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Brooke Christianson

on 15 October 2014

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Transcript of Empathy

Tough Empathy
Accept the person, reject the behavior
Importance of Empathy
One of the core conditions of helping.
The root cause of all human actions
Their feelings
Allows the individual to tell their story without being judged
Empathy Defined
Importance of Empathy
Effect of Empathy
Three Types of Empathy
Roles Play
Individual Shared Learning
Jeopardy Game!

Empathy Defined
“the process of accurately understanding the emotional perspective of another person and the communication of this understanding”.
(Shebib, 2011, p. 193).

Put yourself if someone else’s shoes
Think beyond yourself and your own concerns
Not changing or treating client’s feelings
What you should not do...
Effect of Empathy
Invitational Empathy
Basic Empathy
Inferred Empathy
Poor Substitutes for Empathy

Carl Rogers said:
“To my mind, empathy is in itself a healing agent. It is one of the most potent aspects of therapy, because it releases, it confirms, it brings even the most frightened client into the human race. If a person can be understood, he or she belongs”
(Shebib, 2011, p. 194).

Reduction of pain through the release of feelings (catharsis).
Increased insight as feelings are recognized, labeled, managed.
Increased trust and rapport with the counselor.

(Shebib, 2011, p. 195)

Anger at the counselor for creating the conditions that led to their feelings being exposed.
Embarrassment arising from fear of being judged as being weak.
Sense of intrusion if empathy violates personal, family, or cultural values that preclude sharing feelings with others.

(Shebib, 2014, p. 198).

“encourages clients to explore emotions”
(Shebib, 2011, p. 197).


“Tell me how you feel” (directive)
“Do you want to talk about your feelings?” (closed)
“How do you feel?” (open question)

Role Play – Pre-booked Counseling Session

“counselors perceive and respond to feelings
that are explicitly communicated”
(Shebib, 2011, p. 199).


“My sense is that you might be feeling…”
“I wonder if what you’re saying/feeling is…”

Role Play – Walk-in Intake

“sometimes called advanced empathy,
involves identifying client’s feelings based on
non-verbal cues, themes, and hints”
(Shebib, 2014, p. 203).


“Your tears suggest that you might be feeling…”
“When you talk about…I sense you feel…”

Role Play – Mother/Daughter Home Setting

“you should feel…”
“why do you feel like that?”

Empty responses
“I understand what you mean”
“I hear what you’re saying”

“Let me do that for you”
“I feel so sad for you”


(Shebib, 2014, p. 211, 215)
Shared Learning
Empathy needs to be expressed to be effective. The empathetic process is not complete until clients have an opportunity to confirm, correct or embellish their feelings and they know that their feelings are understood and appreciated.
(Shebib 211, p. 193)
Clients are often successful
in making us feel as they do.
Use this as a basis for
empathy and as a way to monitor, understand and control your
own emotions.
(Shebib,2014,p. 215)
A tentative tone and a pause for further client input or corrections an important part of any empathetic response.
(Shebib, 2014, p. 210)
When we listen to or observe others, "mirror neurons" in our in our brains tend to fire in the same way as our clients. As a result, our feelings tend to mimic our clients' feelings.
(Shebib, 2014, p. 188)
Using words like "You feel ... Because..."
Shows the clients that you understand or that you are trying to understand
the situation better.
It also gives the client
a chance to correct you if you
misunderstood. This makes your
empathetic responses
simple but effective.
(Shebib, 2014, p. 203)
To become comfortable with empathy,
counselors need to overcome their
own fears about bringing emotions
into the foreground
(Shebib, 2014, p. 207)
Full transcript