CAHSS Faculty Articles

From Pity to Compassion: When the Therapist’s Emotions get in the Way

Douglas G. Flemons, Nova Southeastern University


Marlene's sensitivity to her clients' pain provided her with half of what was necessary to work effectively. "You need to be able to recognize enough of your clients' misery to hold on to how horrible their plight is," I said. "But if this is all you do, your despair will hold you back and you'll only feel sorry for them." Gregory Bateson wrote about the "bonus of understanding" made possible by double description.