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MUTUAL EMPATHY

Mutual or Reciprocal Empathy



Glossary of Relational-Cultural Theory Key Terms - JBMTI 
"Mutual Empathy
"Openness to being affected by and affecting another person. In mutual empathy, both people move with a sense of mutual respect, an intention for mutual growth, and an increasing capacity for connectedness. For mutual empathy to lead to growth, both people must see, know, and feel that they are being responded to, having an impact, and mattering to one another. The growth that occurs is both affective and cognitive and leads to an enlarged sense of community. Supported vulnerability, a feeling that one's vulnerability will not be taken advantage of or violated, is necessary for mutual empathy."  "




Maureen O'Hara
"Mutual Empathy.
"The discussion so far has been aimed at a better understanding of empathy as a way of relational knowing, a way of , in Polanyi's words, "indwelling" in the experiential life-world of individuals and groups. But there is still more that Western psychology can gain by moving beyond modernist views of empathy. 

Empathy provides more than just information about relationships. It is an expression of being in relationship. It is not just a means to better healing relationship, but because it recenters relationship as a central organizing feature of psychic life, empathy itself is healing. The experience of being known and accepted deeply by another, being aware of another being aware of you, what Jordan calls "mutual empathy" (Jordan, et al., 1991), is among the most psychologically important human experiences. There is ample evidence that without a clear sense of connectedness, human beings, especially infants and children, cannot thrive. It is through mutual empathy that we we develop a sense of ourselves in relationship, the security of knowing that we belong, the knowledge of who we belong to, and how we must participate if we are to be loved, and recognized by our community." "

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