共情:一种未被欣赏的存在 简版

Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being


Carl R. Rogers, Ph.D. Center for Studies of the Person La Jolla, California

(The Counseling Psychologist, 1975, Vol. 5, No. 2-10)



译者:郑世彦 简里里 胡永康 楼岑渡 杨妍 吴佳烨 褚安敏 刘杨

 It is my thesis in this paper that we should re-examine and re-evaluate that very special way of being with another person which has been called empathic. I believe we tend to give too little consideration to an element which is extremely important both for the understanding of personality dynamics and for effecting changes in personality and behavior. It is one of the most delicate and powerful ways we have of using ourselves. In spite of all that has been said and written on this topic, it is a way of being which is rarely seen in full bloom in a relationship. I will start with my own somewhat faltering history in relation to this topic.

这篇文章的主题是,我们应该重新检验和评估这种被称为共情(empathic)的与他人共处的特殊方式。我认为,我们对这一元素关注太少,而其对我们理解人格动力以及产生人格和行为的改变都极为重要。这是我们使用自身( using ourselves)的最为微妙和有力的方式之一。尽管这一主题经常被讨论和表述,但是作为一种存在方式,很少见到它在关系中全面展开。下面将开始讲述我关于这一主题的几分艰难历程。

Personal Vacillations


Very early in my work as a therapist I discovered that simply listening to my client, very attentively, was an important way of being helpful. So when I was in doubt as to what I should do, in some active way, I listened. It seemed surprising to me that such a passive kind of interaction could be so useful.


A little later a social worker, who had a background of Rankian training, helped me to learn that the most effective approach was to listen for the feelings, the emotions whose patterns could be discerned through the client's words. I believe she was the one who suggested that the best response was to "reflect" these feelings back to the client-- "reflect" becoming in time a word which made me cringe. But at that time it improved my work as therapist, and I was grateful.


Then came my transition to a full-time university position where, with the help of students, I was at last able to scrounge equipment for recording our interviews. I cannot exaggerate the excitement of our learnings as we clustered about the machine which enabled us to listen to ourselves, playing over and over some puzzling point at which the interview clearly went wrong, or those moments in which the client moved significantly forward. (I still regard this as the one best way of learning to improve oneself as a therapist.) Among many lessons from these recordings, we came to realize that listening to feelings and "reflecting" them was a vastly complex process. We discovered that we could pinpoint the therapist response which caused a fruitful flow of significant expression to become superficial and unprofitable. Likewise we were able to spot the remark which turned a client's dull and desultory talk into a focused self- exploration.


In such a context of learning it became quite natural to lay more stress upon the content of the therapist response than upon the empathic quality of the listening. To this extent we became heavily conscious of the techniques which the counselor or therapist was using. We became expert in analyzing, in very minute detail, the ebb and flow of the process in each interview, and gained a great deal from that microscopic study. But this tendency to focus on the therapist's responses had consequences which appalled me. I had met hostility, but these reactions were worse. The whole approach came, in a few years, to be known as a technique. "Nondirective therapy," it was said, "is the technique of reflecting the client's feelings." Or an even worse caricature was simply that, "in nondirective therapy you repeat the last words the client has said." I was so shocked by these complete distortions of our approach that for a number of years I said almost nothing about empathic listening, and when I did it was to stress an empathic attitude, with little comment as to how this might be implemented in the relationship. I preferred to discuss the qualities of positive regard and therapist congruence, which together with empathy I hypothesized as promoting the therapeutic process. They too were often misunderstood, but at least not caricatured.


The Current Need


Over the years, however, the research evidence keeps piling up, and it points strongly to the conclusion that a high degree of empathy in a relationship is possibly the most potent and certainly one of the most potent factors in bringing about change and learning. And so I believe it is time for me to forget the caricatures and misrepresentations of the past and take a fresh look at empathy.


For still another reason it seems timely to do this. In the United States during the past decade or two many new approaches to therapy have held center stage. Gestalt therapy, psychodrama, primal therapy, bio-energetics, rational-emotive therapy, transactional analysis are some of the best known, but there are more. Part of their appeal lies in the fact that in most instances the therapist is clearly the expert, actively manipulating the situation, often in dramatic ways, for the client's benefit. If I read the signs correctly I believe there is a decrease in the fascination with such expertise in guidance. With another approach based on expertise, behavior therapy, I believe interest and fascination are still on the increase. A technological society has been delighted to have found a technology by which a man's behavior can be shaped, even without his knowledge or approval, toward goals selected by the therapist, or by society. Yet even here much questioning by thoughtful individuals is springing up as the philosophical and political implications of "behavior mod" become more clearly visible. So I have seen a willingness on the part of many to take another look at ways of being with people which evoke se/f-directed change, which locate power in the person, not the expert, and this brings me again to examine carefully what we mean by empathy and what we have come to know about it. Perhaps the time is ripe for its value to be appreciated.

