Emilia Costa and Daniela Muggia.
The Impact of Empathy – A New Approach to Working with ADHD Children (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) by Emilia Costa, MD and Daniela Muggia
ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and children diagnosed with it are often subjected to heavy and risky therapies based on psychopharmacological drugs. What if there were another, non-invasive, way to help them?
The innovation of the approach presented in this book is threefold:
1) it takes into account the new paradigm introduced by the evolution of quantum physics (we can have more information if we are in a suitable state to grasp it, and at the same time we can communicate the state of great peace that we can train ourselves to attain);
2) it introduces the concept of the collective “mandala of suffering”;
3) it inserts into the well-oiled mechanism of self perpetuated suffering a transformative element that brings the procedure to a halt, without worrying too much whether the new element is introduced through the child, the parents, the teachers, or the therapist or the carer.
The inspiration comes from the method ECEL®, Empathic Care at the End of Life, which derives from the marriage of Tibetan thanatology and neuroscience. It is based on a state of great empathy that characterises both the child and the dying person, and that the carer can learn to achieve.
Praise for The Impact of Empathy
“By employing an analysis of how empathy can improve the behavior of a child diagnosed with ADHD, these authors explore helpful teaching methods for the classroom and at home. In The Impact of Empathy: A New Approach to Working with ADHD Children, coauthors Emilia Costa and Daniela Muggia address the topic of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in the context of adjusting group responses, incorporating meditation, and cultivating empathy instead of simply throwing pharmaceuticals at the child. By employing the Empathic Care at the End of Life model, they cultivate the idea that empathy is the most effective way to respond to children struggling with ADHD, giving them power to make changes, and giving others around them the power to support those changes without resorting to the use of medication. According to the authors, ‘Pharmacological agents in fact induce behavioral changes, but they are not capable of teaching children how to make these changes on their own. The children are thus deprived of the essential learning experience of how to act autonomously and emphatically.’ By working with the impacted child and the entire class, empathy and some behavior modifications will help everyone learn to function in many environments. The discussion of meditation will be beneficial to both parents and educators. The ultimate goal is to teach life skills, not just medicate children into passivity.”—ForeWord Reviews
“The diagnosis of ADHD has increased enormously in recent years, involving children with a variety of problems. Yet the dominant standard form of treatment has continued to be medications such as stimulants. These drugs usually do non-specifically and temporarily decrease the basic “symptoms” of high activity and inattention but have negligible impact on helping the child to solve his/her related behavioral adjustment problems.
In this book Costa and Muggia offer a welcome shift in focus to an emphasis on empathic interviewing with the child. Their plan is based on listening to the child to discover the specific areas of conflict in his/her life and the use of the child’s “innate wisdom” and other resources to understand and deal more effectively with the challenges involved. Conscientious clinicians should be aware of and utilize this very sensible revision of management.” —William B. Carey, M.D., Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
“This book uses the essential insights of Tibetan thanatology to tap into the power of empathy. It will prove to be essential for those who care for children with ADHD and also for the rest of us who live in this world.” — Ervin Laszlo, Nobel Prize Nominee, author and founder/president of the Club of Budapest
“Finally a book, showing us that empathy itself transforms symptoms. Empathic connection is a necessary condition of change, I hope this message catches on!” — Dr. Lara Honos-Webb, author of The Gift of ADHD
“This book harnesses what we know from science and meditation to create new possibilities for helping children who struggle with ADHD.” — Nancy Ratey, Ed.M, author of The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks, and Talents
“This is a fine and wise book, written with real spiritual depth and maturity, and on a very important subject. Please read it and learn from it.” — Andrew Harvey, author of Light the Flame: 365 Days of Prayer
“A passionate and well-documented volume (…) So why not take an open-minded look at the methods of dealing with the distress effectively described in this book, which gives an account of different experiences, some psychiatric and psychotherapeutic, others thanatological?” — Luca Poma, President of “Hands off the Children”.
About the authors
Emilia Costa, MD, a former professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy at La Sapienza University in Rome, has authored over 360 pioneering scientificpublications.Shestud ied directly with some great masters – Carl Jung, Roberto Assagioli, an Italian Psychiatrist and pioneer in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, and Psychiatrist Gianfranco Tedeschi, founding member of the professional Jungian group, AIPA, in Italy. Currently, she is the Dean of the Scientific Committee of Pharmacovigilance with the organization Hands off the Children, which works to inform teachers, parents, medical doctors and scientists about the danger of over prescription of drugs to children.
Daniela Muggia is a Thanatologist and the winner of the prestigious Terzani Award for the Medical Humanities in 2008. For almost 30 years years she studied the Tibetan tradition of death and dying with Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the ground-breaking Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. She also trained with Cesare Boni, a professor and teacher of Master classes in Thanatology, the study of death and dying, at Naples University. After more than 20 years of working with the terminally ill, she has developed the ECEL method, Empathic Care at the End of Life, one of the most popular courses taught in hospitals, hospices and for Masters degree programs in Palliative Care at universities in Italy and other countries.
How powerful is meditation for young people? Find out on this NBC news story of a San Francisco middle school.
The enduring power of meditation: Centuries-old monk believed still alive in Mongolia.
Daniela Muggia lecturing on:
Volunteering as a Community Resource at 10th Israeli Annual Conference for spiritual support: “The Individual, the Community and Spiritual Care: Building Resilience and Meaningful Connection”, Nov 5th, 2013
Giving Meaning to Holocaust Survivors at 10th Israeli Annual Conference for spiritual support: “The Individual, the Community and Spiritual Care: Building Resilience and Meaningful Connection”, Nov 5th, 2013
Audio interviews on The Impact of Empathy
Also Ric Bratton, Blue Funk Radio, “This Week in America”, Fort Wayne, Indiana (click on #21)
Articles and Reviews
This book is available in these languages too: