The Empathy Effect: Neuroscience-Based Keys to Connection | Dr. Helen Riess, Harvard Medical School

ATOMIC MOMS PODCAST #203 - Empathy Effect.png

#203: Dr. Helen Riess, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, speaks with Ellie Knaus about her new book The Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, and Connect Across Differences.

We discuss the straightforward steps Dr. Riess uses to teach empathy and what up to date scientific research reveals about empathy. And in a Legally Blonde inspired moment, Ellie pitches her own empathy-related research study idea and is expecting a call from Harvard any minute now.

In the meantime, Dr. Riess suggests how empathy can diffuse stressful situations and decrease caregiver burn out and shares why ‘optimal frustration’ is good for our kids. Lastly, she offers a quick tool for calming our nervous system this holiday season. Listen up! x Ellie Knaus

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Special thanks to Brandy King.

Dr. Riess in the News

How to Foster Empathy in Children? The New York Times 

Can Empathy Be Taught? This Clinical Professor Has the Proof.  Forbes 

Be More Empathetic. It Matters. The Boston Globe 

5 Ways Love is Good for Your Health. Time Magazine 


We are all connected on a neurobiological level far more than we have previously realized. Consciously or not, we are in constant, natural resonance with one another’s feelings. When we are engaged in shared mind intelligence, the possibilities for mutual aid and collaborative problem-solving abound.
— Helen Riess, MD

DR. HELEN RIESS is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She is the founder and chief scientist of Empathetics, Inc. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, TIME, NPR, HuffPost, and more. She wrote THe Empathy Effect: 7 Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the way we live, love, work, and connect across differences, along with Liz Neparent and Foreword is by Alan Alda.