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Empathy in Motivational Interviewing Includes Language Style Synchrony Between Therapist and Client

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Empathy is a basic psychological process that involves the development of synchrony in dyads. It is also a foundational ingredient in specific, evidence-based behavioural treatments like motivational interviewing. To explore a new objective indicator of empathy, the researchers evaluated whether synchrony in language style between client and therapists would predict gestalt ratings of empathy over and above the contribution of reflections.


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Lord, Sarah & Sheng, Elisa & Imel, Zac & Baer, John & Atkins, David. (2014). More Than Reflections: Empathy in Motivational Interviewing Includes Language Style Synchrony Between Therapist and Client. Behavior Therapy. 46. 10.1016/j.beth.2014.11.002.