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- 현장중심 코칭심리학
칼 로저스의 공감(empathy)에 대한 정의 본문
칼 로저스의 공감(empathy)에 대한 정의생각파트너 이석재 2018. 10. 14. 15:04
공감은 생각만큼 그리 간단한 개념이 아니다. 공감은 스킬 그 이상의 것이다. 칼은 초기에 심리치료를 할 때, 내담자의 말을 잘 듣는 것만으로도 치료효과가 크다는 것을 알고 스스로도 놀랐다. 칼은 Ranking훈련을 받은 한 사회복지사로부터 상대방의 말에 담긴 감정을 읽는 방법을 배웠다. 그녀가 가르쳐 준것은 상대방의 말에 담긴 감정을 읽고 상대방에게 되돌려 주는 것(reflect)이었다. 칼은 대학에서 강의를 하게 된 후 대학원생들의 기술적 도움을 받아 내담자와의 대화를 녹화하였다. 녹화된 대화를 듣고 칼은 무릎을 쳤다. 내담자와의 대담을 듣는 것이 곧 심리치료의 기법을 정교화시키는 강력한 방법이기 때문이다. 대화를 깊이 있게 분석함으로써 내담자의 심리 세계로 더 깊게 들어가기 위한 테크닉을 향상시킬 수 있었다. 이러한 학습과정에서 칼은 공감이 단순히 감정 상태(state)가 아니라 과정(process)이라는 것을 알게 되었다.
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 a 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 there to 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. If this 'as if' quality is lost, then the state is one of identification." (Rogers, 1959 pp. 210-211. See also Rogers,1957) 즉, 공감과 동감은 다른 것이다!
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. 공감이란, 상대방이 자신의 정서적 체험에 어떤 의미를 부여하고 있는지를 이해하는 것이다. 정서 그 자체를 읽는 것이 아니다.
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. 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.
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.
The foregoing description is hardly an operational description, 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.
• 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 and 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).
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. 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) Stage 8 is defined as follows. "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.) 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. 이 마지막 표현이 공감의 특징을 설명하는 것 같다.
출처: C. R. Rogers(1975). Empathic: An unappreciated way of being. The Counseling Psychologists, 5, 2-10.