还有一个原因表示这样做似乎是合乎时宜的。在美国过去的一二十年里,许多新的治疗方法占据了中心舞台。其中最为知名的有:格式塔治疗、心理剧、原始治疗(primal therapy)、生物能量(bio-energetics)、理性情绪疗法、交互分析(transactional analysis),但是还有更多的疗法。它们的吸引力部分在于这一事实:在大多数情况下,很明显治疗师是专家,为了来访者的利益,经常以戏剧性的方式主动地操纵着情境。如果我正确地理解了未来的迹象,我相信,人们对这种专门技术指导的着迷会有所减少。至于另一种基于专门技术的方法——行为治疗,我相信,人们对其的兴趣和着迷仍然在增加。一个技术的社会乐于发现一门技术,凭借它,人的行为可以向着治疗师或社会所选定的目标被塑造,即使没有他的理解或同意。不过,即使在这里,哲学和政治对“行为方式”的影响变得越来越明显,一些有思想的个体还是提出了许多质疑。所以,我已经看见一种意愿,许多人采取另一种方式看待人们的存在,这种方式带来自我指导式的改变,它寻找当事人(而不是专家)身上的力量,这使我又一次仔细地检查共情到底是什么,我们对它又了解了多少。也许现在时机成熟了——去赏识共情的价值。

Early Definitions


Many definitions have been given of the term and I myself have set forth several. More than twenty years ago (though not published until 1959) I attempted to give a highly rigorous definition as part of a formal statement of my concepts and theory. It went as follows:


The state of empathy, or being empathic, is to perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person, but without ever losing the 'as if’ condition. Thus it means to sense the hurt or the pleasure of another as he senses it and to perceive the causes thereof as he perceives them, but without ever losing the recognition that it is as if I were hurt or pleased and so forth. It this 'as if' quality is lost, then the state is one of identification (Rogers, 1959, pp. 210-211. See also Rogers, 1957)

共情的状态,或者说共情,是准确地觉察另一个人的内在参考框架,这种觉察带有情感的成分和含义,好像你就是那个人,但又永远不失去“好像”的境界。因此,这意味着去感受另一个人感受到的痛苦或快乐,就像他感受到的那样;并去觉察其原因,就像他觉察到的那样,但是永远不失去这一认识:好像我是痛苦或快乐的,如此等等。如果失去了这个“好像”,那么这种状态就是一种认同(Rogers, 1959, pp. 210-211. See also Rogers, 1957)。

Experiencing as a Useful Construct


To formulate a current description I would want to draw on the concept of experiencing as formulated by Gendlin (1962). This concept has enriched our thinking in various ways as will be evident in this paper. Briefly it is his view that at all times there is going on in the human organism a flow of experiencings to which the individual can turn again and again as a referent in order to discover the meaning of his experience. He sees empathy as pointing sensitively to the "felt meaning" which the client is experiencing in this particular moment, in order to help him focus on that meaning and to carry it further to its full and uninhibited experiencing.


An example may make more clear both the concept and its relation to empathy. A man in an encounter group has been making vaguely negative statements about his father. The facilitator says, "it sounds as though you might be angry at your father." He replies, "No, I don't think so." "Possibly dissatisfied with him?" "Well, yes, perhaps," (said rather doubtfully). "Maybe you're disappointed in him." Quickly the man responds, "That's it! I am disappointed that he's not a strong person. I think I've always been disappointed in him ever since I was a boy."


Against what is the man checking these terms for their correctness? Gendlin's view, with which I concur, is that he is checking them against the ongoing psycho-physiological flow within himself to see if they fit. This flow is a very real thing, and people are able to use it as a referent. In this case "angry" doesn't match the felt meaning at all; "dissatisfied" comes closer, but is not really correct; "disappointed" matches it exactly, and encourages a further flow of the experiencing, as often happens.


A Current Definition


With this conceptual background, let me attempt a description of empathy which would seem satisfactory to me today. I would no longer be terming it a "state of empathy," because I believe it to be a process, rather than a state. Perhaps I can capture that quality.

根据这个概念的背景,我想对共情进行一个新的令人满意的描述。我不会再把它定义为一种“共情的状态”,因为我相信,与其说是一种状态,不如说共情是一个过程。也许我可以描述出共情的这种特征。(但愿我可以描述出(state of empathy is a process rather a state)这种特性/特征。我是这么理解的)

The way of being with another person which is termed empathic has several facets. It means entering the private perceptual world of the other and becoming thoroughly at home in it. It involves being sensitive, moment to moment, to the changing felt meanings which flow in this other person, to the fear or rage or tenderness or confusion or whatever, that he/she is experiencing. It means temporarily living in his/her life, moving about in it delicately without making judgments, sensing meanings of which he/she is scarcely aware, but not trying to uncover feelings of which the person is totally unaware, since this would be too threatening. It includes communicating your sensings of his/her world as you look with fresh and unfrightened eyes at elements of which the individual is fearful. It means frequently checking with him/ her as to the accuracy of your sensings, and being guided by the responses you receive. You are a confident companion to the person in his/her inner world. By pointing to the possible meanings in the flow of his/her experiencing you help the person to focus on this useful type of referent, to experience the meanings more fully, and to move forward in the experiencing.

与他人实现共情的方法涉及好几个方面。共情意味着进入到他人私密的感知世界,并且在其中感到自在。这包括对于另一个人的内心中发生变化的感知意义(felt meaning)和这个人正在经历的感觉,无论是恐惧、愤怒、脆弱、困惑还是其他感觉,时刻保持敏感。这意味着暂时进入另一个人的生活中,在其中小心地移动而不作任何评价,感受他/她很少察觉到的感受,但却不去揭开这个人完全不曾察觉到的感觉——因为这会变得过于具有侵略性。这包括当你用新奇而不惊讶的双眼去审视令这个人感到害怕的因素时,你要与之交流你对他或她的世界所产生的感受。这意味着需要去经常与这个人核对你对他/她的感受正确与否,并从得到的回应中得到引导。你是他/她内心世界的一名自信的朋友。通过指出他/她的经历可能代表的意义,你帮助这个人关注于这一有效的指示对象、去更完整地感受这些意义,并且在体验的过程中前进。

To be with another in this way means that for the time being you lay aside the views and values you hold for yourself in order to enter another's world without prejudice. In some sense it means that you lay aside your self and this can only be done by a person who is secure enough in himself that he knows he will not get lost in what may turn out to be the strange or bizarre world of the other, and can comfortably return to his own world when he wishes.


