I was waiting for my class to start so I clicked the Stumble Video button on my browser. The very first clip that came up was a clip called Dark Secrets: Inside the Mind of a Mafia Hitman where a psychiatrist interviews Richard Kuklinski.
Right of the bat I felt uncomfortable with the guy and the feeling of horror over his actions did not help at all. I admire the braveness of the psychiatrist doing the interview. It could not have been easy.
Another thought I had was how the psychiatrist had to have empathy, but not sympathy. In short, empathy is to understand or to put your self in someone’s shoes. That is that psychologists and psychiatrists need to do. People who never studied psychology or related subjects tend to believe you need sympathy. Sympathy is when you feel with the person.
Imagine if you were feeling with someone like this. Imagine how messed up you will get. Remember that he will not be your only client/patient. Imagine, if you feel with every lonely wife or depressed husband, what you would look like at the end of one month. I can understand why people would like to think that you need to feel with your clients, but in the end you will lose all objectivity, not to mention your ability to help others.
Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion — more at pathos
1: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner ; also : the capacity for this
Inflected Form(s): plural sym·pa·thies
Etymology: Latin sympathia, from Greek sympatheia, from sympathēs having common feelings, sympathetic, from syn- + pathos feelings, emotion, experience — more at pathos
1 a: an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other
b: mutual or parallel susceptibility or
a condition brought about by it c: unity or harmony in action or effect <every part is in complete sympathy with the scheme as a whole — Edwin Benson>
2 a: inclination to think or feel alike : emotional or intellectual accord <in sympathy with their goals>
b: feeling of loyalty : tendency to favour or support <republican sympathies>
3 a: the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another b: the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity <have sympathy for the poor>
4: the correlation existing between bodies capable of communicating their vibrational energy to one another through some medium