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Development of the Therapist Empathy Scale

Behav Cogn Psychother. 2014 May; 42(3): 339–354.
Published online 2013 Mar 12.
 doi: 10.1017/S1352465813000039



Few measures exist to examine therapist empathy as it occurs in session.

A nine-item observer rating scale, called the Therapist Empathy Scale (TES), was developed based on Watson’s (1999) work to assess affective, cognitive, attitudinal, and attunement aspects of therapist empathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inter-rater reliability, internal consistency, and construct and criterion validity of the TES.

Raters evaluated therapist empathy in 315 client sessions conducted by 91 therapists, using data from a multi-site therapist training trial (Martino et al., 2010) in Motivational Interviewing (MI)."

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