Perhaps this description makes clear that being empathic is a complex, demanding, strong yet subtle and gentle way of being.


Operational Definitions


The foregoing description is hardly an operational definition, suitable for use in research. Yet such operational definitions have been formulated and widely used. There is the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory, to be filled out by the parties to the relationship, in which empathy is defined operationally by the items used. Some of the items from this instrument, indicating the range from empathic to non-empathic, follow:

前述的描述难以成为一种操作性定义,也不适合在研究中使用。其实共情的操作性定义早已形成并被广泛使用。如巴瑞特-伦纳德关系问卷(Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory),这个问卷由处于一段关系中的双方来填写,而共情程度由问卷中的条目在操作上进行定义。这个问卷中的一些条目表明了从共情至不共情的范围,如下:

He appreciates what my experience feels like to me.


He understands what I say from a detached, objective point of view.


He understands my words but not the way I feel.


Barrett-Lennard also has a specific conceptual formulation of empathy upon which he based his items. While it definitely overlaps with the definition given, it is sufficiently different to warrant its quotation:


Qualitatively it [empathic understanding] is an active process of desiring to know the full, present and changing awareness of another person, of reaching out to receive his communication and meaning, and of translating his words and signs into experienced meaning that matches at least those aspects of his awareness that are most important to him at the moment. It is an experiencing of the consciousness 'behind' another's outward communication, but with continuous awareness that this consciousness is originating and proceeding in the other (Barrett- Lennard, 1962).

定性地说,[共情式理解]是一个主动的过程,包括想要知道另一个人完整的、当前的和变化的意识,去努力去接收他的沟通信息和含义,并把他的言语和非言语翻译成他所体验到的含义(至少与当下对于他的意识最重要的那一部分相匹配)。这一过程是理解他人公开谈话的“背后”所表现的意识(这是一种对他人的外部交流“背后”的意识的体验),但是时刻谨记这一意识在他人身上一直产生并延伸。(Barrett- Lennard, 1962)

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.

特鲁瓦克斯(Truax)及其同事设计了一个由评定者使用的精确共情量表(Accurate Empathy Scale)(Truax, 1967)。甚至非常少量的会谈记录都能够由这个量表可靠地评定。这个量表的性质可以由几个阶段的定义来表示:阶段1,是最低水平的共情式理解;阶段8,是非常高(尽管不是最高)的共情程度。

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).

这里是第 1 阶段:治疗师似乎连来访者最显而易见的感受也完全没有觉察。对于来访者感受的情绪和内容来说,他的回应并不恰当。对于来访者陈述的情绪和内容来说,他的回应也不恰当,而且没有可测定的共情性质,因此,没有任何精确度可言。这位治疗师可能感到厌倦而缺乏兴趣,也可能在积极地提供建议,但他并没有在传达对来访者当前感受的觉察(Truax,1967,pp. 556-7)。

Stage 8 is defined as follows:

第 8 阶段定义如下:

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).

治疗师能够准确解读来访者当前承认的所有感受。他还会揭露来访者裹藏最深的感受领域,说出来访者体验中他自己很少觉察到的含义……他进入来访者略微提及的那些情感和体验,并做到敏感而准确。呈现出来的内容可能是新的,但并不陌生。尽管第 8 阶段的治疗师也会犯错,但不会是格格不入的错误,并且,由于他们的回应是试探性的,所以这些错误得以被掩护。另外,治疗师对错误很敏感,会很快在中途调整或改变其回应,表明他更清楚地了解了谈论的内容,更清楚地了解了来访者在他自己的探索中追求什么。治疗师在试验性的尝试中反映与来访者在一起的感觉。他的语调反应了共情领会的严肃性和深度。(Truax, 1967, p. 566)。

I have wished to indicate by these examples that the empathic process can be defined in theoretical, conceptual, subjective and operational ways. Even so, we have not reached the limits of its base.


A Definition for Contemporary Persons


Eugene Gendlin and others have recently been involved in a helping community enterprise called "Changes" which has many implications for dealing with the alienated and counter-culture members of the chaos which we call urban living. Of particular interest here is the "Rap Manual" which has been developed to aid the ordinary person in learning "how to help with the other person's process."

尤金·简德林和其他人最近参与了一个被称作“改变”的互助团体项目,这个项目在对所谓的混乱的城市生活中被疏远和反文化的成员造成了不少影响。让人特别感兴趣的是,这里有“交谈手册”(Rap Manual),用于帮助普通人学习“如何协助另一个人的改变”。

This Manual starts out with a section on "Absolute Listening." Some excerpts give the flavor:

这本手册以关于“ 纯粹的聆听”的章节开始。一些摘录展示了其风格:

This is not laying trips on people. You only listen and say back the other person's thing, step by step, just as that person seems to have it at that moment. You never mix into it any of your own things or ideas, never lay on the other person anything that person didn't express ... To show that you understand exactly, make a sentence or two which gets exactly at the personal meaning this person wanted to put across. This might be in your own words, usually, but use that person's own words for the touchy main things (Gendlin and Hendricks, undated).

这并非为人们定制路线。你仅仅是聆听并反馈另一个人说的事情,一步步地,好像就在此刻经历着它的那个人。你绝不混进任何你自己的事情或观点,绝不将那个人未表达的任何东西加给他……为了表明你的准确理解,用一两句话对那个人想要说明的个人意义进行澄清。这可以是用你自己的话,通常如此,但对于敏感的重要事件,用那个人自己的话来表达(Gendlin 和 Hendricks,日期未注明)。

It continues in this same vein, with many detailed suggestions, including ideas on "How to know when you're doing it right."


