Research and Writing

Current Work: SPRUCE, Supporting Provider Resilience by Upping Compassion and Empathy.


The SPRUCE curriculum draws on Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) is an evidenced based training drawing from western scientific and eastern contemplative psychology that develops knowledge, theory and skills for sustainable emotional awareness. A CEB training targeted for residents will build healthy emotional boundaries that enable the practice of empathic, compassionate medicine while avoiding burnout.

CEB includes emotion skills, contemplative practices in compassion and mindfulness meditation training designed to improve emotional regulation that can provide stress reduction and enhance interpersonal communication taught through first person exercises, group discussion and dyadic exercises along side technology assisted daily emotion tracking and guided mindfulness practices.

Dissertation:Inside Insight, Opportunities for Meaning, Empathy and the Obstacles of Stress: An Exploratory Study and Pilot Training Among Juvenile Justice Officers

Human service workers care for vulnerable client populations across health care, education and criminal justice. These jobs require interpersonal interactions with clients who are often struggling and suffering. These interpersonally challenging jobs hold the potential to elicit feelings of reward and satisfaction but can also be emotionally draining and lead to chronic work stress. While research and intervention for their clients is ongoing, research and intervention to manage the burdens of chronic work stress still requires a great deal of attention. This dissertation studies the feasibility of a pilot stress reduction training developed specifitcally for Juvenile Justice officers working in San Mateo County.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  1. Ekman, E., & Krasner, M. (2016). Empathy in medicine: Neuroscience, education and challenges. Medical Teacher, 1-10.
  2. UCSF, Palo Alto University, UC Berkeley, Invited Speaker, ” Atlas of Emotions”, June 2016-2016
  3. Ekman, E., & Halpern, J. (2015). Professional Distress and Meaning in Health Care: Why Professional Empathy Can Help. Social work in Health Care.
  4. Ekman, E., (2015). Development, Delivery, and of an Evaluation of a Pilot Stress Reduction Emotion Regulation, and Mindfulness Training for Juvenile Justice Officers. Journal of Juvenile Justice.
  5. Ekman E, & Steger M., (April 2016). Working it: Making Meaning with Workplace Mindfulness,. In I. Itvzan (Ed.) Mindfulness in Positive Psychology: The science of Meditation and Wellbeing,
  6. International Conference to Promote Resilience, Empathy and Wellbeing in Health Care Professions, Key-Note Speaker, “Good Medicine, The Benefits and Burdens of Empathy for Patients and Providers”, Washington DC, 2015.
  7. Mindfulness and Compassion, The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice, Invited Speaker, “The Alchemy of Empathy”, San Francisco State University, CA, 2015.
  8. Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research, Compassion Week Invited Key Note “Compassion and Health Care”. San Francisco, CA, (2014).
  9. International Symposium for Contemplative Science, Invited Presenter “Cultivating Emotional Balance, Past-Present and Future”, Boston, MA, (2014).
  10. Ekman, E,. (2104) Inside Insight, Opportunities for Meaning, Empathy and the Obstacles of Stress: An Exploratory Study and Pilot Training Among Juvenile Justice Officers (Docotoral dissertation) University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved from
  11. Ekman, E., (2013). Cultivating Emotional Balance Training, In Singer, T, and Bolz M. (Eds.) Compassion: bridging practice and science. Retrieved from
  12. Grand Rounds of Psychiatry, Invited presenter “Burnot Reseach and Skills”, San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF (2013-14).
  13. Ted-X Hayward, Invited Presenter “Peace of Mind and Empathy”, (2013)
  14. Moore, M., Ekman, E., & Shumway, M. (2012). Understanding the critical role of social work in safety net medical settings: framework for research and practice in the emergency department. Social work in health care, 51(2), 140-148.
  15. Society for Social Work Research Conference, Invited presenter. Washington, D.C. (2012).
  16. Happiness and Its Causes Conference, Invited presenter “Emotional Skills in Everyday Life” Australia (2011),
  17. Stone, S., Ekman, E., English, D., & Fujimori, S. (2008). Teaching notes: Collaboration among social work and journalism students and faculty: An instructional model. Journal of Social Work Education, 44(1), 163-172.
  18. Ethsix* Magazine 2006-2009, Founder & Art Director of interdisciplinary publication on social issues.
  19. Greater Good 2006- present contributing journalist.


Street Life

Working as a public health provider with the sex workers in San Francisco’s Mission District from the Student British Medical Journal

The author of Ecotopia discusses secession, the environment, and a place called hope, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 2005
By Eve Ekman

Power Sickness, Greater Good
By Eve Ekman | Winter 2007-08
Feeling powerless harms our health, reports Eve Ekman. What can we do about it?

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