Empathy Interview: Helen Weng & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy & Compassion

Helen Weng is currently a doctoral student in clinical psychology studying the Department of Psychology, Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, and Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Her long-term goals include studying how interventions that increase love and compassion impact both psychological and physical health in patients, and how training these qualities in health care providers can prevent burnout and improve patient outcomes.


Helen conducted a study titled,  Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering. “Compassion is a key motivator of altruistic behavior, but little is known about individuals’ capacity to cultivate compassion through training. We examined whether compassion may be systematically trained by testing whether (a) short-term compassion training increases altruistic behavior and (b) individual differences in altruism are associated with training-induced changes in neural responses to suffering. “


Culture of Empathy Builder:  Helen Y. Weng