So it seems clear that an empathic way of being, though highly subtle conceptually, can also be described in terms which are perfectly understandable by contemporary youth, or citizens of a beleaguered inner city. It is a broad-ranging conception.


General Research Findings


What have we come to know about empathy through research based on the instruments mentioned above, and others which have been devised? The answer is that we have learned a great deal and I will try to present some of these learnings, giving first some of the general findings which are of interest. I will reserve until later an analysis of the effects of an empathic climate on the dynamics and behavior of the recipient. Here then are some of the general statements which can be made with assurance.


The ideal therapist is first of all empathic. When psychotherapists of many different orientations describe their concept of the ideal therapist, the therapist they would like to become, they are in high agreement in giving empathy the highest ranking out of twelve variables. This statement is based on a study by Raskin (1974) of 83 practicing therapists of at least eight different therapeutic approaches. The definition of the empathic quality was very similar to that used in this paper. This study corroborates and strengthens an earlier research by Fiedler (1950b). So we may conclude that therapists recognize that the most important factor in being a therapist is "trying, as sensitively and as accurately as he can, to understand the client, from the latter's own point of view" (Raskin, 1974).

理想的治疗师首要的品质就是共情。当许多不同取向的心理治疗师描述他们对于理想治疗师的概念,描述他们想成为什么样的治疗师时,大家几乎高度一致地认为在十二个变量中,共情应排在第一位。这个说法是基于拉斯金(Raskin,1974)对于至少8个不同治疗取向的83名一线治疗师的研究。此研究中共情质量的定义和这篇论文里所使用的定义是非常相似的。这个研究进一步验证了费德勒(Fiedler,1950b)早期的一项研究。因此我们可以得出结论:治疗师意识到了成为一个治疗师的首要品质就是“努力、尽可能敏锐而准确地,站在来访者的角度来理解来访者”(Raskin, 1974)。

Empathy is correlated with self-exploration and process movement. It has been learned that a relationship climate with a high degree of empathy is associated with various aspects of process and progress in the therapy. Such a climate is definitely related to a high degree of self- exploration in the client (Bergin and Strupp, 1972; Kurtz and Grummon, 1972; Tausch, Bastine, Friese and Sander, 1970).

共情与自我探索和治疗进展是相联系的。我们已经了解到,具有高度共情的关系氛围与治疗中进展的许多方面密切相关。这样的氛围很明显与来访者的高水平的自我探索也相关((Bergin and Strupp, 1972; Kurtz and Grummon, 1972; Tausch, Bastine, Friese and Sander, 1970))。

Empathy early in the relationship predicts later success. The degree of empathy which exists and will exist in the relationship can be determined very early, in the fifth or even the second interview. Such early measurements are predictive of the later success or lack of success in therapy (Barrett-Lennard, 1962; Tausch, 1973). The implication of these findings is that we could avoid a great deal of unsuccessful therapy, by measuring the therapist's empathy early on.

一段关系中早期的共情可以预测这段关系成功与否。一段关系中出现和将要出现的共情水平可以在很早就能确定下来,基本上第五次甚至第二次面谈就可以确定。这个早期的测量对于后来的治疗成功是有预测作用的(Barrett-Lennard, 1962; Tausch, 1973)。因此,这些研究发现告诉我们,通过在早期测量咨询师的共情水平,可以避免大量不成功的治疗。

The client comes to perceive more empathy in successful cases. In successful cases, the client's perception of the empathic quality in the relationship, and that quality as rated by objective judges, increases over time, although the increase is not very great (Cartwright and Lerner, 1966; Van Der Veen, 1970).

来访者在成功的治疗中会感觉到更多的共情。在成功的案例中,咨访关系中的来访者感知到的共情特质会越来越多,而这样的特质是由客观标准所评定的,尽管这种增加不是非常明显(Cartwright and Lerner, 1966; Van Der Veen, 1970)。

Understanding is provided by the therapist, not drawn from him. We know that empathy is something offered by the therapist, and not simply elicited by some particular type of client (Tausch, et al, 1970; Truax and Carkhuff, 1967). There have been speculations to the contrary, that an appealing or seductive client might be responsible for drawing understanding from the therapist. The evidence does not support this. Indeed, the degree of empathy in a relationship can be rather accurately inferred simply by listening to the therapist responses, without any knowledge of the client's statements (Quinn, 1953). So if an empathic climate exists in a relationship, the probability is high that the therapist is responsible.

理解是由治疗师提供的,而不是被索取的。我们知道共情是治疗师应具有的特质,而不是由于某类来访者而引发出来的(Tausch, et al, 1970; Truax and Carkhuff, 1967)。我们已有对反面案例的思考,认为一位有魅力的来访者可能是获得治疗师的理解的原因。但没有证据支持这一点。事实上,一段关系中的共情水平可以被相当精确地推测——仅仅通过倾听治疗师的反馈,而不需要对来访者的陈述有所了解(Quinn, 1953)。所以,如果一段关系中存在共情的氛围,那么很可能是咨询师具有共情这一特质。

The more experienced the therapist, the more likely he is to be empathic. Experienced therapists offer a higher degree of empathy to their clients than less experienced, whether we are assessing this quality through the client's perception or through the ears of qualified judges (Barrett- Lennard, 1962; Fiedler, 1949, 1950a; Mullen and Abeles, 1972). Evidently therapists do learn, as the years go by, to come closer to their ideal of a therapist, and to be more sensitively understanding.


