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Rubinstein, T. (2019). The Integration of Empathy and Compassion: Healing the Alienation of Duality. Contemp. Psychoanal., 55(3):275-296.

(2019). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 55(3):275-296

The Integration of Empathy and Compassion: Healing the Alienation of Duality

Terri Rubinstein, Ph.D., LMFT

This article seeks to clarify the differences between empathy and compassion and how these phenomena can be integrated to address the full range of human suffering. Whereas empathy transpires between the two distinct, socioculturally located subjectivities of therapist and patient, compassion takes place in the realm of therapist–patient unity. The integration of empathy and compassion enables therapists to hold the tension between dual and nondual reality. Subject-to-subject experiences, which transpire within the dual realm, facilitate the development of self-agency and the experience of one’s subjectivity as unique. However, access to nondual forms of intersubjectivity, in which the distinctions of self and other dissolve, are needed to mitigate the alienation of duality. Further, engaging with the dialectic of dual and nondual experience through states of empathy and compassion leaves therapists less vulnerable to negating the other and disavowing our essential unity.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

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