Episode 8: "What is Empathy?" with Terri Moyer, PhD and Bill Miller, PhD

Terri Moyers, PhD is a Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of New Mexico. Her research has focused on the active ingredients of empirically supported interventions for substance use treatments, particularly motivational interviewing. She also has an active line of research investigating therapist characteristics that support more favorable client outcomes. Dr. Moyers has more than 30 peer-reviewed papers in these areas, and has been a keynote speaker and workshop teacher in 11 countries.

William R. (Bill) Miller, PhD is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. Fundamentally interested in the psychology of change, he has published 65 books for public and professional audiences including texts on the method of motivational interviewing that he first described in 1983.

Together, they are the authors of Effective Psychotherapists: Clinical Skills that Improve Client Outcomes

In this episode, Bruce talks with Terri and Bill about empathy as one of the eight skills that they have identified in their book as important for successful therapists. They discuss different understandings of empathy and how it relates to motivational interviewing. They also address the questions of whether empathy is an inherent trait or an acquired skill, whether it can lead to burnout, and the differences between empathy and compassion.

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