Models of Empathy

There Are Various Models For Defining Empathy
Here we Show Some of the Other Definitions and Models and How they Relate and Compare to Empathy A Way of Being Model


Carl Rogers Model


Affective - Cognitive Definition/Model

Daniel Goleman Model

  • cognitive empathy- how people think and perceive the world, mental models

  • emotional empathy - resonate with the other

  • empathic concern - care about it. and communicate it. I have your back


Compassion Definition/Model


Integral Definition/Model: Arthur Clark

  • Subjective

  • Objective

  • interpersonal


Daniel Batson Model

These Things Called Empathy: Eight Related but Distinct Phenomena

Daniel Batson uses a story to illustrate the different aspects of empathy.

“Imagine that you meet a friend for lunch. She seems distracted, staring into space, not very talkative, a bit down. Gradually, she begins to speak, then to cry. She explains that she just learned that she is losing her job because of downsizing. She says that she is not angry but that she is hurt, and a bit scared. You feel very sorry for her, and say so. You are also reminded that there has been talk of job cuts where you work as well. Seeing your friend so upset makes you feel a bit anxious and uneasy. You also feel a brief flash of relief—“Thank God it wasn’t me!” At least eight different psychological states you might experience in this interchange correspond to distinct concepts of empathy.”

  • We could hold an Empathy Circle and model a similar scenario. Then discuss and name the different concepts of empathy within that scenario.


Phenomenon - Concepts

  • Concept 1:Knowing Another Person’s Internal State, Including His or Her Thoughts and Feelings

  • Concept 2: Adopting the Posture or Matching the Neural Responses of an Observed Other

  • Concept 3: Coming to Feel as Another Person Feels

  • Concept 4: Intuiting or Projecting Oneself into Another’s Situation (imaginative Empathy)

  • Concept 5: Imagining How Another Is Thinking and Feeling (imaginative Empathy)

  • Concept 6: Imagining How One Would Think and Feel in the Other’s Place

  • Concept 7: Feeling Distress at Witnessing Another Person’s Suffering

  • Concept 8: Feeling for Another Person Who Is Suffering




Mark H. Davis Model



Tania Singer Model


Paul Bloom Model

    • Against Empathy


De Waal and Preston - 2017

  • The Russian Doll Model


Arthur J. Clark

Empathy: An Integral Model in the Counseling Process - 23 DEC 2011

"Expanding on a framework introduced by Carl Rogers, an integral model of empathy in counseling uses empathic understanding through 3 ways of knowing:

  • Subjective empathy enables a counselor to momentarily experience what it is like to be a client,

  • Interpersonal empathy relates to understanding a client's phenomenological experiencing, and

  • Objective empathy uses reputable knowledge sources outside of a client's frame of reference.

Across the counseling process, empathy is integral to treatment strategies and interventions."