Universal Recognition of Children's Need to Learn About Empathy is Hailed by Jane Birdsell, Author of a New Book, Emotional Enlightenment

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The Seeds of Empathy Program is helping young school children around the world learn about empathy to reduce bullying and increase caring behaviours.

"He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened."

Lao Tzu. 6th Century BCE

Empathy is a skill that can be learned. Mary Gordon started The Roots of Empathy Study in Canada in 1996. Her Seeds of Empathy Program began in 2005. This has developed into a classroom program that helps children learn about empathy in schools from kindergarden to grade eight. It has proven successful in reducing aggressive behaviours and increasing altruistic behaviours in children exposed to this learning. The programs started in Canada, and are now taught in the United States in Washington, California and New York. The concept has spread to New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Europe, most recently Germany.

Jane Birdsell's book, Emotional Enlightenment: Managing Feelings for Success helps readers gain increased awareness of their own feelings and also the feelings of others. This is the essence of empathy. If children can learn about the feelings of others, it is helpful if teachers, parents and other caregivers can be part of this important learning as well.

In her work as a psychologist, Jane Birdsell discovered that many people could not identify and express emotions very well. This inspired her to write her new book Emotional Enlightenment. Her goal in writing this book was to facilitate emotional literacy so that people could gain increased self-knowledge and more understanding of others. These qualities are attributes of people who enjoy successful relationships both at home and at work.

Emotional Enlightenment: Managing Feelings for Success provides "deep, fresh psychological insights, which makes the book a perfect teaching tool for a classroom setting," says Jennifer de Poyen (a California-based writer and critic). "Yet, it is written in a direct, accessible style, which makes it useful for anyone who wants to improve his or her relationships."

Ann Laverty, PhD, RPsych., Associate Director of Counseling at The University of Calgary’s Student’s Union Wellness Centre, has endorsed Jane’s book with the following comments:
"I have recommended this book to several clients who appreciated the transparency of practical suggestions and exercises included and the encouraging voice in which the book is written. I believe this text is particularly helpful for post-secondary students who are learning about the importance of emotions as well as benefits of knowing how to express and manage responses."

Jane is inspired by the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the Chinese Philosopher who in the 6th Century BCE said: "He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened."

The book is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the United States and at Owl’s Nest Books and other quality bookstores in Canada. It is also available on Kindle.

About Author Jane Birdsell:
Jane Birdsell has been a Nursing Instructor, a Public Health Nurse and a mother of two children. After her children started school, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary. For 25 years, she worked as a psychologist conducting her own private counseling practice and teaching Personal Development Seminars. At the University of Calgary, Division of Continuing Education, she taught a course for 18 years called Understanding Self-Esteem: A Discussion and Information Course for Women. She also taught Enhancing Personal and Professional Effectiveness (for men and women) for 14 years. Jane launched her book at Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary on June 19th, 2012. She is enjoying the success of her book, which has appeared frequently on The Calgary Herald best seller list since its launch.

Jane Birdsell, author, retired psychologist
1323 Riverdale Avenue, Calgary, AB.
Canada, T2S 0Z1.
Phone H: 403-243-2001
C: 403-689-5355
Email: janebirdsell(at)shaw(dot)ca

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