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(O'Hara 1997)

Relational Empathy: Beyond Modernist Egocentricism to Postmodern Holistic Contextualism
Maureen O'Hara 
Center for Studies of the Person, La Jolla, California

O'Hara M. (1997). Relational empathy: Beyond modernist geocentricism to postmodern holistic contextualism. In Bohart A. C.Greenberg L. S. (Eds.), Empathy reconsidered: New directions in Psychotherapy (pp. 295319). Washington, DCAmerican Psychological Association. , Google Scholar


"From within a sociocentric frame of reference, it becomes possible to understand empathy as a state of consciousness. It is a way of perceiving and knowing and a way of being connected to other consciousnesses, by which individual human beings gain access to the inner worlds of other individuals and to the workings of relationships, and whole ecologies, of which they are but parts. It is also a way through which relationships as entities, including groups, and communities can themselves become aware of themselves as wholes. Often this is accomplished through myth, ritual and other holistic forms of knowing. Let me give an illustration:"


"Relational empathy. When looked at through a sociocentric lense, empathy provides a means of knowing relationships not only egocentrically in terms of its particulars, but also holistically as wholes which are more than the sum of their parts. In their ground-breaking work examining the role of empathy in the psychological development of women, Stone Center theorists have recently shifted descriptions of empathy in a sociocentric direction by referring to it as the "relational skill par excellence."(Jordan, et al., 1991)" (O'HARA 1997)

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