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S23-203 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



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

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


8:45- 9:00

Registration/Log On 

9:00 – 10:30 


10:30- 10:45    


10:45 – 12:15 

Lecture (Continued) 


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
  • Be better able to manage the clinical process
  • Describe how to effectively teach empathy skills to clients

Bibliography & References


Barrett-Lennard, G. T. (1993). The phases and focus of empathy. British Journal of Medical Psychology 66: 3-14. 

Bohart, A. C., & Greenberg, L. S. (Eds.) (1997). Empathy reconsidered: New directions in psychotherapy. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. 

Cavedo, L. C., & Guerney, B. G., Jr. (1999). Relationship Enhancement7 (RE) enrichment/problem-prevention programs: Therapy-derived, powerful, versatile. In R. Berger & M. T. Hannah (Eds.), Preventive approaches in couples therapy (pp. 73-105). New York: Brunner/Mazel.  

Rogers, C. (1962). The interpersonal relationship: The core of guidance. Harvard Educational Review 32.4: 416-429. 

Rogers, C. R. (1980). Empathic: An underappreciated way of being, in Rogers, C. R., A way of being. New York: Houghton Mifflin. 

Scuka, R. (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. (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. (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 

Snyder, M. (1992b). The meaning of empathy: Comments on Hans Strupp=s case of Helen R. Psychotherapy 29.2: 318-22. 

Snyder, M. (1995). >Becoming=: A method for expanding systemic thinking and deepening empathic accuracy. Family Process 34: 241-53.  

Snyder, M., & Guerney, B. G., Jr. (1999). The power of shared subjectivity: Revitalizing intimacy through Relationship Enhancement7 couples therapy (pp. 359-380). In J. Carlson & L. Sperry (Eds.), The intimate couple. New York: Brunner/Mazel.  

Watson, J. C. (2002). Re-Visioning empathy. In D.J. Cain and J. Seeman (Eds.), Humanistic psychotherapies: Handbook of research and practice (pp. 445-471). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.  

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 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.

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

All those interested in Topic Welcomed

Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $70 and includes CE credit. Registering after March 1st, 2023 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

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.

Webinar Policies & FAQs

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