Empathy is essential in any helping processes be it counselling or psychotherapy. Research has shown that therapist’s ability to empathize correlates positively with outcome measures. However, there has been little or no systematic training to enhance one’s capacity to empathize.
This two-day training on Empathy Skills offers a framework for understanding the empathic process and the wide range of empathic responses. After initial practice in the core skill of empathic resonance, we will focus on the five most important types of empathy and the therapist responses associated with these types of empathy: Empathic Understanding, Empathic Evocation, Empathic Exploration, Process Empathy, and Empathic Conjecture. Each of these will be concretely illustrated by a video or live demonstration, with opportunities for skill practice for each.
This workshop is derived from the practice of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and would be suitable for therapists who have little or no exposure to this framework.
Robert Elliott, PhD, is a Professor of Counselling in the Counselling Unit at the University of Strathclyde, where he directs its research clinic and teaches counselling research and emotion-focused therapy. A professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Toledo (Ohio), he is co-author of Facilitating emotional change (1993), Learning emotion-focused therapy (2003), and Research methods in clinical psychology (now in its third edition, 2015), as well as more than 150 journal articles and book chapters. He is past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and previously co-edited the journals Psychotherapy Research, and Person-Centered Counseling and Psychotherapies. He is a Fellow in the Divisions of Psychotherapy and Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. In 2008 he received both the Distinguished Research Career Award of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and the Carl Rogers Award from the Division of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He offers EFT training in Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ecuador and elsewhere. He practices and research on social anxiety.
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Bohart, A.C. & Greenberg, L.S. (1997). Empathy reconsidered: New directions in psychotherapy. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press.
Elliott, R., Bohart, A.C., Watson, J.C., & Greenberg, L.S. (2011). Empathy. In J. Norcross (ed.), Psychotherapy relationships that work (2nd ed.) (pp. 132-152). New York: Oxford University Press.
Elliott, R., Bohart, A.C., Watson, J.C., & Greenberg, L.S. (2011). Empathy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice & Training, 48, 43-49. [condensed version of Elliott et al., 2011]
Elliott, R., Watson, J., Goldman, R.N., Greenberg, L.S. (2003). Learning emotion-focused therapy: The process-experiential approach to change. Washington, DC: APA. [Chapter on Empathy]
Freire, E., Elliott, R., & Westwell, G. (2014). Person Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy Scale (PCEPS): Development and reliability of an adherence/competence measure for person-centred and experiential psychotherapies. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research,14, 220-226. DOI: 10.1080/14733145.2013.808682
Vanaerschot, G. (1990). The process of empathy: Holding and letting go. In G. Lietaer, J. Rombauts, & R. Van Balen (Eds.), Client-centered and experiential psychotherapy towards the nineties (pp. 269-294). Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.
Watson, J. C. (2002). Re-visioning empathy. In D. Cain & J. Seeman (Eds.), Humanistic psychotherapies: Handbook of research and practice (pp. 445-471). Washington: APA.
Watson, J.C., Goldman, R., & Vanaerschot, G. (1998). Empathic: A postmodern way of being. In L.S. Greenberg, J.C. Watson, & G.Lietaer (Eds.). Handbook of experiential psychotherapy (pp. 61-81). New York: Guilford.
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