Teaching emotional self-awareness and what to do with it in patient encounters

Zimri S. Yaseen, Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, Shira Barzilay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Effective treatment depends on effective relationships. Effective relationships must be tended. This tending requires attention to everyone involved. When we pay attention to our own experience, we become more aware of it. When we are aware of how we feel and what we do (including what we say and how we say it), we can begin to question how we are feeling and what we are doing; what is making us feel and behave this way with our patient. This is useful when things are not working, and we have to change what we are doing, but do not know what change to make or how to make it. When things work, it can help us recognize what makes them work. In this chapter, we describe ways to teach clinicians to become aware of their emotional responses to their patients and how to make good use of them. When empathy is understood as a relational process that aims to produce mutual recognition, the capacity to be aware of our own emotions can be seen as critical to empathic engagement; by seeing ourselves more clearly, we can better see our patients also.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Empathy in Healthcare
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding a New Core Competency
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030298760
ISBN (Print)9783030298753
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. All rights reserved.


  • Affect
  • Circumplex model
  • Emotional self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Mindfulness
  • Relational therapy
  • Sasb


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