Empathy Through Connection: Stephen Andrew

Empowered Through Compassion: EMDR and IFS Informed Therapy - A podcast by David Polidi


Season 2, Episode 22,    Release Date: 3-19-2024 Empathy Through Connection   Stephen Andrew is CEO (Chief Energizing Officer) of Health Education & Training Institute (HETI) (https://www.hetimaine.org/stephen-andrew) He is the co-founder and President of Agape, Inc. (https://www.agapemaine.org) which supports the Men’s Resource Center of Southern Maine whose mission is to support boys, men and fathers and oppose violence and dignity for people using opiates.   Upcoming Events: April 9th and April 10th 2024… There is the 4th Annual Recovery, Inclusion, Community, Harm Reduction (RICH) Conference  (https://www.agapemaine.org/dignity)    Notes From Episode I mentioned his interview on Heart Centered Therapist Podcast    Here are the steps of Empathy according to Stephen: (1) Really see the other person (2) Listen to the content (3) Take a breath and drop into your heart (4)  Offer something: What do you imagine this person is feeling? Thinking? (5)  Watch how it lands   I believe for Stephen, “Curiosity” is similar to “Detective work” and he cautions us against this saying,  “Instead of being curious of the other person, we should be curious about our heart, and the felt sense we have of the other person.”    Stephen shared that concepts of “Self-Empathy” and “Self-Compassion” are problematic for him, because these should not lead to isolating ourselves.   “The key to self-compassion is giving it away.”   “This is about duality; we need to show up for others and ourselves.”   “We don’t want to confuse this with being in our head, and having to take care of others. We never want the other person to feel like a victim. This might lead to an unbalance of power in the relationship, and the person being "cared for" might start feeling controlled.    Stephen shares his term “Boundaries with kindness” where we simultaneously focus on our needs and other people's needs. In this way, we do not fall into a “Caretaker” role, and we maintain our own integrity. We can hold the thought, “I am here for you,” while at the same time, not slipping into a more compulsive caretaking role.     Stephen's Three Skills That Everyone Needs: (1)  Empathy, Compassion, Radical Acceptance (2)  Boundaries with Kindness (3) The Heart-Felt Apology—when you don’t do the first two correctly   Near the end of the interview, when Stephen and I are speaking about men's groups and the recent mass shooting in Maine, we were referring to a mass killing that occurred in Lewiston, MA at the end of October, 2023 (this happened about a week before we recorded our own interview).    Our love goes out to all of those people and families affected by this tragic event!