earlier part. Mom has Alzheimer’s and suppose it is hereditary…bracing for it myself. Learning more and living more fully helps me daily. Thank you, Kim (and Dalma) for sharing yourself with others!

    1. Jeanne, Thanks so much for sharing. I’m so glad that Dalma’s sharing was a comfort to you. So sorry that your Mom had Alzheimers, and that you live with that possible eventuality. I love that you embrace that possible reality, while seeking to live life to the fullest. Appreciate you sharing with us.

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