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(Aspy 1975)

Title:  Empathy: Let's get the hell on with it.
DOI or Website Link:
Publication: The Counseling Psychologist Summer 1975 510-14,
Authors:   David N. Aspy

Urges that the empathy that is taught successfully in professional counseling training programs should be expanded to the general community, rather than restricting it to the treatment of those in difficulty. If this expansion does not take place, to counterbalance the new instruments of death and destruction, the results will be disastrous.

Topic Area:
 (In which field / sector / perspective was this study conducted?)


(How was empathy defined?)

(Were any benefits of empathy mentioned?)
  • Empathy is a significant component in human relationships
  • It has positive gains in psychotherapy and education

 (What were the methods used to train empathy?)

Based on CARKHUFF 1969 test
15 hours of training
  •  conceptualize empathy
  • identify an empathic statement
  • formulate and empathy statement in training situations
  • use empathic statements in classroom teaching
  1. Didactic presentation of the Carkhuff Scale
  2. Play audio tape and teacher score it with Carkhuff Scale
  3. Formulate a response to another trainee and group scored each
  4.  Recordings of teaching and scoring
Used Carkhuff book "The Art of Helping"

Target Group:  
(Who participated in this study / training?)
  • Teachers
  • 250 elementary teachers
  • 10,000 elementary teachers
  • researchers had also worked with doctors, lawyers, prisoners, prison guards. etc
  • did various studies.

About the assessment: How was the change in empathy measured before/after the intervention/method?) 


(What was the result?)
  • Noted our society is running at low empathy skills levels in general.
  • Strong data that suggests empathy is related to student performance.
  • Students cognitive gain was positively related to teachers level of empathy.
  • Studies explored procedures for increasing teacher empathy levels in the classroom
  • There is a way of testing teachers' empathy levels.
  • There is a way of training empathy.

Posted By:  Edwin Rutsch
(Any other relevant information)

  • Delineation of Empathy
  • Empathy in Counseling
  • Empathy in Education
    • students cognitive gain was positively related to teachers level of empathy.
    • Studies explored procedures for increating teacher empathy levels in the classroom
  • Empathy in Society
  • Obstacles
  • Summary and Conclusion

Has a section on Obstacles to teaching empathy!
  • 1. People consider empathy as a specialty, for the counselor, therapist, Chaplin, etc. People who do empathy are considered 'experts'. that have special skills.
  • The specialists take on the role of experts because it gives them power.
  • the specialists are not necessarily that empathic
  • 3.  expectation of spontaneous creativity
  • 4. failure to develop helping skills.
  • Proponents of empathy training need to be more empathic with each other.

( Empathy is a way of being, a skill and mind set that anyone can learn. It's not the possession of the therapists.  In fact therapists should really be empathy trainers. Training their clients in how to be more empathic in their own lives. The public seems to want to be deceived about this. In a way it may absolve them of responsibility for nurturing an empathic way of being.)