Free Custom «Empathy and Listening» Essay Paper

Free Custom «Empathy and Listening» Essay Paper

Talking about empathy often requires someone to feel what is inside of somebody else and to possess with the ability to bring it out at the same time. A discussion on empathy also includes the research done in this field as well as empathy is created due to many different occasions and has many concepts. Empathy also goes hand in hand with counseling and in most cases the one requires empathy in order to counsel. The research that has been done for many years has been devoted to the advanced counseling skills of active hearing. The research, however, on this skill is not enough considering the fact that this is a very important skill. Hearing is important in counseling and not only does it ensure the successful counseling but it ensures the affected people receiving the proper counseling. This essay focuses on the two questions devoted to empathy and listening.

Empathy refers to that capacity to share feelings and to recognize. It is the capability to share such feelings like happiness or sadness being experienced by a semi-sentient being or by another sentient. Before someone feels the compassion, it is important to have empathy. Empathy is generally that capacity of someone to accept ideas, feel, understand and consent to the ideas from someone else’s point of view. It dwells in identifying with the concerns and cares of someone else (Bradford, 2000).

There are several concepts of empathy. A concept refers to that idea derived generally from the only specific occurrences or instances. In this case, it refers to several ways in which empathy is depicted. The first concept is a literary concept, whereby empathy is in that sense of a shared experience that includes both physical and emotional feelings. These literary feelings often revolve around someone reading a literary piece of work or a person writing it. Its description is often used to give the responses of a given leader to a specific literary character.  William Shakespeare in his poem known as Venus and Adonis used some empathic passages (Geldard, 2001).

The Science concept of empathy dwells on identifying oneself mainly with either a person or an object.  The person or the object often responds physically, for example, while watching baseball one often feels his or her own muscles flexing. This is the science concept of empathy. The psychoanalysis concept of empathy refers to that capacity for a concrete representation of someone else’s mental state. This also includes the accompanying emotions. Sport science as well as medicine concept of empathy refers to that ability to create or project oneself into someone else’s situation. This, therefore, enables the understanding of thoughts as well as feelings of that particular person. Empathy is a very important characteristic of the effective and successful coach-athlete relationship (Mair, 1997). This is mainly because only the coach can understand the athlete’s problems, and no one else can. This is in the same case as the medicine concept. Only doctors can understand the patients’ problems. The philosophy aspect is a very important concept of empathy. It is that state of being cognitively and emotionally in tune with someone else. This is mainly made by the creation of feelings of what the person’s situation is from the inside part. Empathy cannot precede sympathy though on some instances it can. The placing of empathy into our understanding of other people as well as into our own ethical responses is under many debates at the moment.

There is also an aspect of research in the field of empathy carried out over the year on the issue of empathy. This has mainly been in different fields of empathy. The research evidences show that there has been a sufficient research over the years on the issues of empathy. This, therefore, on a high degree shows that empathy has highly brought the change on the matter how people view several issues in the world. The approaches on empathy have emerged over the years. This has led to various approaches and concepts in empathy over the years. Generally, the research done over the years has brought out empathy in several concepts. In the recent years, however, the research shows that empathy became more open in science and medicine unlike in the earlier years. There have also been the developments in psychology’ literature and many other fields (Ross-on-Wye, 2003).

The concepts of empathy with the research done over the years greatly relates with counseling styles and work. This is mainly because empathy deals with feeling what someone else feels. Counseling often revolves around the advice to someone in a certain situation, and empathy comes in or rather fits in well with counseling. This is mainly because in order for the one to counsel someone else, one ought to clearly understand what the other person is going through. Counseling style comes from, first of all, identifying the concept of empathy and what the other person goes through (McLeod, 2003). In doing this, the counselor has the ability to understand the feelings of other person and what he or she goes through and in that manner can find the ways to help that person.

Active listening refers to a technique that often requires that a listener gives a feedback on what he or she hears. This is mainly by restarting or by paraphrasing what he or she has heard in his or her own words. This is mainly done with the aim of confirming the understanding created by both parties. Naturally, the skill of active listening in most cases reduces the conflict and misunderstandings among people. It also fosters the understanding, strengthens the cooperation as well as promotes the professionalism, accountability and reactivity. 

The research conducted in the field of skills of active listening shows several aspects. The theory of active listening in most occasions diverges on the public interest advocacy, medical workers talking to patients and community organizations (Mair, 1997). It can also be in normal casual conversations in order to build the understanding.

The advanced counseling skill of active listening deals with the availability of active listening when doing counseling. The advanced counseling skill uses many skills of wide and clear active listening that often results in different quality communications. Some of the barriers of this active listening include the cultural differences surrounding the vocabulary and the speakers’ accents. Misunderstandings also sometimes create barriers to active listening.  Active listening and responding are the two very important skills of counseling or therapy sessions. Active listening on its part must apply during the one of the counseling sessions with a patient or a client (Bradford, 2000). The availability of good communication with the client occurs after active listening. In any form of counseling, proper hearing is mandatory to enable the proper communication and understanding of the issues involved.

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A small research has been done on the skill of active listening. Most of efforts put by several counselors only dwell on just listening barely to what the patient has to say. Most of them do not employ the active listening skills that allow the penetration into the client’s problems. In order to help the client, active listening is important as it enables the counselor to improve the lives of the client. A counselor has the responsibility to give s or herh own client full and undivided attention through the skills of active listening throughout the counseling session.

This might affect my decision of using this skill since I would consider applying it often to be able to understand the problems affecting people well. Listening enables the person talking to feel worthy, respected and appreciated. Giving someone all our attention in most cases makes them respond positively mainly by interacting well and opening up. The client also opens up and discloses the personal information and becomes more relaxed (McLeod, 2003). Using the skill of active listening enables the client to continue talking as well as to ensure that the communication is positive and open.


Empathy and counseling are the two aspects that relate to several occasions. After empathizing with someone, the aspect of counseling comes up with the next occasions. Empathy has several concepts and ways of viewing it. The research has also been carried out on the aspect of empathy. Counseling, on the other hand, enables the counselor to feel what the client goes through. The skill of active listening is important while counseling someone. It is, however, a skill that has the less research. This has, therefore, led to the poor counseling sessions. There is a need to increase the research in this field in order to ensure that the skill is hand in hand with an ongoing counseling session.



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