Counsellors' lived experiences of empathy & compassion: An interpretive phenomenological inquiry

Document Type


Publication Date



Empathy and compassion are critical elements in counselling presence and practice. The present interpretive phenomenological study explored counsellor lived experiences of empathy and compassion. Through interpretative phenomenological analysis, findings highlighted how counsellors experience compassion and empathy, how boundaries shape wellness and practice with clients, and the impact of empathy and compassion over a career. The findings suggest that self-other differentiation is key while using empathy to develop a strong therapeutic alliance and counsellor self-care. Implications inform how counsellors can maintain wellness and learn to foster empathy and compassion in practice.

Publication Title

Counselling and Psychotherapy Research

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Rights Statement

In Copyright