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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 ?
Responses during interviews have demonstrated that no matter how hard the migrants worked to manage their feelings and construct effective rationales for their emotions, structural factors of geographic and increasing temporal distance could not be avoided, and these in turn contributed to the emotional distance that migrants experienced from old friends from whom they seemed to have drifted apart.
Therefore, teaching social workers how to differentiate from their patients and maintain the balance of emotional distance and empathy at the onset of their work may help with the provision of caring interventions and may provide protection for hospital social workers.
I take my photographs from that emotional feeling within me, rather than from an emotional distance as a spectator," said world-famous photographer Galen Rowell.
Thus, instead of just writing about family values, he speaks about his father's emotional distance and his own struggles in raising his sons.
In my relationships with patients, I have to maintain a certain level of emotional distance in order to function.
Send a survey or contact them by phone about 60 days after they stop working, when they can be more honest and have some emotional distance.
We do not have the ability to change the physical distance; however, we do have the ability to work with members and families on emotional distance.
In the Harry Fielding novels the emotional distance is a logical later stage of the state Davison has portrayed in earlier works like Twist and Shout and The Illustrator.
If nothing else, this curious pattern can be used as a learning tool to demonstrate the utility of historical scholarship and the value of intellectual and emotional distance on an explosive issue.
However, the artist has placed herself on the other side of the window and, by collaborating with her friends, she replaces the sense of physical and emotional distance with a world of intimacy.
Agencies, however, train foster parents to maintain emotional distance from their foster children and to expect sudden, draconian disruptions in the placement.
Monday's child is an unusual mixture of shy and sociable, and seems to mix very easily with most folk and to tune in well, yet keeps a bit of emotional distance between self and others, thanks to a powerful Aquarian Moon.