Empathy – Activity 2

Role play on real life scenario

Activity type:
Role playing – Experiential

Learning goals:
The exercise of role playing based on a real life scenario aims at assisting participants into using the appropriate techniques/questions to show empathy towards the other person. The person in the role of the counsellor will be able to understand the emotions of the “client” and respond to him in an empathetic way, while the “client” will feel how it is the other to get into your shoes or not.

Group activity

45 minutes

Material needed:


Read carefully the given scenario and try to perform as Haldi taking into account possible difficulties, barriers he may encounter in the job search. You can work in a small team for getting prepared for the role.

Read the given scenario and get prepared to practice empathy in your role-playing. You can get help and discuss how best you can show empathy to the client from other trainees.
Go on the role playing for 10 minutes.

Haldi, a young engineer, needs to find a job. If he cannot find a job soon, the authorities will force him to leave the country. Haldi has been trying to find a job for two months but has failed so far, which is why he is becoming increasingly desperate. In Ruth’s counselling session, he expresses anger, disappointment, and lack of trust towards employers who do not want to employ migrants in their businesses. He feels that everyone in the country is hostile and prejudiced against him as a migrant.

Questions for reflection:
  • How is the client feeling at the beginning and at the end of the session?
  • What are the feelings of the counsellor throughout the session?
  • What are the feelings of the observers while watching them play?
  • Has the counsellor used the appropriate techniques to show his empathy?
  • Is there anything else that he could do in a different way?
  • What is the overall experience of the group upon this activity?