Empathy is a special quality in a relationship, and therapists offer definitely more of it than even helpful friends (Van Der Veen, 1970). This is reassuring.

在一段关系中,共情是一种特殊的品质,甚至比起有帮助的好朋友,治疗师提供的共情要多得多(Van Der Veen, 1970)。这是令人欣慰的。

The better integrated the therapist is within himself, the higher the degree of empathy he exhibits. Personality disturbance in the therapist goes along with a lower empathic understanding, but when he is free from discomfort and confident in interpersonal relationships, he offers more of understanding (Bergin and Jasper, 1969; Bergin and Solomon, 1970). As I have considered this evidence, and also my own experience in the training of therapists, I come to the somewhat uncomfortable conclusion that the more psychologically mature and integrated the therapist is as a person, the more helpful is the relationship he provides. This puts a heavy demand on the therapist as a person.

一位治疗师的内部整合得越好,那么他展现的共情水平也越高。治疗师的人格困扰往往与低水平的共情理解一起出现,但是,一旦他解决了不适应的问题并在人际关系中感到自信,他将提供更多的共情理解(Bergin and Jasper, 1969; Bergin and Solomon, 1970)。根据我对这个观点的思考,还有我培训治疗师时的个人经验,我得出多少有些让人不舒服的结论:治疗师作为一人,心理越成熟、整合程度越高,那么他在关系中就越有帮助。这就对治疗师作为一个人提出了很高的要求。

Experienced therapists often fall far short of being empathic. In spite of what has been said of experienced therapists, they differ sharply in the degree of empathy they offer. Raskin (1974) showed that when the recorded interviews of six experienced therapists were rated by other experienced therapists, the differences on twelve variables were significant at the .001 level, and empathy was second in the extent of difference. The outstanding characteristic of the client- centered therapist was his empathy. Other approaches had as their outstanding characteristic their cognitive quality, or therapist-directedness, and the like. So, though therapists regarded empathic listening as the most important element in their ideal, in their actual practice they often fall far short of this. In fact the ratings of the recorded interviews of these six expert therapists by 83 other therapists came up with a surprising finding. In only two cases did the work of the experts correlate positively with the description of the ideal therapist. In four cases the correlation was negative, the most extreme being a -.66! So much for therapy as it is practiced!


Clients are better judges of the degree of empathy than are therapists. Perhaps then it is not too surprising that therapists prove to be rather inaccurate in assessing their own degree of empathy in a relationship. The client's perception of this quality agrees rather well with that of unbiased judges listening to the recordings, but the agreement between clients and therapists, or judges and therapists, is low (Rogers, Gendlin, Kiesier and Truax, 1967, Chs. 5, 8). Perhaps, if we wish to become better therapists, we should let our clients tell us whether we are understanding them accurately!

相对于治疗师来说,来访者可能是一个更好的共情评价者。也许不那么令人惊讶,在评价他们自己在关系中的共情水平时,治疗师被证明是相当地不准确。来访者对这一品质的觉知与不带偏见的听取录音的评定员相当一致,但是,来访者与治疗师、评定员者与治疗师之间的一致性却相当低。(Rogers, Gendlin, Kiesier and Truax, 1967, Chs. 5, 8)。也许,如果我们想成为更好的治疗师,我们应让来访者告诉我们是否正确地理解了他们!

Brilliance and diagnostic perceptiveness are unrelated to empathy. It is important to know that the degree to which the therapist creates an empathic climate is not related to his academic performance or intellectual competence (Bergin and Jasper, 1969; Bergin and Solomon, 1970). Neither is it related to the accuracy of his perception of the individual or his diagnostic competence. In fact it may be negatively related to the latter (Fiedler, 1953). This is a most important finding. If neither academic brilliance nor diagnostic skill is significant, then clearly an empathic quality belongs in a different realm of discourse from most clinical thinking-- psychological and psychiatric. I believe we are reluctant to accept the implications.

聪明和诊断的洞察力和共情无关。我们要知道,治疗师所创造的共情氛围与他的学术成就或智力才能无关(Bergin and Jasper, 1969; Bergin and Solomon, 1970)。与他对个体的洞察力或他的诊断能力也没有关系。事实上,它与后者可能是负相关的(Fiedler, 1953)。这是一项最为重要的发现。如果学术才华或诊断技能都是不重要的,那么很明显共情品质应归入一个不同的讨论领域,离开最典型的临床思维——心理学的和精神病学的。我认为我们还不情愿接受这一暗示。

An empathic way of being can be learned from empathic persons. Perhaps the most important statement of all is that the ability to be accurately empathic is something which can be developed by training. Therapists, parents and teachers can be helped to become empathic. This is especially likely to occur if their teachers and supervisors are themselves individuals of sensitive understanding (Aspy, 1972; Aspy and Roebuck, 1975; Bergin and Solomon, 1970; Blocksma, 1951; Guerney, Andronico and Guerney, 1970). It is most encouraging to know that this subtle, elusive quality, of utmost importance in therapy, is not something one is "born with", but can be learned, and learned most rapidly in an empathic climate. Perhaps only two basic elements or therapeutic effectiveness can profit from cognitive and experiential training: empathy and congruence.

