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The power of empathy: Helen Riess at TEDxMiddlebury
Building a Culture of Empathy with The Empathy Effect

Biography

Harvard Medical School
Director, Empathy and Relational Science Program, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Helen Riess is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Empathy Research and Training in Psychotherapy Research group in the Department of Psychiatry at MGH. She is conducting research on improving empathy in the patient - physician relationship. She received her undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and her M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Riess completed her psychiatry residency, Chief Residency, and a research fellowship at MGH.

Dr. Riess's clinical interests include psychotherapy and psychopharmacology for adult anxiety disorders, depression, adult adjustment disorders, adult attention deficit disorders, bereavement,

Dr. Riess has a career-long commitment to medical education. She has developed innovative educational and therapeutic curricula to address problems ranging from her book on the treatment of bulimia nervosa, to published curricula on psychotherapy supervision, to her recent neurobiologically informed empathy training curriculum for physicians. Dr. Riess completed a Rabkin Medical Education Fellowship at Harvard Medical School as well as the Harvard Macy Harvard Macy Institute for Educators in the Health Professions.

Dr. Riess's research is supported by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine, The Josiah Macy Jr., Foundation for Medical Education, The Risk Management Foundation, and The David Judah Fund.

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Riess conducts research on improving empathy and relational skills in physicians. Dr. Riess's research is supported by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine, The Josiah Macy Jr., Foundation for Medical Education, The Risk Management Foundation, and The David Judah Fund.

Dr. Riess has also previously conducted research on treatment of bulimia nervosa with an integrative treatment approach utilizing cognitive behavioral, relational, psychodynamic, and experiential therapies. The results and methods are published in journal articles and her book, Integrative Group Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa, Columbia University Press, 2001.

Publications

Select Publications:

  • Riess H, Kelley JM, Bailey RW, et al. Improving Empathy and Relational Skills in Otolaryngology Residents: A Pilot Study. Otolarygology Head Neck Surgery 2011
  • Riess H. Empathy in Medicine: A neurobiological Perspective. JAMA 2010; 304 1604-1605
  • Riess, H. Dockray-Miller, M. Integrative Group Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa. New York: Columbia University Press. 2002

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