This reminds me of how I would answer my colleagues when they would ask me how I was such a good social worker with an English major / History minor. I would say something like, you learn everything you need to know about people in all the great novels of the world and the history of mankind.
“It is quite possible—overwhelmingly probable, one might guess—that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology.”
— Noam Chomsky
I have spent most of my life in the pages of books. I have befriended characters in the stories I’ve read and had conversations with them that have lasted well into the night. They have taught me so much. Psychological case histories are all well and good yet the diagnoses always follow the case studies and then tend towards the theoretical. In a well-written book or a good story (the two overlap but aren’t identical) different characters with various mindsets interact and through the interactions of their personalities there is incalculable value to be found. Fictional characters can be at least as real as the average person you meet (and far more than most online personas).Different branches of psychology work well…
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