Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Quite a simple concept when you think of it. But how much importance do we really put on this, especially when working with young people, the one group of individuals that probably need to understand the concept the most?
My understanding of empathy grew whilst working in a large secondary school. Sprawling and multicultural, this educational setting supported some of the most deprived families in the area. From my first day I was exposed to huge and fundamental issues of poverty, abuse and mental health difficulties that young people were experiencing first hand. It was devastating. But it was also a revelation.