共情的存在方式可以从共情之人身上学习到。也许这些陈述中最重要的,精确共情的能力是某种可以通过训练而发展的东西。治疗师、父母和教师可以被帮助变得共情。如果他们的老师和督导自己是容易理解他人的人,这尤其可能发生(Aspy, 1972; Aspy and Roebuck, 1975; Bergin and Solomon, 1970; Blocksma, 1951; Guerney, Andronico and Guerney, 1970)。最鼓舞人心的是,知道这种微妙的、难捉摸的品质,在治疗中最为重要的品质,不是某种“与生俱来”的东西,而是能够学习到的,而且在共情的气氛中可以快速地习得。也许只有两种基本的元素或疗效因子能够得益于认知和经验的训练:共情和一致性。

The Consequences of an Empathic Climate


So much for the knowledge which has been gained about empathy. But what effects do a series of deeply empathic responses have upon the recipient? Here the evidence is quite overwhelming. Empathy is clearly related to positive outcome. From schizophrenic patients to pupils in ordinary classrooms; from clients of a counseling center to teachers in training; from neurotics in Germany to neurotics in the United States, the evidence is the same, and it indicates that the more the therapist or teacher is sensitively understanding, the more likely is constructive learning and change (Aspy, 1972, Ch. 4; Aspy and Roebuck, 1975; Barrett-Lennard, 1962; Bergin and Jasper, 1969; Bergin and Strupp, 1972; Halkides, 1958; Kurtz and Grummon, 1972; Mullen and Abeles, 1971; Rogers, et al, 1967, Chs. 5, 9; Tausch, Bastine, Bommert, Minsel and Nickel, 1972; Tausch, et al, 1970; Truax, 1966). As stated by Bergin and Strupp (1972), various studies "demonstrate a positive correlation between therapist empathy, patient self-exploration, and independent criteria of patient change" (p. 25).

共情相关的知识就了解到这里。然而,一连串的深度共情反应在接受者身上会产生什么影响呢?这里给出的证据是十分有力的。共情明显与积极的治疗效果相关。从精神分裂症患者到普通教室里的学生,从咨询中心的来访者到培训中心的教师;从德国的神经官能症患者到美国的患者,证据显示一概如此,这表明了治疗师或者教师越是敏感地理解他人,有建设性的学习和改变就越可能发生 (Aspy, 1972, Ch. 4; Aspy and Roebuck, 1975; Barrett-Lennard, 1962; Bergin and Jasper, 1969; Bergin and Strupp, 1972; Halkides, 1958; Kurtz and Grummon, 1972; Mullen and Abeles, 1971; Rogers, et al, 1967, Chs. 5, 9; Tausch, Bastine, Bommert, Minsel and Nickel, 1972; Tausch, et al, 1970; Truax, 1966)。 就如Bergin和Strupp (1972)所说,不同的研究“证明了在治疗师的共情、病人的自我探索与独立的病人改变标准之间存在正相关”(p.25)。

Yet I believe far too little attention has been given these findings. This deceptively simple empathic interaction which we have been discussing has many and profound consequences. I want to discuss these at some length.


In the first place, it dissolves alienation. For the moment, at least, the recipient finds himself/ herself a connected part of the human race. Though it may not be articulated clearly, the experience goes something like this. "I have been talking about hidden things, partly veiled even from myself, feelings that are strange, possibly abnormal, feelings I have never communicated to another, nor even clearly to myself. And yet he has understood, understood them even more clearly than I do. If he knows that I am talking about, what I mean, then to this degree I am not so strange, or alien, or set apart. I make sense to another human being. So I am in touch with, even in relationship with, others. I am no longer an isolate."


Perhaps this explains one of the major findings of our study of psychotherapy with schizophrenics. We found that those patients receiving from their therapists a high degree of accurate empathy as rated by unbiased judges, showed the sharpest reduction in schizophrenic pathology as measured by the MMPI (Rogers, et al, 1967, p. 85). This suggests that the sensitive understanding by another may have been the most potent element in bringing the schizophrenic out of his estrangement, and into the world of relatedness. Jung has said that the schizophrenic ceases to be schizophrenic when he meets someone by whom he feels understood. Our study provides empirical evidence in support of that statement.

这也许解释了我们对精神分裂症患者心理治疗研究的主要发现。我们发现,那些从他们的治疗师那里获得如同公正的法官做出的评定那样高度准确共情的病人身上,显示出由MMPI测得的精神分裂症病理症状的急剧减少(Rogers, et al, 1967, p. 85)。这暗示着,另一人做出的敏感的理解可能是把精神分裂症患者带离隔阂,走入相互关联的世界的最有效元素。荣格说过,当精神分裂症患者遇到了那个能从他身上感受到理解的人,他就停止精神分裂了。我们的研究为荣格的陈述提供了实证证据。

Other studies, both of schizophrenics and of counseling center clients, show that low empathy is related to a slight worsening in adjustment or pathology. Here, too, the findings make sense. It is as if the individual concludes "If no one understands me, if no one can grasp what these experiences are like, then I am indeed in a bad way more abnormal than I thought." One of Laing's patients states this vividly in describing earlier contacts with psychiatrists:


It's a most terrifying feeling to realize that the doctor can't see the real you, that he can't understand what you feel and that he's just going ahead with his own ideas. I would start to feel that I was invisible or maybe not there at all (Laing, 1965, p. 166).

意识到医生不能理解真正的你,他不能理解你的感受,而且他只是跟着自己的想法前进,这是最令人恐惧的感觉。我开始觉得他看不见我,甚至我可能根本不在那儿(Laing, 1965, p. 166)。

Another meaning of empathic understanding to the recipient is that someone values him, cares, accepts the person that he is. It might seem that we have here stepped into another area, and that we are no longer speaking of empathy. But this is not so. It is impossible accurately to sense the perceptual world of another person unless you value that person and his world - unless you in some sense care. Hence the message comes through to the recipient that "this other individual trusts me, thinks I'm worthwhile. Perhaps I am worth something. Perhaps I could value myself. Perhaps I could care for myself."


