Psychotherapy research vol:17 issue:3 pages:329-342
The authors investigated the relationship between helping session episodes with different levels of empathic attunement and the therapeutic ingredients as experienced by client and therapist. Based on their theoretical micromodel of the empathic interaction process, the authors hypothesized that, with an increasing level of empathic attunement, an increase is expected in depth of exploration, experiential insight, empathy, and relational attitudes, which are interwoven with empathy; a decrease is expected for therapeutic ingredients that are an implementation of genuineness and transparency. As for exploration, insight, genuineness, and transparency, the model is reliably confirmed. As for experiencing empathy and the interwoven relational categories, no univocal differences are found. On the basis of their findings, the authors indicate that there seems to be no specific class of empathic helping episodes but that the different levels of empathic attunement represent different phases within the global empathic interaction process.