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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 1992

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal


Alexithymia and empathy 6289


Moskacheva M.A.
Junior Researcher, Laboratory of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, State Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry named after V.P. Serbsky, Ministry of Health of Russia, Moscow, Russia

Kholmogorova A.B.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia

Garanyan N.G.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

The article presents a study dedicated to establish connections between alexithymia and emotional empathy abilities (in the form of the ability to understand the emo¬tions of others and empathize with them) and cognitive empathy (in the form of the ability to take into account of the of the other person's position while solving cog¬nitive tasks and also the ability to recognize precisely the emotions of another per¬son by facial expressions. 90 people from apparently healthy population were exam¬ined by complex of five tests. The ratio of different forms of empathy of individuals with high alexithymia level It is shown that their ability to emotional empathy is represented mainly by the primitive emotional tendency to be infected by the other people feelings. There is also mentioned a deficit of ability to understand the feel¬ings of others, to empathize with them and differentially respond to their emotions. On the contrary, the indicators of ability to change position (or cognitive empathy) are not becoming worse with the increase the rates of alexithymia. It is concluded that people with high level of alexithymia has broken emotional form of empathy and relatively preserved cognitive forms of empathy.

Keywords: alexithymia, cognitive and emotional empathy, the ability to change the position, recognition of emotions, perception of emotions by facial expressions

Column: Violations of social knowledge: theoretical models and empirical studies

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