Reading fiction as a means to greater empathy – Counseling Today

For many counselors, retreating into the depths of a novel can often be a much-needed and well-applauded act of self-care. But can reading fiction actually make someone a better counselor? Empathy-focused research in the past few years suggests that this may very well be a possibility.

 

Keith Oatley, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Toronto, and Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, have found that people who read fiction on a regular basis appear to be more equipped to understand and empathize with others.

 

by Kathleen Smith