I’m Karla McLaren. I’m an author, social science researcher, a cappella arranger, and an empath, which means I know that I read emotions.
I worked as an empathic healer for twenty-five years, and I once thought that my empathic skills were mystical. However, I questioned that and returned to college in 2004 to learn about the roots of my empathic skills. I discovered that empathy is a natural human ability, but it looks magical because most of us are so confused about emotions. If you’d like to understand more about this sea change in my approach, this essay covers the basics.
I received my B.A degree in Social Science and Sociology in 2006, graduating summa cum laude as a national Phi Kappa Phi honors scholar. I also worked as a researcher and editor on the sociology of murder text When Killing is a Crime by Tony Waters, Ph.D., and as an editor for sociologist Janja Lalich, Ph.D. on the book Take Back Your Life, which is an essential resource for victims of cults, abusive relationships, and other high control groups. Dr. Lalich and I have also coauthored an in-depth sociological study on the numerous stigmas that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and questioning youth experience in fundamentalist religions. This study was published in 2011 in the Journal of Homosexuality.
A special focus in my studies continues to be the sociology of work and occupations, because I am fascinated by the many ways that the workplace reinforces emotional illiteracy. I continue to study everything I can get my hands on regarding work; I’m a Certified Human Resource Administrator and a Certified Career Development Facilitator. I’m also in graduate school getting my Master’s in Education and creating new empathy and social interaction curriculum for neurologically diverse people and people on the Autism Spectrum.
In 2009, I was asked to re-write my 2001 book, Emotional Genius, to include excellent new information — not just from the academic world of sociology, neurology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology, but also from the mythological, poetic, artistic realm where true empathy and deep healing reside. This book, which was published in 2010, is The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You.
In The Language of Emotions, I use my empathic skills on the emotions themselves, and treat them as a complete and interdependent system without which we cannot be whole. In the field of the sociology of emotions, researchers attempt to connect emotions across cultures to create a grand unified theory of emotion. In this book, I jump into the middle of the emotional realm itself and connect the emotions within and throughout the psyche. The emotions are a fascinatingly interconnected and unified system, and I’m so glad to be able to share this information with you!
I’m also glad to be working with my publisher, Sounds True again; in 2010, they published The Language of Emotions as a book and a 7-1/2 hour audio learning set, and in 2012, we created the 8-part interactive online class to help you further develop your emotional awareness: Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions.
My newest book and audio learning program (October, 2013) is called The Art of Empathy: The Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill, and it covers new research on empathy, my empathic approach to emotions and to being an empath, and hands-on support for developing (or calming down!) your empathic and emotional skills — at home, at work, in relationships, and in the healing and social justice work you do. Here’s an excerpt of The Art of Empathy.
Thanks for stopping by!
Media inquiries: To set up an interview or access publicity materials, e-mail my publishers at Sounds True: email@example.com
General inquiries: If you have general questions, come to our empathic community on Facebook!