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Free Seminars 


Facing Shame with Empathy









Organizers: Department of Scandinavian Studies of SWPS University and Empathic Way Europe, with support of the Swedish Institute

How do you deal with shame? What role can empathy play in dealing with difficult situations? While the notion of empathy is widely discussed today, shame can be a topic more difficult to approach, as it often triggers difficult sensations and avoidance patterns. During the event organized by the Department of Scandinavian Studies of SWPS University and Empathic Way Europe, with support from the Swedish Institute, experts will explore both shame and empathy, seen through the lens of Nonviolent Communication.

Free admission. Language: English.

May 20

Shame is an uncomfortable feeling. It overwhelms us in moment where we have done, (or think we have) done something that will not be acceptable or even threatens or place in a group or a relationship. Most of us automatically avoid shame much as we can and judge it as a bad feeling. Therefore, many of us use uncalled-for energy to get rid of this discomfort. Most of the time we are unaware that shame drives us and by avoiding it, we create new problems. We withdraw, blame, attack ourselves or brace ourselves, making relationships more difficult than they need to be.

Shame is a social emotion. Understanding shame means getting understanding of interdependence, sensitivity and human connection. This understanding will give a deeper understanding of how we can get access to more empathy for ourselves and others.

During three consecutive sessions, we will explore both shame and empathy, seen through the lens of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).


13.45-15.15 Why so much fuss around empathy?
Magdalena Malinowska and Paulina Orbitowska-Fernandez
During this seminar, you will get to know the main principles of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and its usage in everyday life.

15.30-17.00Connection before correction
Joanna Berendt and Paulina Orbitowska-Fernandez
You will have an opportunity to look at the ways in which we communicate and how empathy can help us to do it in a more effective way.

17.15-18.45 – Shame – friend or foe?
Liv Larsson
This session will give you an idea of how the avoidance patterns can be recognized and used as a signal that we are not fully connected to the needs of ourselves and others. With the help of The Compass of Needs Liv Larsson will be guiding us in understanding how shame affects us.

Keynote Speaker

258 Liv Larsson

Liv Larsson – A certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) living in Sweden and working internationally. She is a mediator and an author of 20 books, of which “Anger, Guilt and Shame – Reclaiming Power and Choice” deals specifically with the topic of shame. Shame has become one of the mysteries of inner human life that Liv appreciates studying and sharing her knowledge about. Embracing shame means opening up possibilities to learning about human interaction and showing how to find dignity, acceptance and belonging. Her books are translated to many different languages.

www.livlarsson.com » 


  • Department of Scandinavian Studies of SWPS University
  • Empathic Way Europe
  • with support of the Swedish Institute

USWPS FSwE Empathy logos

Date and Location

May 20, 2019, 13.45-18.45
SWPS University Chodakowska 19/31, room no. S306 (3rd floor)


Gabriel Stille, Lecturer in Swedish, Department of Scandinavian Studies
e-mail: gstille@swps.edu.pl