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n. understanding a person from his or her frame of reference rather than one’s own, or vicariously experiencing that person’s feelings, perceptions, and thoughts. Empathy does not, of itself, entail motivation to be of assistance, although it may turn into sympathy or personal distress, which may result in action. In psychotherapy, therapist empathy for the client can be a path to comprehension of the client’s cognitions, affects, motivations, or behaviors. See also perspective taking. —empathic or —empathetic adj. —empathize vb.

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Psychology term of the day

March 1st 2024