One of the great differentials of professionals in all areas, empathy is one of the great pillars of biopsychosocial health care. Do you know the importance of empathy for the international therapist? So take a look!
What is empathy?
Empathy is a kind of emotional intelligence and can be related to the ability to understand the psychological perspective of other people, as well as to experience emotional reactions through the observation of the experience of others. This state of empathetic understanding consists in correctly perceiving the other’s internal frame of reference with the meanings and emotional components it contains, putting oneself in the other’s shoes, but without ever losing this “as if” condition.
It implies feeling the pain or pleasure of the other as he feels it and perceiving its causes as he perceives them, but without losing sight of the fact that it is the pain or pleasure of the other. In the face of the other’s experience, the identification of similar experiences can occur, thus taking perspective, the absence of judgment, and the emotional recognition of others as an ability to communicate this mental state.
Components of Empathy
Empathy has three components:
- Affective component: is based on sharing and understanding the emotional states of others.
- Cognitive component: refers to the ability to deliberate on other people’s mental states.
- Regulatory component: the regulation of emotions defines the degree of empathic responses.
Empathy starts from the referential perspective of the person who, aware of his own limitations in accuracy, can confuse himself with the other. Therefore, the interaction between the affective and cognitive components is sought to perceive the situation being experienced by another person, in addition to the situation itself.
Empathy and the international therapist
On the international scene, empathy is a pillar of interactions with new opportunities and cultures, as the therapist needs to be open to the most diverse situations and types of demands, which they may not immediately recognize.
Even when the reality of the other is very far from ours, or perhaps especially at this moment, it is necessary to be careful not to interpret their experiences in terms of those of the therapist. An attitude of availability to learn about the internal world of others is fundamental in the healthcare enterprise.
Welcoming also involves getting to know the cultures, their principles and values better, so that we can support the client who seeks health and quality of life, regardless of the scenario in which he is.
How to exercise empathy
Some ways to exercise empathy within the international context are:
- Make clear your inexperience with the local culture and interest in getting to know it;
- Be aware of possible cultural clashes when interacting with a client of another nationality and be prepared not to judge from immediate reactions;
- Try to understand which gestures of affection and self-care are beneficial in your client’s country of nationality;
- Avoid playing, as people of different nationalities also interact differently, and what may be a joke for you may not be for the other;
- Value your point of view and your experience, even if you haven’t had contact with that culture before.
You can always make an empathetic contribution whenever you want!
How about you, were you interested in expanding your horizons as a therapist? Come to AHDE! Here, we take you further. Join and see the results today!