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the feeling of being able to experience vicariously what another person is experiencing. The ability to empathize is crucial in many interpersonal relationships and social settings. If family members do not experience empathy with each other, discord is more likely than if a climate of EMPATHIC UNDERSTANDING exists. Close friends, by definition, have an empathic relationship.

Empathy is one of ROGERS’ (1951) three conditions for a successful client-counsellor relationship, the other two being genuine warmth, and unconditional positive regard. Empathy is central to PERSON-CENTRED COUNSELLING, since this perspective holds the view that the client's problems can only be understood by the counsellor through experiencing the client's phenemonological field. For this empathy is required.

Empathy is also sometimes seen as central to techniques of MEANINGFUL UNDERSTANDING AND EXPLANATION widely used in sociology See also EMPATHIC UNDERSTANDING, VERSTEHEN.



(German, Einfuhlung), term used in psychology, art, and aesthetics to designate the transference to an object of the feelings and moods which it has evoked. The feelings of sadness or joy which a person experiences on beholding a certain landscape, for example, are projected into that landscape and are perceived as its properties; thus it appears as a sad or a happy landscape.

The concept of empathy was first set forth by F. T. Vischer in 1887, and it became a fundamental principle in the aesthetics of the German philosopher T. Lipps, who defined empathy as “objectified feeling.” It became widespread in the theory of art at the beginning of the 20th century—Vernon Lee and W. Worringer, among others, used the term—and it was frequently interpreted in a subjective and idealist spirit.


Vygotskii, L. S. Psikhologiia iskusstva, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Worringer, W. “Abstraktsiia i vchuvstvovaniie.” In Sovremennaia kniga po estetike: Antologiia. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from English.)
Lipps, T. Zur Einfühlung. Leipzig, 1913.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is clear then that when one's preconceptions of teacher and teaching (core purpose) are not aligned with their contextual experiences, there is the potential for increased emotional distance.
Gaps in the currency of Joy's knowledge of both her old friends and everyday life in Hong Kong imposed an emotional distance even when she was co-present.
The limited environmental capacity to perceive emotions in online learning may bring greater emotional distance to students who have low ability to perceive emotions.
A girl in Japan deals with rejection, the death of her mother and the emotional distance of her father.
While some couples experienced conflict and emotional distance, divorce, and extra marital affairs, others actually developed stronger emotional ties during their separation.
The problem of a proper emotional distance and depth of involvement in the care of the dying man is a frequent theme in literature referred stories.
The novels elaborates two objective correlatives of the emotional distance between the two that is a function of the physical distance provoked by historical events.
It helps to maintain "detached concern," a simultaneous emotional distance to and sensitivity towards the patient.
Compelled by Abby's frail disposition, and the fact that she's nowhere to be found before sunset, Owen senses a kindred soul and strikes up a friendship, despite her attempts to maintain an emotional distance.
reported that his PTSD patients experience fragmented memories, emotional distance, and even amnesia after treatment with propranolol.
Level 1 - Categories of which the Idiocentric/ Allocentric profile is composed: The categories of selfrealization and competitiveness, hedonism and emotional distance from the team were developed for the idiocentric profile, while for Allocentrism, there were team integrity and interdependence;