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empathy (gestalt psychotherapy)

- ability to identify with someone, to feel what they are feeling. Perls contrasted empathy, defined by C. Rogers, with sympathy where the therapist allows him/herself to exist fully, so as to offer the client a partner, with an authentic 'I/thou' relationship in mind.


Definition excerpted with permission from Ginger, Serge International Glossary of Gestalt Psychotherapy (Seven languages including English. Order from FORGE at 183 rue Lecourbe; 75015 Paris, France) Paperback 1995.