The meaning and development of empathy /
Woodson, Joseph Franklin,1911-
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Empathy is the participation of the self and the other in the feeling, communication, content of thought and motivation of the self and the other. This definition of empathy, which might be called the love of God in action, is one which I worked out by using myself and my relationships in the Boston Psychopathic Hospital as a measuring rod. A full sharing of feeling, communication, content of thought and motivation is ideal, but it is not a practical goal. I have decided to say that there is an empathic relationship when there is a free flowing of feeling without any obvious block. My method of conducting this study on the meaning and development of empathy was to use a three way point of reference of the patient, the "therapist," and myself, the empathic investigator; the data was gathered from sixteen patients, nine "therapists" and myself. This means that I am presenting three subjective points of view of twenty-six people and forty-six relationships over a period of three months from September through November 1953. I took fifteen months to get acquainted in the hospital and to work out the definition of empathy; three months were spent in intensive interview and observation. [TRUNCATED] The idea of empathy is brought out in the literature of psychology and allied fields; but it is not delineated in the empirical setting as I have done. Psychology says that we feel into or with people. Psychoanalysis emphasizes transference, counter transference and identification as if they were more meaningful in the psychoanalytic setting; I am of the opinion that they work in every day life. The growing a na dynamic patterns o f anthropology and the roles, status and prejudice of social psychology are used as tools in the task of maturing. Theological writing emphasizes fellowship, relationship, group therapy and empathy without putting them in a specific empirical setting . In p a storal counseling and psychiatry rather formal diadic and group relationships have been developed with specific procedures designed to foster empathy and growth of the individual to maturity. [TRUNCATED]
Typescript. Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University Includes bibliographical references (leaves 224-232). Abstract: leaves 233-241. Microfilm.
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