Empathy Circles: Phase four: Changing perspectives through Imaginative Empathy

Have you been one of those children who could spend cold or rainy winter days with a book and a warm cup of chocolate on a couch, imagining yourself to play an important role in the vast and exciting adventures you were reading about?

Were you the main character of that book, exploring other worlds and other realities through strong narratives? Or were you that child who went out on an adventure, into the woods, the neighbourhood, the park, to understand how our world is working and what your social role in it was?

All these examples were first exercises in imaginative empathy. And wonder was the base emotion driving these empathic imaginations.

Through imagination we learn to distinguish our own mental perspectives from those of others. Imaginative empathy is known in different disciplines as cognitive empathyperspective takingtheory of mind or mentalizing.

by Culture of Empathy Builder:  Lidewij Niezink