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Continuing Studies

Healing through Connection: Empathy Skills for Training Helping Professionals

continuingstudies.wisc.edu/8761-C-PDAS See upcoming dates


This ethnocultural empathy course guides you in critical self-reflection, interpersonal skills coaching and dialogue with peers to raise awareness of barriers to empathy. You'll learn how to mitigate these barriers to promote effectiveness and equity in your work with culturally diverse clients. We will also address the dynamic nature of social identities and intersectionality in clinical relationships. Participants will demonstrate empathic listening and receive feedback of their responses to simulated client scenarios. 

Over six weeks, engage with the instructor and a cohort of learners to view asynchronous lectures, participate in weekly online discussion with peers (with instructor feedback), and participate in skills building activities.

Course Assignments

  • Pre-test
  • Class Content: Biweekly review new, asynchronous lectures and materials in learner management system (LMS)
  • Class Discussion: each week post at least one unique comment and respond to at least three postings from other students in the class learner management system (LMS)
  • Skills Practice: Biweekly submit and receive instructor feedback for simulated client scenarios
  • Post-test


Learning Objectives:

  • Describe evidence-based therapy relationships and discuss the importance of empathy for client outcomes in psychotherapy
  • Analyze how your own social identities might influence work with clients of dissimilar cultural backgrounds
  • Apply perspective taking to client scenarios depicting multiple intersecting cultural identities
  • Observe and demonstrate mindfulness techniques that focus on self and others
  • Observe and demonstrate empathic communication techniques using video simulated client scenarios

Course Outline


  • Week 1: Ethnocultural Empathy and Cultural Humility Training Session
  • Week 2: Skills Practice
  • Week 3: Enhancing Connection Through Self-Awareness Training Session
  • Week 4: Skills Practice
  • Week 5: Enhancing Connection Through Other-Awareness Training Session
  • Week 6: Skills Practice

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 12
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units 1.2
American Psychological Association - Continuing Education Credit 12
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Substance Abuse Counselors - Continuing Education Credit Hours 12
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Marriage and Family Therapists - Continuing Education Credit Hours 12
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Social Workers - Continuing Education Credit Hours 12
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Licensed Professional Counselors 12

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates (0)

Not scheduled at this time. Join the mailing list.

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Program Questions?

Contact Masha Bubela at masha.bubela@wisc.edu or 608-263-5130

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs