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Truax 1963




"Accurate Empathy Scale - Truax
Then there is the Accurate Empathy Scale, devised by Truax and others for use by raters (Truax, 1967). Even small portions of recorded interviews can be reliably rated by this scale. The nature of the scale may be indicated by giving the definition of Stage 1, which is the lowest level of empathic understanding, and Stage 8, which is a very high (though not the highest) degree of empathy.

Here is Stage 1: Therapist seems completely unaware of even the most conspicuous of the client's feelings. His responses are not appropriate to the mood and content of the client's feelings. His responses are not appropriate to the mood and content of the client's statements and there is no determinable quality of empathy, hence, no accuracy whatsoever. The therapist may be bored and disinterested or actively offering advice, but he is not communicating an awareness of the client's current feelings (Truax, 1967, pp. 556-7).

Stage 8 is defined as follows: Therapist accurately interprets all the client's present acknowledged feelings. He also uncovers the most deeply shrouded of the client's feeling areas, voicing meanings in the client's experience of which the client is scarcely aware ... He moves into feelings and experiences that are only hinted at by the client and does so with sensitivity and accuracy. The content that comes to life may be new but it is not alien. 

While the therapist in Stage 8 makes mistakes, mistakes do not have a jarring note but are covered by the tentative character of the response. Also the therapist is sensitive to his mistakes and quickly alters or changes his responses in midstream, indicating that he more clearly knows what is being talked about and what is being sought after in the client's own explorations. The therapist reflects a togetherness with the patient in tentative trial and error exploration. His voice tone reflects the seriousness and depth of his empathic grasp. (Truax,1967, p. 566)."  (ROGERS 1975)


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