The Art of Empathy Cards


This portable Art of Empathy card deck was created by Karla McLaren to help you work brilliantly with empathy and emotions. These 28 cards (plus a special fold-out Emotional Vocabulary List) offer detailed insights into Karla’s Six Essential Aspects of Empathy model, plus targeted skills and practices that will help you develop healthy and sustainable empathy.

This set also includes 5 Empathic Communication skills, 8 Empathic Mindfulness practices, and 5 special 2-sided cards to help you work with emotions in others — so that your empathy will emotionally intelligent, skillful, and supportive for everyone.

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The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy: Karla developed a research-based model to help you understand empathy as a set of skills rather than a mystery. If you struggle with empathy, or if your empathy is overwhelming for you, understanding these six aspects will help you develop healthy, intentional, and sustainable empathy that you’ll be able to understand, manage, and maintain throughout your lifetime.

The Empathic Communication Skills: These 5 skills will help you empathize with clarity and care, understand and communicate with people who aren’t like you, share difficulties without hurting yourself or others, communicate about difficult relationships in ethical ways, and restore your bonds when your relationships falter.

The Empathic Mindfulness practices: Each of the 8 Empathic Mindfulness cards were created to help you bring focus and mindfulness to your empathy and your emotions. These practices will help you maintain your focus, understand appropriate boundaries, address internal tension, and work with your strong emotions with grace, humor, and intelligence. Includes the 5 main Empathic Mindfulness practices from The Language of Emotions, plus Resourcing, a special practice for Anxiety, a boundary practice, and suggestions for empathic self-care.

The Emotional Genius cards: These 7 cards help you understand emotions in new ways so that you can access the genius inside each one of them. You’ll learn the 4 pathways to emotional genius, and the stimulus-to-action model that can help you understand emotions more clearly. And, in a special group of 2-sided cards, Karla focuses on the 17 emotions she identifies in her work in terms of how to help others discover the genius inside their own emotions. How do you work with anger in others, or grief, or anxiety? What do you do when people feel ashamed of themselves, or depressed? With these cards, you can support the emotional awareness of others in ways that make your empathy easier for you, and more effective for the people in your life.

Your portable Emotional Vocabulary List: Your vocabulary matters, and your emotional awareness depends on the size of your emotional vocabulary. If you can identify emotions at many different levels of intensity, you can develop stronger emotional awareness and skills. Each card deck comes with an 8-part foldout Emotional Vocabulary List covering three levels of vocabulary words for each emotion category, plus the special Weasel Words list to use with people who don’t have strong emotional awareness yet.

You can also purchase Emotional Vocabulary Lists separately.

The Art of Empathy Cards will help you understand, balance, and manage your empathy — and they’ll remind you of the practices, skills, and resources that will make your empathy healthy and sustainable in all of your relationships, and throughout your lifetime. Thank you for bringing more emotional awareness and more healthy empathy to our waiting world!

The Art of Empathy Cards are printed in the U.S. on recycled paper with soy-based inks.

Additional information

Weight3.6 oz
Dimensions5.5 × 3 × .5 in
Bag color for your cards

Emerald Green, Purple Amethyst, Turquoise