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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 ?
Although a counselor may be less than accurate when employing empathy, striving to empathically understand a client's experiencing in a cultural context often lessens this possibility (Miville, Carlozzi, Gushue, Schara, & Ueda, 2006; Ridley & Udipi, 2002).
When needs, assertions, and grandiosity are empathically understood and validated the child is able to use connection with the parent to soothe and temper anger, eroticized feelings, competition, and envy.
After Tim and Bill expressed their feelings and empathically responded to each other on this issue, the problem was solved with the plan that both parents would drive the son to the mall with one trusted friend and would stay in close proximity to him at the mall.
PIFD is focusing on preparing design professionals who are deeply collaborative, ethically grounded, empathically connected and technologically empowered.
Nevertheless, if the international community's intention is to get Turkey to empathically and justly accept what happened in the past, their unbalanced political interference in the matter may backfire and make Turkey more isolated.
We evolved to understand our fellow humans empathically, by placing ourselves in their shoes.
Nevertheless, generating a problem list gives the counselor an opportunity to listen empathically while sorting out client priorities.
Historians do not have to exculpate the outrages of the past in order to empathically understand the motives of historical actors on their own terms.
In any event, evidence suggests that acting on even partially altruistic motives often encourages donors to shift gradually from narrower scarcity to broader sharing mentalities, (361) and to identify more empathically with community causes and groups.
It is also a metaphor that captures the experience of many mental health professionals as they journey empathically alongside their clients.
Carol listened empathically to and validated her concerns.