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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 ?
Firstly, a number of characters in the collection do connect empathetically with others: Lilia, her parents, and Mr.
Another owner, quizzed on his horse's chances, says: "He's had his share of grief," and a woman standing near me sighs empathetically.
If we open up empathetically to the other person it can make us more human.
But Broadbent insists the film is empathetically done.
Make every effort to bring annoyed members back to the party folds and accommodate them at all levels, he empathetically told leaders.
This way, children feel safe and encouraged to interact with ponies or horses safely and empathetically.
Using his first-hand business nous as former Spurs chairman he points that stubby finger at some beleaguered team owner and tells them - empathetically and with compassion, of course - exactly where they're BLEEDIN' GOING WRONG.
The purpose of this survey study was to examine the relationship between senior baccalaureate nursing students' perceptions of their nursing program effectiveness in teaching them to empathetically communicate with patients and family members and perceived competence in empathetic communication.
We are in fact presenting our guests with the opportunity to eat the very animal we've tried to empathetically connect them with.
In the course of the designing process, Dietz manages to give in empathetically in order to grant his/her own will to the character that is about to be created.