Self-Empathy Definition

  • is a moment to moment sensing into one's own experiencing (feelings, thoughts, meanings, desires, etc.)

  • This quality of sensing into self can be deepened or blocked.

Self-Empathy In the Empathy Circle

  • In the Empathy Circle when the Speaker is heard, it creates support for the Speaker to feel into their own inner feelings and thoughts. Having the space to express oneself and be heard supports Self-Empathy.

Self-Empathy Exercises To Do In The Empathy Circle

    1. What is an exercise we could do in the empathy circle?

We post reference material about Self-Empathy here.

Self-Empathy is not something I have read much about. Edwin, any sources here? see below

Priyanka Sharma Bibliography on Self -Empathy

Self-Empathy on Scoop-It - For the past 10 years or so, Edwin has been adding articles and papers on the topic of Self-Empathy (and Self-Compassion) that he comes across to this service site. You can scroll down the pages to see the articles.

Development Notes
Raw notes to sort and organize

Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers didn't talk explicitly about self empathy but he identified the essence of it. “Being listened to by someone who understands makes it possible for persons to listen more accurately to themselves, with greater empathy toward their own visceral experiencing, their own vaguely felt meanings.” ~ Carl Rogers

Focusing and Self-Empathy

Focusing process was founded by Gene Gendlin who was a grad student with Carl Rogers. The Focusing process is very much about Self Empathy. In fact, I find that the word 'Focusing' could be replaced with the word 'Self Empathy' in the various writings about the focusing process and it would acuratly describe Self Empathy.

The Essential Role of Self-Empathy in Focusing
By Robert L. Lee, PH.D.

VIDEO: Gendlin's Focusing: Self-empathy, Caring Feeling Presence, as first step
by Kathy McGuire

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Self-Empathy
NVC was founded by Marshall Rosenberg who was a grad student with Carl Rogers. He built on Rogers work by putting a focus on sensing the feelings and the underlying needs of other people. Also on sensing ones own feelings and needs. This is self empathy.

"Translate all self-judgments into self-empathy"

Marshall Rosenberg


"In silent self empathy, we are self connecting to whatever is alive in us at that moment. We are trying to feel the felt sense of our experience. It’s like we put our mind’s eye into the heart of our experience and really feel it, without judgment or narrative. Just like in meditation, when we notice our attention drift to thought, we gently but firmly redirect our awareness back to the feelings. When we are connected to the feelings we attune to them like to a young child, with tenderness and presence.

In active empathic listening, we use feelings and needs guessing to connect to ourselves."

VIDEO: Empathie und Selbstempathie

VIDEO: How to Do Self-Empathy - Cup of Empathy

VIDEO: How to not hate yourself | Marshall Rosenberg

To Review

Facets of an Empathic Way of Being:

  • Other oriented empathy,

  • Self oriented empathy,

  • Relationship oriented empathy,

  • Imagination oriented empathy

ZHU Xi on Self-Focused vs. Other-Focused Empathy
Justin Tiwald

"This chapter is about issues in ethics and moral psychology that have been little explored by contemporary philosophers, ones that concern the advantages and disadvantages of two different kinds of empathy. Roughly, first type is what is sometimes called “other-focused” empathy, in which one reconstructs the thoughts and feelings that someone else has or would have. The second type, “self-focused” empathy, is the sort of emotional attitude someone adopts when she imagines how she would think or feel were she in the other person’s place. Both are variants of empathy, for both have to do with having thoughts and feelings that are more apt, in the relevant senses, for someone else’s circumstances than one’s own. "

VIDEO: "Recovering Lost Goodness: Shame, Guilt, and Self-Empathy"
Nancy Sherman

" Self-empathy is never discussed. And yet, as I argue in this paper, self-empathy is a critical part of moral repair and a sense of recovering lost goodness. It is an important notion to explore in thinking about moral recovery from war. "

Self-Compassion: An Alternative Conceptualization of a Healthy Attitude Toward Oneself

Pg. 90.
"The Self-in-Relation Model
The closest resemblance to the self-compassion concept is probably found in the work of Judith Jordan, one of the founders of the self-in-relation model of women’s psychological development (Jordan, 1997; Jordan, Kaplan, Miller, Stiver, & Surrey, 1991). Jordan (1989, 1991a, 1991b) has written briefly about the concept of self empathy in her writings (though the ideas have not been fully elaborated), describing it as a process in which the individual adopts an attitudinal stance of nonjudgment and openness toward the self. In this view, self-empathy is closely related to empathy for others, defined in terms of feeling emotionally connected to others and recognizing one’s similarity to others, so that one empathizes with the inevitable failure and loss associated with being human (Jordan, 1989). Jordan writes that self empathy is a kind of ‘‘corrective relational experience’’ with oneself in which previously judged and disowned aspects of self are ‘‘accepted and responded to in a caring, affectively present and re-connected manner’’ (1991b, p. 287). "

Clark, C. A. (1999). The measurement of self-empathy based on the relational development model: A pilot study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Wright Institute.