These occasional posts will showcase a variety of article links which have caught my interest. They’re in no particular order, but loosely grouped together for ease of reading. New Zealand content included where possible. (Author twitter accounts included where found.)

Suicide Risk Assessment Doesn’t Work by Declan Murray (@decmurray2) and Patrick Devitt

But how good are we at predicting the level of suicide risk? Not very good at all, it seems, according to two recent meta-analyses of the last forty years of suicide risk research. One group of authors even suggests that the process of suicide risk assessment itself might increase the likelihood of suicide.

The Japanese skill copied by the world by Steve John Powell

These practices are a way of what Kabat-Zinn calls ‘purposefully paying attention to things we ordinarily never give a moment’s thought to’. They help keep you conscious of where you are and what you are doing throughout the day, rather than stumbling from one hour to the next on autopilot, focused only on going-home time.

The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice by Parker J. Palmer (@parkerjpalmer)

Here’s the deal. The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is. When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through.

What’s Missing from the Empathy Conversation by Kate McCombs (@katecom)

“Empathic contagion” is sometimes just called “emotional contagion.” It’s that feeling of “catching” someone else’s feelings. Sometimes this can feel good (spending time with a cheerful friend), but other times it can feel overwhelming and disabling (working in a chronically anxious office). The latter kind of empathy is associated with stress and burnout.

“Empathic concern” is when you’re curious about and nonjudgmentally engaged with someone else’s emotional world. It’s about being able to identify what someone else might be feeling. It’s about connecting with their feelings, without trying to offer unsolicited advice or hijacking the conversation with your own feelings.

Creative commons image from Pixabay.