The Role of Empathy in Your Recovery


Do you often find yourself struggling to relate to and connect emotionally with others? If so, you’re not alone. A slew of research links a lack of empathy to addiction. Active addiction makes it hard to see beyond your own needs or beyond the next “fix.” Those struggling with substance use disorder often lack the capacity to tune into the emotions and behaviors of others.

Empathy and empathetic listening is vital for lasting recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, however. This is partly because when a person has empathy, he or she will consider another person’s needs before making any decisions. Plus, empathy can help you feel less isolated. When you relate to how other people feel, you are more likely to connect. For example, have you ever told someone, “I can completely relate to that!” How did it feel? Probably pretty good and you likely bonded with that person.

Other ways empathy can help you along your path toward sobriety include:

  • Better ability to connect with others
  • Improved relationships
  • Enhanced communication
  • Increased positivity
  • Reduced feelings of bigotry, racism, sexism and other types of intolerance
  • Less self-absorption
  • More open-mindedness

How We Foster Empathy
At 10 Acre Ranch, we’ll help you or someone you love learn empathy as part of the recovery process. During our 12-step group times as well as our interpersonal didactic groups, our male residents are taught valuable skills to grow their empathy and begin to heal emotionally. These include the ability to:

  • Listen constructively rather than defensively
  • Be honest
  • Show compassion and understanding
  • Be vulnerable
  • Develop new friendships

Reach Out to 10 Acre Ranch
It’s never too late to learn how to become a more empathetic person. Our counselors and credentialed team members encourage residents to repair family relationships, enjoy fellowship with peers and construct a support network they can rely on throughout addiction treatment. To learn more, call us today: 877-228-4679.