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Am J Clin Hypn. 2016 Jan;58(3):251-5. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2015.1102702.

Empathy Examined From Perspectives of Neuroscience and Artistic Imagination.

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  • 1a Naropa University , Boulder , Colorado, USA.


This response to Ian E. Wickramasekera II's article, Mysteries of Hypnosis and the Self Are Revealed by the Psychology and Neuroscience of Empathy, is addressed from a joint perspective on consciousness comprising two related orientations: neuroscience and artistic imagination. We find that the central importance of empathy to empathic involvement theory (Wickramasekera II, 2015) reflects the pivotal nature of empathy in the brain and in the relational exchange implicit in the psychotherapeutic process, particularly when using art in therapy. We offer a preliminary unpacking of the roles related to key psychological processes, such as imagination, that are implicated in clinical uses of verbal and visual empathic resonance.


boundaries of self; consciousness; imagery; mind–body; observation

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