The Empathic Dilemma:The Path to Professional Success – The Columbia School of Social Work

Empathy is one of the most widely-discussed skills in the modern workplace, but exactly what is it? What is the difference between empathy and sympathy? What is too much empathy? How can we get in touch with our own innate empathic abilities and become more effective professionals?

In this experiential workshop, we will explore and develop our understanding of empathic listening and response based on the teachings of Dr. Carl Rogers, widely regarded as the most influential American psychologist of the twentieth century.
Dr. Rogers was the first psychologist to throw away diagnostic labels, preferring instead to freely explore the rich internal worlds of his clients, empathically helping them to arrive at their own process of self-healing. Empathy was one of the three core conditions that Rogers maintained were ‘sufficient and necessary’ for therapeutic growth.
In his lifetime, Rogers used the concept of empathy in the broadest possible sense and was even involved in international peace talks where he was able to help often warring-parties listen to and understand the perspective of the ‘other side’.

6.5 contact hours are available for NYS Licensed Social Workers

$250 single; $200 each for groups and alumni
In this experiential workshop participants will
  • Understand and recognize concept of empathy from a Person-Centered theory and practice perspective.
  • Distinguish sympathy from empathy – the former being more about ‘us’, the latter about our clients’ lives and experiences.
  • Distinguish between “optimal empathic attunement” and giving too much of yourself
  • Incorporate empathy into professional practice, learning how to manage conflict and affect client-driven growth.