Opening New Eyes: Valuing Empathy in a Procedural World

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Empathy in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Perspectives and Practices by Arthur J. Clark (see record 2006-11878-000). In this book, Clark demonstrates his admiration for the power of empathy even as he teases out its facets and explores its applications. In recent years, the reviewer has not encountered another book that so elegantly and intelligently presents empathy, and the reviewer believes that this book serves as a wonderful introduction to the construct, one that should be strongly considered for inclusion in relevant undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition, all therapists seeking an oasis in a managed care world will find it here. Empathy is one of those central human attributes–like humility, love, and compassion–that is as yet better expressed in poetry and colorful prose than it is in scholarly work. Clark apparently realized this because, although at times his writing lacks color, for the most part he avoids this trap. For that reason alone, he deserves congratulations. With Empathy in Counseling and Psychotherapy, Clark has produced a book that will fit in almost any undergraduate or graduate course–including graduate practica–in which the construct's significance needs to be highlighted and clearly explained. It is a masterful introduction to empathy, and it serves as a roadmap that can be spread across the table as one embarks on–or re-appreciates–the voyage of psychotherapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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