When is it appropriate to use empathic or empathetic. Are they interchangeable?
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empathic= feel strongly about what you are saying.
empathetic= when you share feelings or opinions as if they were your own.
emphatic=feel strongly about what you are saying.

empathic=when you share feelings or opinions as it they were your own.

sympathetic=when you care about another's situation

It seems "empathetic" is a combination of empathic and sympathetic.
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I believe the two are synonymous and can be used interchangeably. In response to the definition hat someone gave to empathic, I believe they may have been describing emphatic.
Empathic and empathetic have been used interchangably in counseling research, however empathic has been used more often. Empathy is understanding the inner world of another but recognizing that experience is not your own. From my understanding, you may tap into your own experiences to understand where the person is coming from, however, the respect for that person owning the experience or feelings is an important distinction from sympathy, when someone has walked that path and shares their experience in a way that extends sorrow or feeling sorry for another's loss, more specifically. However, sympathy can prevent someone from understanding the difference between their own feelings and that of another, so in counseling, empathy is the place to reside in the therapeutic or helping relationship.
The word empathetic is not proper usage.

It was added to the dictionary in response to frequent improper usage.
Empathic is to empathy as sympathetic is to sympathy.
Although the root words seem similar, the construction of the adjective differs.
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The word meaning to feel strongly about what you say is "emphatic" not "empathic"
Empathic vs. empathetic....Newer dictionaries (and certainly online) seem to show both words as acceptable, often using one to define the other-- thus advancing them as interchangeable. In the 1970s and 1980s (I have no idea about earlier), empathetic was considered incorrect-- a word form used by the uneducated. Empathic was the acceptable adjective for empathy, unlike the adjective for sympathy (sympathy-sympathetic, empathy-empathic). Having written a doctoral disseration on empathy in the 1980s, my doctoral committee drummed into my head that the word was empathic rather than empathetic. My 1980 dictionary donfirms that usage. This change in acceptable form could be the result of decades of "empathetic" usage in both speech and the written word, which resulted in a change in the English language over time. As for me, I cringe when I read or someone says the word "empathetic."
You are correct. It reminds me of "should have went". Guess we will see that phrase soon.
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