Ecpathy is a new concept introduced by Luis de Rivera, MD. Ecpathy allows appropriate dealing of induced feelings and emotional contagion and is complementary of empathy. Empathy is “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“ (Webster). As such, empathy is considered a most useful tool in psychology. The capacity of being empathic is regarded as a basic ability for human understanding.
The converse of empathy is Ecpathy, a voluntary mental process of actively excluding feelings, attitudes, thoughts and motivations induced by others. The development of ecpathic abilities is most useful for dealing with projective identification, both in clinical and extraclinical situations, and for preventing the influence of emotional manipulation and emotional contagion.
- Emotional contagion
- Projective identification