An experiential model: Teaching empathy and cultural sensitivity

Yuhwa Eva Lu, Barbara Dane, Arlene Gellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the effects of a pilot project for an experiential instructional model in teaching culturally sensitive, empathic communication skills. It attempts to integrate and communicate the theoretical, conceptual, and experiential understanding of cross-cultural empathy through the practice of mindful attitudes. Students were introduced to materials through a series of exercises which included mirroring breathing observation, posture, and moving awareness. These exercises fostered a state of openness through the experience of emptying, contemplation, and being-present. The preliminary findings indicate that the students were able to verbalize new learning experiences which included: being more attuned withtheirbodilyawareness, sensing theflow of energy with the other, letting go of power struggles, and pre-existing ideas, and experiencing a different kind of human connectedness with the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Bereavement
  • Bsw and MSW curricula
  • Combined courses
  • Elective
  • Grief

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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