Relational Empathy Explored at ICAR Brown Bag Lecture

Posted: September 11, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) presents Deirdre Ritchie’s brown bag lecture today. Ritchie will present “Seeing Relational Empathy in Practice: An Exploratory Study Investigating the Development of a Measure of Relational Empathy.”

Ritchie’s talk explores how relational empathy differs from traditional notions of empathy, the focus of her master’s thesis at ICAR. She explores the question that if empathy is walking in another’s shoes, what happens if the other’s shoes don’t fit? She also seeks a way to “see” relational empathy in conflict resolution practice, and asks how our understanding of empathy, and relational empathy, impacts third party interventions.

A certified family mediator, Ritchie trains others on cultural factors in the mediation process for Northern Virginia Mediation Service. She also is part of a team developing a pre-K through grade 5 conflict resolution and peace education program from the Islamic perspective.

The discussion is part of ICAR’s series of informal lectures on research and practice of conflict resolution, and is held at noon in the ICAR Main Conference Room, A401, located at 4260 Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax. For more information, call (703) 993-1300.

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