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Empathy and Burnout: Implications for those who Care

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 2 ]


Simon Surguladze*, Nematollah Jaafari and George Chikovani   Pages 96 - 101 ( 6 )


Empathy is one of the essential attributes underlying social interactions. Empathic skills have been associated with an ability to accurately recognise facial emotions.

Importantly, both lack and excess of empathy have been related to suboptimal mental health. Empathy deficits have been found to underlie social interaction difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Personality disorder. On the other hand, it has been shown that the individuals with high empathy may become vulnerable to emotional burnout. In particular, empathic distress has been described in mental health professionals and carers. The question arises – are the findings of empathic distress in caregivers pertinent to the vulnerability to emotional disorders in general? In this review, we will consider current models of empathy and discuss potential links between characteristics of empathy and emotion processing that may be relevant to mental health.


Empathy, emotion processing, emotion regulation, burnout, social neuroscience, cognitive empathy.


King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, PO Box 69, De Crespigny Park, London, Research unit Pierre Deniker in Centre Hospitalier Henri Laborit, University of Poitiers, F-86022 Poitiers, Laboratory of Social & Affective Neuroscience, Ilia State University, Cholokashvili Avenue 3/5, Tbilisi 0162

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