The human factor

Empathy as a therapeutic tool

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  • Published 20200505
  • ISBN: 9781922268761
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I would like to believe in the myth that we grow wiser with age. In a sense my disbelief is wisdom. Those of a middle generation, if charitable or sentimental, subscribe to the wisdom myth, while the callous see us as dispensable objects, like broken furniture or dead flowers. For the young we scarcely exist unless we are unavoidable members of the same family, farting, slobbering, perpetually mislaying teeth and bifocals.

Patrick White, Three Uneasy Pieces (Jonathan Cape, 1988)

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The kiss 

With ears plugged and eyes closed, she felt safer. The sensations that did reach her were muted: the melodic ring of the seatbelt light being switched off, the rattle of the dinner trolley, the smell of food being warmed in microwave ovens – a heady aroma reminiscent of canned soup and sausage rolls. But above it all she heard something else. The rumble of a voice – low, male, foreign.American. 

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