April 11, 2002

Empathic self-transformation in therapy (2002)

Breggin, PR (2002). From Dimensions of Empathic Therapy, Springer Publishing Company, pp. 177-89.

Empathy lies at the heart of being helpful to other human beings. However, empathy does not necessarily spring forth spontaneously from us in all situations or toward all of our patients and clients. Many clients will challenge our ability to understand and to feel sympathy for their experience and viewpoint of life. We must be aware of our level of empathy toward each client; and we must transform ourselves when necessary to reach out as much as possible to all those who seek help from us. I call this process empathic self-transformation. Given the innumerable barriers within us to feeling empathy toward each and every person, empathic self-transformation should become a daily parr of our lives as therapists.