Definititions of Empathy
“Concentrates upon trying to understand the client as the client seems to himself” (Rogers, 1951)
"You need to show that you keenly want to understand your clients and convey your attempts to understand" (Dryden, W., 2011)
“Listen carefully, enter into the world of the client, and communicate that we understand the client’s world as the client sees and experiences it.” (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquat, 2012)
"At its most basic, empathy is a simple restatement of someone else's words, to show that they are heard and understood. But at its richest it involves fearlesss exploration of another's inner world" (Tolan,J.,2017)
"The fullest emapthy does not censor or discriminate. It sees the whole world as the other person sees it and is wholly accepting of that world". (Tolan,J.,2017)
"There is no formula for empathy, no easy or magic route to 'getting it right'. It is always focussed on intention to understand how people see themselves and the world around them." (Tolan,J.,2017)
“Understanding his or her key issues and saying them back accurately, without adding your own thoughts, feelings or meanings” (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquat, 2012)
"Staying with the speakers frame of reference and voicing what you are hearing" (Tolan,J.,2017)
eg. "you sound a bit worried about her"
"Empathy is the continuous and continuing attempt to understand the client's world as they perceive it and to communicate that understanding" (Tolan,J.,2017)
The capacity to sense or understand another persons affective, cognitive and/oromaticexperience and communicate this to the person accurately” (Noble & Day)
"constantly checking the accuracy of his or her interpretation of the client’s felt meaning” (Rogers, 1975)
Examples of empathetic statements
It is best to say theses in a tentative way that is open to correction from the speaker.
"That sounds really hard"
"I can't imagine how hard that would be"
"You look really worried about that"
"So for you it is incredibly important not to be late and
and it is incredibly stressful when you are"
"You have a lot going on"
"It seems like you are really struggling with making a decision. Is that right?"
"You feel like you have tried everything and nothing seems to help"
"So pretty much every day this week you have woken up feeling worthless and its sound like it is super hard to get things done"
What to do
Show genuine interest
Listen to understand not to reply
Put your own views aside to understand the other persons world view
Ask questions to really try and understand what they are experiencing and thinking
What not to say
"I totally understand"
"I know exactly how you feel"
"I have been through exactly the same thing"
"All you need to do is......"
It is okay to help a person find their own solutions but FIRST listen with empathy.