Contact Data and short BIO: Who I am, and why what I do makes a difference

Contact Data: Lou Agosta, Ph.D.


Lou Agosta, PhD.

LAgosta at UChicago dot edu

LAgosta at theChicagoSchool dot edu

[note the “@” and “.” have been written out to thwart spam bots – you will have to put those back when you send an email]]

Phone (USA) 1-773-203-0269


Do you feel like you are an empath (a sensitive soul) who can’t get sufficient empathy? I specialize in delivering empathy that makes a difference. My commitment is to provide a gracious and generous listening – empathy. I engage with client issues in emotions, relationships, and career. One area of concentration – an area that seems to be underserved – includes the dynamic containing and transforming of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse.

I have completed the Illinois Certified Domestic Violence training program and the Illinois Certified Partner Abuse Intervention program. I have made a positive difference with clients recovering from domestic violence, date rape, abuses of psychiatry in the former USSR, and matters that are personally traumatizing and confronting. In addition to dealing with client recovery from such traumatic encounters, I work with clients dealing with eating disorders, mood disorders, and issues in self psychology. I am the founder and director of The Chicago Empathy Project, including producing educational videos with the theme “A Rumor of Empathy…”

I teach and practice empathy lessons at Ross University Medical School at Saint Anthony Hospital (Chicago). Prior to publishing  Empathy Lessons, I am the author of three books (and numerous articles) on empathy including A Rumor of Empathy (Routledge 2015). Graduating as an unemployed philosopher from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in philosophy entitled “Empathy and Interpretation,” I earned my stripes as an independent scholar who regarded self-knowledge as an end in itself.

After graduate school I spent some time working in business and technology before realizing that the world does not need more data, it needs expanded empathy. And, yes, I acknowledge we need both data and empathy.

After undergoing over ten years of psychoanalyses, dynamic psychotherapy, and related training to recover from childhood and adolescent traumas, I resumed teaching and practicing empathy lessons. I have over ten years teaching experience at the college and university level in philosophy and psychology at such schools as Roosevelt University (Chicago), DePaul University, Loyola University, the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, and the Graham School of Continuing Education (University of Chicago).

I am committed to “getting out the word” about the importance and power of empathy, and I was the host of an Internet Talk Radio show entitled “A Rumor of Empathy” in the spring and summer of 2015, expanding empathy in the individual and the community. I provide introductory and advanced training, consulting, speaking, and teaching sessions and formal university level classes in empathy and related matters.

I have worked with, trained, consulted with, and (most importantly) listened to medical students, business people, educators, senior executives, middle managers, social workers, administrators, parents, and behavioral health professional (and others) on how to expand their empathy for success in relationships, careers, and what means the most to them in their lives. I am available to deliver individual and group empathy lessons. In addition to teaching, I am an empathy consultant in private practice, delivering individual and group empathy lessons (and coaching), near my home in Chicago, IL (USA).

(c) Lou Agosta, Ph.D. and The Chicago Empathy Project

3 replies

  1. Dear Lou ( if I may say so),

    I have just finished reading your book on empathy and the context of philosophy. Your invitation to react was so kind and open that I wanted to respond. What a good book you wrote. As a psychologist and working with mainly traumatized war victims in the netherlands I am greatfull for the book, because for the first time in my life I am able to explain to them and collegues as well, what empathy is all about. As a client centred and rogerian educated man I was already interested in stolorow’s work. With his work i grew familiar in due course. I met your name there and found out about your work on empathy and heidegger. since my beginning of my studies I had already been eager to find out about mitsein and its relevance. Now with olafson and hatab’s books on heidegger in front of me I feel enriched. my longing for a group of psychotherapy interested people, who want to bridge feeling and thinking in experiential terms is now materially within my reach. I will go and study their works. I grew interested in your side and will follow it. I myself am very interested in the notion of shame. if you are very curious ( but don’t feel obliged)you can google my work in writing down wepster and shame. their you can read some lectures on my topic of shame. in the latest i have taken the liberty to parafrase you : interpretation without attunement is empty, interpretation with attunemnet is empathy. I thought you wrote those words but when I checked I could not found those words exactly. Thanks for an enriching experience. I have enjoyed your book and I understand what it is about. it is relevant!

    dirk wepster

  2. Do you believe that one (hypothetically speaking of course) who has had no relationship with his family for over 20 years can still experience empathy towards their suffering? For example, if someone has a sister who recently lost a husband, can one show empathy towards them if they have never had an actual loving relationship with the person? How would one characterize a person like this who did not even offer any love or support to his sister after her husbands death? Personally I would say they lack any type of empathy or love at all. And logically, if one does not have empathy or love for their own family how can they treat others with caring and respect?

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I am going to align with Tolstoy on this one: “All happy families are alike. But every unhappy family is different.” Perhaps I am mistaken but … I hear judgment and evaluation. And, as you suggest, there is a lot lacking, including empathy and love and simple communication, after twenty years. Yet … empathy is where one finds it. Empathy is where one creates it. If empathy is in the community but not in the family, then bring it from the one to the other. If empathy is in the family but not the community, then bring it from the other to the one. Easier said than one (obviously). Thanks again for the tough question.

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