Bio and Contact Data

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


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 practice psychotherapy in Chicago (Illinois (USA)).My practice is located on the north east side of Chicago (60660), and I am flexible about fees and schedule. I accept most insurance plans.

My professional resume includes being on the faculty of the Illinois School of Professional Psychology where I teach graduate level courses in Empathy in the History and Systems of Psychology and the Cognitive and Affective Basis of Human Behavior. I have taught college and university courses for about ten years at Roosevelt University, DePaul, Loyola, St Xavier Universities and Oakton Community College (Chicago). My writings include publications in psychoanalysis, why Kant scholars should be interested in folktales, ethics, and a book on empathy in the context of philosophy.  I presented at the Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association in Chicago in June 2012, speaking on “Sympathy for the Devil; Empathy for the Other” in the context of psychoanalysis and narrative.

(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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