Empathic Exploration Workshop

This workshop will be held on September 23rd, 2023.
Register at the bottom of this page.

One of the fruitful distinctions that Emotion-Focused Therapy has added to experiential therapy theory is the difference between interventions EFT calls Empathic Understanding, and interventions EFT files under Empathic Exploration.

In Empathic Understanding (sometimes called basic empathy, and a big feature of GETME’s Empathic Attunement Workshop), the therapist endeavors simply to grasp and reflect the client’s here-and-now immediate experiencing. Although these kinds of interventions can facilitate a clearer sense of what is already in awareness — as well as promote a healing sense of being truly understood — the goal is to clarify what already is, rather than to discover what else there might be.

In contrast, Empathic Exploration interventions are explicitly intended to slightly shift a client’s awareness. This shift can be thought of as a widening, a deepening, or perhaps a varying or reframing of a view.

Importantly, the idea isn’t for the therapist to simply give, tell, or “plant” a new view; it’s never, “you should look at it this way.” The focus isn’t on some supposed absence that needs correcting, with the therapist somehow being “the one who knows.” Instead, the intent is to include or encompass something that is actually there for the client — but not, at present, in focal awareness.

This is a co-exploratory process: The therapist, using their process facilitation skills, offers prompts regarding how and where the client might search. The client chooses whether or not to carry out the prompt. If they do, they may report such things as what, if anything, has been discovered; whether any shift has occurred; and how this shift changes their present moment-by-moment experiencing.

This workshop can be thought of a refresher or a taster of parts of GETME’s 8-Week training Foundations of Emotion-Focused Therapy.

Learning Objectives

This training will help participants to distinguish between empathic understanding and empathic exploration, as well as understand and utilize:

  • Empathic conjectures
  • Exploratory reflections
  • Exploratory questions
  • Evocative reflections
  • Process observations
  • Empathic refocusing

Empathic Exploration Workshop Registration Form:

You will receive a square invoice within two business days of submitting this form.