Dr. Riess is a psychiatrist and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Riess has devoted her career to teaching and research in the neuroscience and art of the patient-doctor relationship. Her research team at MGH conducts translational empathy research utilizing the neuroscience of emotions.
Dr. Riess has served on the Scientific Advisory Panel of the National Academy of Medicine, a core member of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations (convened by Dan Goleman), and has served on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Harvard Institute of Coaching.
Dr. Riess’s groundbreaking empathy research, based on the neuroscience of emotions, received the 2013 Partners Healthcare Medical Education Research Award, the 2012 Harvard Coaching Institute Research Poster Award, and the 2013 SUNY Medical University Endowed Gilbert Humanism in Medicine Lecture Award. Dr. Riess is an internationally recognized speaker on empathy, with a recent TEDx talk on “The Power of Empathy,” which has been viewed by over 375,000 viewers. Her empathy training curricula are implemented nationally and internationally in healthcare, business and education. She is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Empathetics Inc., a company that provides web-based empathy training and blended relational skills solutions.
Helen lives in Boston with her husband, son and daughter who are the light of her life, and their faithful dog named Bandit. The family loves to travel and they enjoy hiking, skiing and yoga. She is a member of a women’s kayak group. Helen loves classical music, art, literature, poetry, spiritual practice and time with her friends.