The Brilliance of Roger Ebert is Reflected in the Value He Placed on Empathy, says Jane Birdsell, Author of Emotional Enlightenment.

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Ebert said, "I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization." Psychologist, Jane Birdsell thinks empathy is the key to successful relationships.

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.

Roger Ebert - 2010

In a commentary on NPR, Scott Simon said of Ebert, "Over the years his work reminded us that empathy is the grace note of a good life not just great art." Jane Birdsell is gratified to see the meaning and importance of empathy coming to the foreground in the voices of such respected individuals as Roger Ebert and Scott Simon. In her book Emotional Enlightenment, she emphasizes the great need of people to be understood by the important people in their life. Empathy is required for people to think they are being understood. It is truly an "essential quality of civilization."

While working as a counselling psychologist for 25 years, Jane Birdsell discovered that many people had difficulty identifying and naming their own feelings, let alone recognizing other people's feelings. She also learned that people were often unclear about the meaning of empathy.This awareness inspired her to write her new book Emotional Enlightenment: Managing Feelings for Success with the goal of increasing emotional literacy. She wanted people to understand more about emotions so that they could understand their own feelings as well as those of others. Empathy means that one understands how another person is feeling in a particular situation and reflects this understanding back to him or her. The communication is free of judgement or giving advice.

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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