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Where Does Empathy and Understanding Fit in the Weight-Loss Process

Posted May 13 2013 5:00am

In psychotherapy an important experience for the patient or client is having a therapist who is empathetic. Therapeutic empathy can make the difference between a successful therapy outcome and an unsuccessful therapy outcome.

Could empathy be one of the keys to you losing your unwanted weight too? Would it help if someone deeply understood you and used this understanding to intervene in ways that were therapeutic for you? Is there such a person in your life? It might be a family member or a good friend; or it could even be you.

Let’s concentrate on you being the one who provides the empathy, the understanding, the emotional acceptance, and acts therapeutically toward yourself. What would that be like? Have you tried being especially empathetic with yourself?

Empathy from another person has the effect of regulating your emotions, which in turn lays the groundwork for personal change. Being understood on an emotional level cuts out emotional reactions like frustration and disappointment, hopelessness and anger, all of which upset the applecart when you are trying to get yourself in a good emotional position to learn new ways.

Being empathetic with yourself in what you are feeling and what you are going through means that you are capable of being in touch with your feelings without being defensive, reactive, harsh and critical, anxious, or disappointed. You can stay right with yourself no matter how you are feeling, and this can pave the way to make your empathic response into a progressive weight-loss step.


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