Empathy and Sympathy: Therapeutic Distinctions in Counseling

At various times in the treatment process, mental health counselors may inadvertently equate the concepts of empathy and sympathy. This confusion is understandable because there is ambiguity between the two terms that could contribute to miscommunication in counseling. This article clarifies the therapeutic distinctions between empathy and sympathy through the dimensions of aim, appraisal, apprehension, and agreement.

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