Understanding Empathy

Learn why empathy is central to successful relationships and how strategies derived from scientific research and philosophical wisdom can deepen our capacity to understand others.

Empathy, the ability to understand another person’s feelings and thoughts, is at the root of all successful relationships. It is an ancient concept (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) and a focus of popular and scientific interest. Psychologist Michael Winters, Ph.D., reviews research and philosophical wisdom about empathy and shares strategies to better comprehend others and ourselves. This course also examines the role empathy plays in close relationships, like love and parenting, and in promoting cross-cultural understanding. This lecture-style class incorporates some discussion and in-class exercises.


Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
GHUM1641.F18.1 Michael Winters On-campus 1-2:30 p.m. Monday, October 15, 2018

Instructor: Michael Winters

Michael Winters, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in Houston, former director of the Rice University Counseling Center and a frequent presenter at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. He is a diplomate in logotherapy—a meaning-centered psychotherapy—and has taught at Rice University, Purdue University, the University of Houston and other higher-education institutions.

Term: Fall 2018

Start Date: Oct. 15, 2018

End Date: Nov. 12, 2018

Schedule: 1-2:30 p.m.

Length: Five Mondays

Location: Rice campus

Fee: $175

Early Registration: $165 if registering by Oct. 1

Rice Alumni: $158

CEUs: 0.75

Note: This course is not currently accepting registrations. Please select VIEW CURRENT OFFERINGS to browse similar offerings.

+ Defining empathy; how empathy has been viewed throughout history

+ The capacity for empathy; is the brain “wired” for empathy; lacking empathy as a necessary but not sufficient condition for evil; strategies for increasing empathy

+ Empathy as a spiritual concept

+ Self-empathy

+ Is empathy needed to solve the world’s problems?

This course is offered for educational purposes only. Please consult with the professional of your choosing if you are seeking specific therapeutic or medical advice.