A vivid example of this comes from a young man who has been a recipient of much sensitive understanding, and who is now in the later stages of his therapy:


Client: I could even conceive of it as a possibility that I could have a kind of tender concern for me. Still, how could I be tender, be concerned for myself, when they're one and the same thing? But yet I can feel it so clearly. You know, like taking care of a child. You want to give it this and give it that. I can kind of clearly see the purposes for somebody else but I can never see them for myself, that I could do this for me, you know. Is it possible that I can really want to take care of myself, and make that a major purpose of my life? That means I'd have to deal with the whole world as it I were guardian of the most cherished and most wanted possession, that this / was between this precious me that I wanted to take care of and the whole world It's almost as if I loved myself - you know - that's strange but it's true.


Therapist: It seems such a strange concept to realize. It would mean 'I would face the world as though a part of my primary responsibility was taking care of this precious individual who is me - whom I love.'


Client: Whom I care for--whom I feel so close to. Woof! That's another strange one.

Therapist: It just seems weird.



Client: Yeah. It hits rather close somehow. The idea of my loving me and the taking care of me. (His eyes grow moist.) That's a very nice one very nice.


It is, I believe, the therapist's caring understanding--exhibited in this excerpt as well as previously--which has permitted this client to experience a high regard, even a love, for himself.


Still another impact of a sensitive understanding comes from its nonjudgmental quality. The highest expression of empathy is accepting and nonjudgmental. This is true because it is impossible to be accurately perceptive of another's inner world, if you have formed an evaluative opinion of him. If you doubt this statement, choose someone you know with whom you deeply disagree, and who is in your judgment definitely wrong or mistaken. Now try to state his views, beliefs, feelings, so accurately that he will agree that this is a sensitively correct description of his stance. I predict that nine times out of ten you will fail, because your judgment of his views creeps into your description of them.


Consequently, true empathy is always free of any evaluative or diagnostic quality. This comes across to the recipient with some surprise. "If I am not being judged, perhaps I am not so evil or abnormal as I have thought. Perhaps I don't have to judge myself so harshly." Thus gradually the possibility of self-acceptance is increased.


There comes to mind a psychologist whose interest in psychotherapy started as a result of his research in visual perception. In this research many students were interviewed and asked to relate their visual and perceptual history, including any difficulties in seeing, in reading, their reaction to wearing glasses, etc. The psychologist simply listened with interest, made no judgments on what he was hearing, and completed the gathering of his data. To his amazement, a number of these students returned spontaneously to thank him for all the help he had given them. He had, in his opinion, given them no help at all. But it forced him to recognize that interested non- evaluative listening was a potent therapeutic force, even when directed at a narrow sector of life, and when there was no intent of being helpful.


Perhaps another way of putting some of what I have been saying is that a finely tuned understanding by another individual gives the recipient his personhood, his identity. Laing (1965) has said that "the sense of identity requires the existence of another by whom one is known" (p. 139). Buber has also spoken of the need to have our existence confirmed by another. Empathy gives that needed confirmation that one does exist as a separate, valued person with an identity.

如果用另一种方式来表达我刚才说的这些,也许可以说:被另一个个体很好地接受和理解,让接受者有了自己的人格和同一性(identity)。莱因( Laing,1965)曾说:“产生同一性,需要有另一个理解他的人存在”(p139)。布伯(Buber)也说过,我们需要他人来确认我们的存在。共情就赋予了这种所需的确认——一个人作为一个独立的、有价值的,拥有同一性的个体。 

Let us turn to a more specific result of an interaction in which the individual feels understood. He finds himself revealing material he has never communicated before, and in the process he discovers a previously unknown element in himself. Such an element may be "I never knew before that I was angry at my father," or "I never realized that I am afraid of succeeding." Such discoveries are unsettling but exciting. To perceive a new aspect of oneself is the first step toward changing the concept of oneself. The new element is, in an understanding atmosphere, owned and assimilated into a now altered self-concept. This is the basis, in my estimation, of the behavior changes which can come about as a result of psychotherapy. Once the self-concept changes, behavior changes to match the freshly perceived self.

让我们来看一个更加具体的个体感到被理解的互动结果。他发现自己揭示了一些他从来没有交流过的东西,而且在这个过程中,他发现了自己以前都没有意识到的问题。比如“我从来不知道我对父亲愤怒””或者““我从来没有意识到我害怕成功”。 这些发现会让人不安,但也让人兴奋。认识到自己的新的方面是改变自我概念的第一步。在一个被理解的氛围下,这个新的要素会被接受和吸收到现在转变了的自我概念中。 我认为,这是行为改变的基础,是心理治疗的一个结果。一旦自我概念改变了,行为也会改变来配合这个全新的自我认知。

If we think, however, that empathy is effective only in the one-to-one relationship we call

psychotherapy, we are greatly mistaken. Even in the classroom it makes an important difference. When the teacher shows evidence that he/she understands the meaning of classroom experiences for the student, learning improves. In studies made by Aspy and colleagues, it was found that children's reading improved significantly more when teachers exhibited a high degree of understanding than in classrooms where such understanding did not exist. This finding has been replicated in many classrooms (Aspy, 1972, Ch.4; Aspy and Roebuck, 1975). Just as the client in psychotherapy finds that empathy provides a climate for learning more of himself, so the student in the classroom finds himself in a climate for learning subject matter, when he is in the presence of an understanding teacher.

