This paper expands upon and further develops the centrality of empathy in psychoanalysis as offered by Heinz Kohut. Using clinical examples, it differentiates sustained empathy as the distinctive component of psychoanalysis, and it demonstrates some of the difficulties in determining the boundaries of empathy in the practice of psychoanalysis. A further distinction is from mind reading, a purely cognitive exercise, as is intuition (Carruthers 2009). To pursue a psychoanalytic perception of empathy one must confront its limitations and go beyond the somewhat simplistic claim of its unquestioned therapeutic effect. Empathy is more than a cognitive act, and as sustained over time it can be difficult to achieve, can be misunderstood, and can at times have no therapeutic effect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study we examined psychometric properties of the Serbian translation of the Empathy Quotient scale (S-EQ). The translated version of the EQ was applied on a sample of 694 high-school students. A sub-sample consisting of 375 high-school students also completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), another widely used empathy measure. The following statistical analyses were applied: internal consistency analysis, explanatory (EFA) and confirmatory (CFA) factor analyses, and factor congruence analysis. Correlation with IRI and gender differences were calculated to demonstrate validity of the instrument. Results show that the Serbian 40-item version of EQ has lower reliability (Cronbach's alpha = .782) than the original. The originally proposed one factor structure of the instrument was not confirmed. The short version with 28 items showed better reliablity (alpha= .807). The three-factor solution (cognitive empathy, emotional reactivity, and social skills) showed good cross-sample stability (Tucker congruence coefficient over .8) but the results of CFA confirmed the solution proposed in the reviewed literature only partially. The mean scores are similar to those obtained in the other studies, and, as expected, women have significantly higher scores than men. Correlations with all subscales of IRI are statistically significant for the first two subscales of EQ, but not for the "social skills." We concluded that the Serbian version of the "Empathy Quotient" is a useful research tool which can contribute to cross-cultural studies of empathy, although its psychometric characteristics are not as good as those obtained in the original study. We also suggest that a 28-item should be used preferably to the original 40-item version.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heidegger's 1927 call to provide "a special hermeneutic of empathy" is linked with his later commitment at the Zollikon Seminars to engage explicitly with issues in psychodynamic therapy with psychiatrists. The task of providing a special hermeneutic of empathy is one that Heidegger assigns in Being and Time, but on which he does not deliver. Inspired by the assignment, this article applies the distinctions of Heidegger's Daseinanalysis to human interrelations. This article generates a Heideggerian account of empathy as a multi-dimensional process that delimits and illuminates the field of possibilities of authentic human relationships. The multiple dimensions of empathy include affectedness (Befindlichkeit), understanding of possibility, interpretation, and speech, the latter including listening. The result is a reconstruction of a Heideggerian account of empathic human relations in the sense that it goes beyond what Heidegger explicitly says to what the Heideggerian method of inquiry can contribute to understanding and implementing the process of empathy. In particular, a two-by-two matrix is built and engaged in detail, cross referencing the four possibilities of authentic and inauthentic relationships with the individual and the other. A specifically Heideggerian analysis of the multi-dimensional process of empathy is the result. The clinical relevance of Heidegger's work is made explicit as empathy is positioned as the foundation of clinical practice as exemplified in psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Medicine Health Care and Philosophy 09/2013; 17(2). DOI:10.1007/s11019-013-9506-0 · 0.91 Impact Factor
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