In his latest nonfiction work, “America Reunited,” Hopkinton resident Dr. Arthur P. Ciaramicoli states his belief that our nation has a cancer — one that is treatable, but only if we devise a treatment plan that each citizen is willing to implement.
“As I’ve seen in my practice over the years, many people suffer from the inability to relate constructively to others and to recognize differences as possible strengths rather than as critical weaknesses,” Ciaramicoli explained.
As a licensed clinical psychologist who has treated individuals for more than 35 years, Ciaramicoli understands the importance of opening one’s heart and becoming more vulnerable, while acknowledging, examining and resolving the wounds in one’s own life that have remained unhealed.
“When my clients come to terms with their own unresolved issues, their hearts soften and their anger dissipates. They find their world expands as does their range of friendships, and this results in high-spirited, happier lives,” he concluded.
Research cited in the book shows an unprecedented level of hatred and bias among Americans today. Ciaramicoli’s work crystalizes America’s language war and reflects on how hateful speech has eroded the culture.
“We live in a racist society,” he said. “We must all acknowledge the racial divide and understand the origin of our hatred in order to heal as a nation.”
Ciaramicoli has studied and written extensively about the importance of developing an empathic nature. Throughout “America Reunited,” individual client stories explore what keeps people alienated and apart in this country: sexism, racism, the economy, immigration and self-care.
A lover of lifelong learning and diversity, Ciaramicoli understands how much people can gain from being exposed to different cultures, ethnicities and religions. These experiences can enrich one’s sense of empathy, allowing individuals to become more and more adept at reading others. He knows that to live freely, people must unravel their tendency to be dominated by old hurts that are accompanied by deep emotions because those intense emotions can drive one into a frenzy that can result in hurting oneself or another.
“Our nation is on a precipice,” he warned. “We either become more flexible, more reasonable and more empathic or we will be witnessing the rage exhibited at the Capitol [in January] throughout our country on a regular basis, until all semblance of democracy and decency is lost.”
As a psychologist, Ciaramicoli helps to uncover the potential within each individual that has lain dormant due to old, inaccurate views of self. He teaches clients to slow down and use their capacity for empathy to ascertain the facts while taming their brain not to exaggerate or dismiss an opposing fact or situation. He emphasizes the importance of finding common ground with others.
“Empathy allows us to see beyond the surface,” Ciaramicoli said. “It is the greatest guide to truth. Developing this quality will allow us to thrive collectively and as individuals.”
Ciaramicoli’s work reveals that we have the opportunity to integrate new learning when we are open to understanding alternative points of view.
He urges readers to become involved in a consistent effort to restore decency rather than destroy the freedoms we have cherished for decades.
“We cannot be passive, but we cannot be aggressive either,” Ciaramicoli insisted. “We all need to listen more than we talk. We need to reach out beyond our comfort zone and beyond the groups we belong to. These actions will be key to healing our country.”
Ciaramicoli is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Massachusetts Psychological Association. He is co-director of the Empathic Lifestyle Institute, a collaboration between American and Chinese psychologists and educators. A member of The Visioneers International Network, Ciaramicoli recently received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Health and Well-Being. To discover more, visit balanceyoursuccess.com.