Jacqueline Roberts's Archive

Accurate Empathy

4 Commentsby   |  09.06.09  |  Uncategorized

      Accurate empathy is one of the essential qualities successful therapists use to connect with their client. According to Trux & Carkhuff (1967) accurate empathy describes the therapist’s ability to see things from their client’s perspective. Trux & Carkhuff (1967) further illustrate accurate empathy by saying “both the therapist’s sensitivity to current feelings and his verbal facility communicate this understanding in a language attuned to the client’s feelings” (p.46). However, to display accurate empathy the therapist does not have to show or feel the same emotions as their client. For example, a therapist that displays a high rate of accurate empathy correctly responds to the client’s feelings and recognizes subconscious and/or conscious emotions the client maybe expressing. In turn, the client feels more validated because he or she feels like the therapist understands them. This understanding will help the therapist/client relationship grow, increasing the chances of a successful outcome for the client(s). More »

Jacqueline Roberts's Comment Archive

  1. Jacqueline Roberts on Second-Order Change
    12:29 pm, 11.03.09

    1. I think a common example of second order change is the birth of a new child. Not only does the couple have to adjust their everyday routine, but their lives will be forever changed by this new life.

    3.In my family of origin I think second order change was demonstrated when I left home. Even though I come back from time to time, my family’s system is forever changed.

  2. Jacqueline Roberts on Emotional Cutoff
    9:06 am, 10.12.09

    (1) Being emotionally cutoff and being differentiated (independent from one’s family of origin)is very different. Being emotionlly cutoff from one’s family involves complete undifferentiation or emotinal disengagment. Whereas being differentiated from one’s family of origin involves indepdence, with a healthy amount of emotional attachment.

    2) I agree that being cutoff cannot be taught of in black and white terms such as good or bad. For example, in families where neglect, incest, or physical abuse is prevalent being emotionally cutoff maybe be healthy. If an individual has to remain cutoff from certain family members or their entire family to stay safe, then cutoff is a healthy option. However, emotional cutoff can also be unhealthy to individuals that are undifferentiated and come from an enmeshed family system.

    (3) I definitely agree with Bowen on this one. In everyone’s family there are problems that manifest, and never get resolved. Additionally, individuals usually take these unresolved issues into their new family system, continuing the multigenerational progression.

  3. Jacqueline Roberts on Triangulation
    10:47 am, 09.29.09

    (1) I definelty think taht common interests can sometimes progress into a triangle situaiton. For example, people involved in some sort of a competative sport would all share a similar interestes. However, because they are competing against each other insecurities and frustration might create triangulation between the players on the team.

    (2) I believe couples can form triangles around objects. Especially in today’s society were indepednece, career goals, and wealth are highly valued couples can get in a triangulation trap.

  4. Jacqueline Roberts on Differentiation
    9:32 am, 09.28.09

    (1) I beleive the some fused families are healthy, especially those in different contries such as Asia. Extreme situtions, such as famine or natural disasters bring families closer together to the point of emeshement, in order to survive. Other cultural norms require a higher amount of involvment or emeshment then considered healhty in American culture. However, even for Americans I find myself asking the question ” If the family system is emeshed, but healthy is it wrong”? Just because a healthy functioning family meets the criterian for being emeshed, as a therapist do I still need to interfear?

    (2) I think that having a higher level of differentiation is importnat in American culture. In today’s, society people are encouraged to be indepedent and challenge thier beliefs. However, every family system has their own unique challenges and strengths that determine an individual’s level of differentiation.

    (3) There are opportunities in life, I beleive, where one can increase thier level of differentiation. In contrast, there may be instantces such as personal tragedy, that may decrease one’s level of differentiation. Like Sabrina mentioned, I too think that if an individual is highly differentiated they are less likely to fluctuate throughout their lifetime.

  5. After reading about non-possesive warmth, I believe there would be some situations when it would be difficult to show non-possessive warmth. Personally, working with a client who had been involved in sexual or domesitc abuse, especially with a child, would be the most diffucult to show non-possessive warmth to. To over come this problem, I would try and focus on client’s future and not their past. I may also try to learn more about the client to try and determine what led them to commit such crimes, and further increase my understanding. I believe increase understanding would allow me to display non-possesive warmth more accuretly in a difficult situation.
    To physically display non-possessive warmth, I would lean forward, nod my head, maintain eye contact, and use hand gestures. To verbally display non-possessive warmth I would use language that communicated and understanding and compassion.