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Sherry Shares

Article by:  Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW

A Case for Extreme Empathy

How radical empathy has gone from the TED Talk circuit to an everyday practice and why building emotional bridges is more important now than ever.”

On December 16th at 7 PM, if I had long hair I’d be letting it down! That’s when I take the@Generation Women stage with five other amazing women to share original stories about reckless, raunchy, rowdy moments in our lives. (Mine involves a job interview with Rocky the pimp!)

The monthly show is a unique, multigenerational and female-powered literary salon at Caveat Theater on the Lower East Side.. Tickets at:

H/M: For an article I want to interview women, who post #MeToo went through the trauma of having the man in their life accused of being a sexual predator. The women I interview can be anonymous – no problem. Please email me at

Hi all
Yesterday (12/11/19) was the launch of my podcast SHERAPY: Real Therapy With Sherry Amatenstein
Nearly 13 years after hanging out my shingle, I still feel immensely privileged to be a psychotherapist, to be allowed to witness and hold my clients’ pain, fears, and pockets of deepest insecurities. When they feel safe enough to admit their most ‘shameful’ secret, my heart swells with pride. Expecting me to be repelled, perhaps to the point of ending our work together, they are shocked when instead I react with sorrow, saying, “You did something you regret. That doesn’t make you evil, just human.” With a whoosh they exhale eons of shame, shedding an albatross that has perhaps defined their life.

One inspiration for Sherapy is Esther Perel’s fabulous Audible podcast: “Where Shall We Begin?”  Each episode is a one-time only therapy session with a couple.

Each episode of Sherapy will feature a therapy session with an individual. Ideally subsequent episodes will follow three or four different patients, so listeners can track their progress. None of the participants will be my private patients. On Sherapy they can receive complimentary therapy and remain anonymous.

Perhaps the most potent inspiration for Sherapy is to de-mystify and de-stigmatize psychotherapy. Too many people in distress still suffer silently. The National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI) estimates nearly one in five people suffer from some sort of mental illness, yet only half of those seek help. Indeed, from 1999 to 2017 there was a 33% increase in suicides!

We need light on this, not shame and silence.

Through my work I have seen the commonalities in humans: our relationship role models are our parents; we are waaay too influenced by our assumptions of what other people think about us;  our egos are often fragile as Kleenex; we think everyone else has the ‘secret’ to being happy and are ashamed (there’s the shame thing again!) at feeling jealousy, anger, and other negative emotions.  But mostly our negativity is aimed our ourselves.

Just about my favorite thing is helping patients learn to help themselves. If you know anyone who might be interested in being Sherapized, please have him or her email me.
Thanks so much!!!
Sherry Amatenstein LCSW