然而,如果我们认为,共情只是在一对一的治疗关系中才有效,那就大错特错了。甚至在教室里,它也能导致很大的改变。当老师表现出他/她理解学生在教室里的感受,学生会学得更好。阿斯比(Aspy)和他的同事在研究中发现,当老师表现出更多的理解时,比起在那些老师没有表现出理解态度的教室里,孩子们的阅读有显著的提高(Aspy, 1972, Ch.4; Aspy and Roebuck, 1975)。正如心理治疗中的来访者发现共情提供了一种更多了解自我的气氛,因此教室中的学生也发现,当身边有一位具有理解力的教师在场时,他也处于一种更好学习知识的氛围。

Thus far I have spoken of the more obvious change-producing effects of empathy. I should like to turn to an aspect having to do with the dynamics of personality. I will make several brief statements and then endeavor to explain their meaning and significance.

到此为止,我讲述共情能带来的更为明显的效果。现在我将转向它的另一个方面,对于人格动态系统( dynamics of personality)的影响。我将进行一些概述,然后再尝试去解释它们的意义和重要性。

When a person is perceptively understood, he finds himself coming in closer touch with a wider range of his experiencing. This gives him an expanded referent to which he can turn for guidance in understanding himself and in directing his behavior. If the empathy has been accurate and deep, he may also be able to unblock a flow of experiencing and permit it to run its uninhibited course.


What is meant by these statements? I believe they will be clearer if I present an excerpt from a recorded interview with a woman in the later stages of therapy. This is an excerpt I have used previously, but it is particularly appropriate here:


Mrs. Oak, a middle-aged woman, is exploring some of the complex feelings that have been troubling her:


Client: I have the feeling it isn't guilt. (Pause. She weeps.) Of course, I mean, I can't verbalize it yet. (Then, with a rush of emotion.) It's just being terribly hurt!

Therapist: Mm-hmm. It isn't guilt except in the sense of being very much wounded somehow.



Client: (Weeping.) It's - you know, often I've been guilty of it myself, but in later years when I've heard parents say to their children, 'Stop crying,' I've had a feeling, a hurt, as though, well, why should they tell them to stop crying? They feel sorry for themselves, and who can feel more adequately sorry for himself than the child. Well, that is sort of what I mean, as though I mean, I thought that they should let him cry. And ... feel sorry for him too, maybe. In a rather objective kind of way. Well, that's ... that's something of the kind of thing I've been experiencing. I mean, now just right now. And in in- -

Therapist: That catches a little more of the flavor of the feeling, that it's almost as if you're really weeping for yourself.

来访者(轻轻地抽泣着):那个……你知道,我经常会感到内疚,但是,很多年后,当我听到家长跟他们的小孩说,“不准哭”,我就会有一种受伤的感觉,为什么他们不准小孩哭?孩子觉得难过,谁能比孩子自己更觉得难过呢?嗯,我的意思是,我觉得他们不应该阻止小孩哭。而且……或许也应该为他觉得难过。 这是一种相当客观的立场。嗯,这就是……是我体验到的某些东西。我是说,现在,此刻的感觉……


Client: Yeah. And again, you see, there's conflict. Our culture is such that... I mean, one doesn't indulge in self-pity. But this isn't - I mean, I FEEL it doesn't quite have that connotation. It may have.

Therapist: You sort of think there is a cultural objection to feeling sorry about yourself. And yet you feel the feeling you're experiencing isn't quite what the culture objects to either.




Client: And then of course, I've come to... to see and to feel that over this - see, I've covered it up. (Weeps.) But I've covered it up with so much bitterness, which in turn I had to cover up. (Weeping.) That's what I want to get rid of! I almost don't care if I hurt.

Therapist: (Softly, and with an empathic tenderness toward the hurt she is experiencing.) You feel that here at the basis of it as you experience it, is a feeling of real tears for yourself. But that you can't show, mustn't show, so that's been covered by bitterness that you don't like, that you'd like to be rid of. You almost feel you'd rather absorb the hurt than to - than to feel the bitterness. (Pause.) And what you seem to be saying quite strongly is, I do hurt, and I've tried to cover it up.



Client: I didn't know it.

Therapist: Mm-hmmm. Like a new discovery really.



Client: (Speaking at the same time.) I never really did know. But it's - you know, it's almost a physical thing. It's - it's sort of as though I were looking within myself at all kinds of - nerve endings and bits of things that have been sort of mashed. (Weeping.)

Therapist: As though some of the most delicate aspects of you, physically almost, have been crushed or hurt.

Client: Yes. And you know, I do get the feeling, 'Oh you poor thing.'

来访者:(边哭边说。)我真的不知道。但是,你知道它确确实实在那里。 就好像我自己看到自己身体里面,各种神经末梢和小碎片都糊在一起。(哭泣)



Here it is clear that empathic therapist responses encourage her in the wider exploration of, and closer acquaintance with, the visceral experiencing going on within. She is learning to listen to her guts, to use an inelegant term. She has expanded her knowledge of the flow of her experiencing.


TAG: empathy Empathy 共情 罗杰斯 心理学经典文献
«Carl Rogers:Person-Centered Theory 06 罗杰斯 | Carl R. Rogers
《06 罗杰斯 | Carl R. Rogers》
延伸阅读· · · · · ·
罗杰斯 作者:罗杰斯 / 10090次阅读
来源: 协同翻译
标签: empathy Empathy 共情 罗杰斯 心理学经典文献
路径 > 心理咨询 > 当事人中心 > 06 罗杰斯 | Carl R. Rogers
06 罗杰斯 | Carl R. Rogers文章更新