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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Relationships: Oxytocin, Trust and Empathy

After I wrote my post yesterday about psychotherapy, gratitude and balance, which was in keeping with the Thanksgiving holiday, I read a fascinating article by Nancy Angier in the Science Times section of the NY Times that piqued my interest. The article is called 
The Biology Behind the Milk of Human Kindness.

Relationships: Oxytocin, Trust and Empathy

Research Links Oxytocin to Increased Levels of Trust and Empathy
Ms. Angier discusses new research linking the hormone, oxytocin, to increased levels of trust and empathy. (Oxycotin is a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter in mammals--not to be confused with the drug, Oxycodan).

Relationships: Oxytocin, Trust, Empathy

Prior to this research, researchers have long known that oxytocin has aided in child birth (many doctors inject women in labor with oxytocin to induce labor), breast feeding, and that it usually increases naturally during sexual arousal and orgasm.

Oxytocin Facilitates Bonding and Has Implications For Relationships
Researchers have also known that increased levels of oxytocin facilitates bonding between mothers and babies in humans and other mammals. It is also generally accepted that when there is sexual chemistry between two people, there are high levels of oxytocin and when there is a lack of sexual chemistry, there are lower levels of oxycotin.

Oxytocin Facilitates Bonding and Has Implications For Relationships

However, this new research, which links increased levels of oxytocin with a greater capacity for trust and empathy has important implications for our relationships.

If you haven't read Ms. Angier's article in Science Times, I recommend that you take a look at it to understand the connection between oxytocin and our ability to feel trust and empathy in our relationships (see link that I have provided at the top of this post).

I am a NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist. 

One of my specialities is helping individuals and couples to enhance their personal and work-related relationships.

To find out more about me, visit my web site: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.



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