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S21-207 Art of Deep Empathy

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Category I CE

200 Adults, Couples & Families |  800 Online
Robert Scuka, PhD
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists



Empathy is one of the therapist’s most important—and sometimes most taken-for-granted—therapeutic tools. Yet, it’s often misunderstood, both conceptually and in terms of application and technique. This workshop will clarify what empathy is (and isn’t), how to achieve a deep empathic connection, and the two distinct modes of verbally empathizing: the conventional “You” mode and the more specialized “Identification” mode. It will also demonstrate special applications of empathy to deepen the therapeutic process with couples and families. Participants will have the opportunity to practice the specialized identification mode of empathy.


Robert Scuka, PhD Related seminars and products: 1

Dr. Rob Scuka is a Maryland licensed clinical social worker and has been meeting the diverse and complex needs of couples, families and individuals for the past 15 years. 

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Rob is Executive Director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® (NIRE) in Bethesda, MD,  where he is also a member of NIRE’s training faculty and certified as a trainer and supervisor in Relationship Enhancement (RE) Therapy, the RE Program and Child-Centered Play Therapy.

Dr. Rob is the author of numerous articles and the book Relationship Enhancement Therapy: Healing Through Deep Empathy and Intimate Dialogue, published by Routledge in 2005. He holds a Masters in Social Work (M.S.W.) from the University of Maryland School of Social Work (1994) and served as an adjunct faculty. Dr. Rob has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Southern Methodist University.

Agenda & Learning Objectives


09:00 Registration

09:00 - 10:10








History of Empathy

Carl Rogers

Bernard Guerney

Relationship Enhancement Therapy

The Two Components of Deep Empathy

• The Two Modes of Empathy

10:10 - 10:20    Break
10:20 - 12:00

Lecture (Continued):

The Five Steps of Empathy

Demonstrating Empathy to Couples Using the Identification Mode focused on a significant childhood experience of each partner

Teaching Partner

Appreciations Using the You Mode of Empathy

12:00 - 12:15 Questions & Adjournment



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

Conceptualize empathy with clarity

Explain the differences between the two different modes of verbal empathy

Describe how to employ specialized applications of empathy such as Becoming and Troubleshooting to better manage the clinical process

Describe how to effectively teach empathy skills to clients.

Bibliography & References


• Carré, A., Stefaniak, N., D’Ambrosio, F., Bensalah, L., & Besche-Richard, C. (2013). The Basic Empathy Scale in Adults (BES-A): Factor structure of a revised form. Psychological Assessment, 25, 679-691. doi: 10.1037/a0032297

• Coplan, A. (2011). Understanding empathy: Its features and effects. In A. Coplan & P. Goldie (Eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and psychological perspectives (pp. 3-18). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

• Hall, J. A. & Schwartz, R. (2019.) Empathy present and future. The Journal of Social Psychology 159(3), 225-243.

• Scuka, R. F. (2003). Demonstration of identification mode of empathy within the Relationship Enhancement model. Silver Spring, MD: IDEALS, Inc. DVD. Available through

• Scuka, R. F. (2005). Deep empathy as the foundation of RE therapy, in Scuka, R. Relationship enhancement therapy: Healing through deep empathy and intimate dialogue (ch. 3, pp. 47-62). New York: Routledge.

• Scuka, R. F. (2005). Embracing the other: Teaching empathic skill, in Scuka, R. Relationship enhancement therapy: Healing through deep empathy and intimate dialogue (ch. 6, pp. 121-138). New York: Routledge.

• Scuka, R. F. (2008). The limits of empathy in Relationship Enhancement therapy,@ in RE/Filial News, March, 2008, published by the Association for Filial and Relationship Enhancement Methods. Available at

• Scuka, R. F. (2015). A clinician’s guide to helping couples heal from the trauma of infidelity. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 14, 141-168.

• Scuka, R. F. (2020). Deep empathy within the context of Relationship Enhancement therapy. Manuscript submitted for publication in a professional journal.

• Woldarsky Meneses. C., & Scuka, R, F. (2016). Empirically supported humanistic approaches to working with couples and families. In D. J. Cain & K. Keenan, & S. Rubin (Eds.), Humanistic Psychotherapies: Handbook of Research and Practice (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

• Zaki, J. (2019). The war for kindness: Building empathy in a fractured world. New York: Crown.






Live Interactive Webinar Platforms




The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $65.00 and includes CE credit. Registering after June 2, 2021 will incur an additional $20 late fee. *Cancellations must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the live interactive webinar to receive a refund or a credit letter.


*All cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee

Course Completion & CE Information


Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for {3.0} Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.


ASWB Approved

Course completion requirements: To earn CE credit, social workers must log in at the scheduled time, attend the entire course, and complete the online course evaluation located in your account. After the online course evaluation is completed, you are then able to download your certificate. Partial Credit will not be given for participants who arrive late or leave early.


Unversity of Maryland School of Social Work, Office of Continuing Professional Education, provider #1611, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. UMSSW Office of CPE maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 02/11/2021 to 02/11/2024. Social workers participating in this course receive {3.0} continuing education credits.


Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

Webinar Policies & FAQs

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