NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Why is Empathy Important in Psychotherapy?

A therapist's empathy is such an important aspect of psychotherapy.

Why is Empathy Important in Therapy?

What is empathy?
There are so many definitions for empathy. For our purposes, empathy in psychotherapy refers to the therapist's ability to:
  • listen reflectively
  • enter into the client's experience to sense how the client feels
  • reflect back these feelings back to the client in a way that enhances the client's understanding and allows the client to feel understood
Why is empathy important in psychotherapy?
When the therapist is being empathetic, the therapist gives the client his or her full attention.

If the therapist has perceived the client's meaning accurately and reflects this back to the client, the client will often hear what he or she is saying, possibly in a new way.

The client has an opportunity to gain a better understanding. It also helps a client to improve their problem solving skills.

For a client who grew up feeling not heard at home, being heard and understood by the therapist can be such a healing experience.

It helps a client to feel that he or she is not alone.

I believe that empathy is a very important and necessary part of psychotherapy. Empathy can create trust and build a rapport between the therapist and the client.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing who works with individual adults and couples.

To find our more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To make an appointment, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.