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To Foster Emotional Wellness in Others

by Dr. Mark Lerner 

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness



1.  Be there and listen. It’s generally not what we say that helps people the most, it’s often what we don’t        say.


2.  Be empathic. Try to communicate an understanding of the feelings behind another person’s words.     


3.  When appropriate, use physical touch or a warm embrace.


4.  Instead of being an expert in solving other’s problems, strive to become an expert in helping others to      find the answers within themselves (e.g., “If you were the way you would ideally like to be, what would      you say?”).


5.  Tell people what they need to do when their safety, or the safety of others, is compromised (e.g., “You      need to share this with your family.” “We need to notify the police, now.” “Let’s turn to your doctor.”            etc.).


6.  During challenges and change, try to normalize and validate other’s experiences (e.g., “This must be          scary, I’m here for you.”), instead of using cliches (e.g., “It could have been worse.”).


7.  Realize that children, particularly young children, take their cues from the adults around them. When        asked, tell children the truth at a developmentally and personally appropriate level.


8.  Encourge people to use strategies that foster emotional wellness. Give genuine compliments.


9.  Keep others’ thoughts and feelings in confidence—unless they could present a danger to themselves        or others (if so, call 911).


10. Know that people never forget what others do during peak emotional experiences. As it has been              said, “They may forget what you said—but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”                    (Buehner)





Dr. Mark Lerner

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

© 2023 by Dr. Mark Lerner

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