Empathy: Is that what I hear you saying?


Sharon Myers


This paper reviews the client-centered approach to empathy with a view toward uncovering relational themes in Rogers' original conceptualization. Challenging traditional versions of empathy which reduced the concept to a special quality of the therapist or to a precise communication skill, this paper argues that empathy is an interactional variable, not well suited to theoretical definition. A model emerges for understanding empathy as on aspect of the interactional relationship which develops between counselor and client.