How much emotion is too much?

When I talk about The Language of Emotions, one of the central ideas I share is that all emotions are useful. If you can approach them with care and ask them the right questions, there aren’t any “negative” emotions. Every emotion has a specific function, and all of them are important and instructive Some emotions (such as hatred and panic), need to be handled with care, … Read More

The Magical Healing Powers of Art

Art is a specific empathic healing practice Artistic expression is a wonderful and soul expanding thing for anyone, but it has a particular healing quality for anyone who wants to understand and work with emotions and empathy, because art helps you express and channel emotions intentionally. Empathy is first and foremost an emotional skill, and learning how to work with and understand emotions is a vital … Read More

Course: Empathy and Self-Care at Empathy Academy

Empathy and Self-Care Tending your world without losing yourself A 4-week online course with Sandi Davis   Many people treat empathy as a special skill, or they confuse it with niceness, but empathy is so much more than that. Your empathy is an essential part of working with your emotions and the emotions of others, and it helps you navigate the complexities of living. When you … Read More

The difference between empathy and enmeshment

Did you know that there’s a distinct difference between healthy empathy and enmeshment? I’ve spent a lifetime exploring how empathy works, how it goes awry, how we can understand it more clearly, and how we can create a ground for self-care and self-empathy within our everyday lives. I’ve also been looking at an unhealthy idea about empathy that goes something like this: Empathy means that you … Read More

Let’s talk about suicide

The Darkness before Dawn: Understanding the Suicidal Urge Suicidal feelings are painful but normal responses to deep pain and deep trouble — and people survive their suicidal urges every day, and go on to live and thrive. If you or anyone you know feels suicidal, there are some excellent free resources that can help. First, here in the US, you can contact the 988 Suicide & … Read More

For Mother’s Day

How Do We Celebrate Our Mothers? A real-world poem for Mother’s Day How do we celebrate our mothers  — The ones who are here and the ones who aren’t? The ones who gave their lives for us, And the ones who walked away. The ones who lovingly directed our lives as if we were art projects, And the ones who never knew how to welcome us … Read More

The social genius of envy

Envy (and its partner jealousy) are treated badly in general, but envy is actually listed as one of the seven deadly sins in the Catholic tradition. We could say that the early Catholics meant to warn people against acting aggressively with their envy, but still, they called out a necessary human emotion as a sin. That’s not helpful. Your envy is a vital social emotion that … Read More

What is an Empath?

We’re all empaths In my earlier career, I identified as an empath, but I stopped doing so because the term got to be really troubling. An empath tends to be seen as some kind of magical psychic, and that’s nonsense. Empathy is a human trait and skill, but it’s also a trait in many animal species, so there’s nothing magical about it. We’re all empaths, because … Read More

Autism, empathy, and the mind-blindness of everyday people

Hello! I’ve completed graduate school, and I’m now Karla McLaren, M.Ed! My master’s degree is in education and curriculum design with a concentration in linguistic anthropology, and my focus is on autism, empathy, disability rights, and human rights. Over the next few months, I’m going to be posting pieces of my own research and the excellent research I’ve found. For instance, if you’d like to explore … Read More

When suicide is in the news

Providing responsible information about suicide When famous people commit suicide, and breathless news reports glorify or confuse the situation, there is the danger that others will follow their lead. Careful and sensitive reporting can reduce this risk, and providing straightforward information about depression and suicide can help suffering people find help. If you are feeling suicidal here in the U.S., you can contact the 988 Suicide … Read More

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