What is an Empathy Cafe?
An empathy cafe or circle is an intentional space where we can gather to experience one of our most valuable gifts we possess as humans — the ability to listen deeply to others and to be heard and understood by others.
Carl Rogers, an American Psychologist and expert on empathy explained, “To sense another person’s world as if it were your own, but without ever losing the ‘as if’ quality- this is empathy.”
Empathy has been defined in different ways, culturally. This is how empathy is defined in Compassionate Communication:
Empathy is an energetic state of being with, rather than doing something.
It is not about what you do, but how you are with the person- being present.
It is listening to another person with a curiosity about what is going on in the person, without judgment or thinking about trying ‘fix’ a problem.
Understanding that each person is an expert of self, and we can only guess what another is feeling and needing.
When listening empathically, the intention is to understand the other person with compassion.
In that process, connection and healing can take place.
Empathy is a path to connection and understanding and is one of the main components of Compassionate Communication.
Would you like to host an Empathy Cafe?
Contact Teresa to facilitate a free Empathy Cafe for your group!