Thursday, February 27, 2020

Comments by lynntalmon

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  • Thank you, I appreciate your post. At Evolution in Psychotherapy conference I heard Dan Siegel talk about the empathy mistake as a therapist on a brief tangent during his general presentation. He described brain activity of therapist different when the therapist listening to a client employs “empathy” as imagining from their own life what it would be like to experience the client’s story…as opposed to imagining what it is like for that client in their life and culture and attachment and other experiences to experience their own story. The latter was described to reduce burnout and produce better client outcomes as the therapeutic space & experience is not clouded with the therapist’s world and assumptions. The client feels more truly “understood”. And for the client to feel truly uniquely understood, is my interpretation of real empathy. I agree with Dan Siegel and also you when you describe interjection of self as “empathetic presence” to be narcissistic and I think naiive. For that reason I appreciate the proposal for the overused “empathy” word to be adjusted to your “responsiveness” or some other term which clearly delineates friend and peer empathy experience to the techniques effective for therapy. Sincerely, Lynn Talmon