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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 ?
Then there is a more empathically basic, secondary intersubjectivity, which involves the other in a fundamental way, even if there were no "others" in the world.
Free debate will help both sides to empathically understand each other's position.
Here, readers can empathically relate to Dorian's remorse; Dorian seems to want to improve his behaviour and his feelings.
This quality of expectancy of discovery enables the child-centered play therapist to "be with" a child in the process of the child's discovery by intently observing, empathically listening and encouragingly recognizing a child's wants, needs, and feelings.
I am using the narrative of Bonhoeffer's New York transformation to illustrate my claim that the Christian ethics we derive from a hermeneutic of Jesus can aid in the struggle against oppression and injustice only when we are capable, like Bonhoeffer, of overcoming our biases and empathically entering into the situation of another with the ability to reflect on the other's experience.
After empathically listening to how difficult or persistent a problem is, the counselor says: "I'm wondering how you managed to keep going" (p.
Having that mindset allows one to listen empathically in order to correct misunderstandings, gain a deeper understanding of the other person, convey that understanding, move to peeling away the layers of the problem to reach a resolution.
Other writers experience cultural immersion when they choose to suspend identity to empathically experience another culture.
To become part of the story we need to listen deeply, empathically, curious as to why the Other sees the world differently than we do (and even identical twins do); open to whatever we might learn in the process, accepting of the Other whoever or whatever they might turn out to be (particularly if they turn out to be someone other than the person we wanted), and always compassionate towards them (Siegel, 2007).
By making an empathic guess about her needs, even when you don't like the strategy she's taking to meet those needs, you can connect empathically with her humanity instead of seeing her as the problem or the enemy.
These assumptions are: (a) empathy deficits represent specific psychological problems that are reliably present (even if specific to a particular victim or context) in individuals who commit sex offenses, (b) empathy interventions increase the ability of offenders to respond empathically to potential victims, and (c) offenders who successfully resist the desire to reoffend do so, at least partially, because they have become more empathic.