The dance of empathy: empathy, diversity, and technical eclecticism


Arthur C. Bohart


An integrative model of psychotherapy is presented in which the therapist can use techniques and “interventions,” but from a fundamentally person-centered stance. It is argued that ultimately all therapy is self-help and that it is clients who heal themselves. However the therapeutic relationship is a particularly useful “self-help space” in which clients can grow. Therapy is therefore fundamentally relational, with technology second. In a relational model of therapy, empathy is important and conceived of as resonance. Appreciation of the client becomes a major modality of relating. Techniques can be offered as ways of appreciating, empathizing with, and relating to clients. Empathy and experiencing are conceived of in fundamentally aesthetic terms.