The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy, Part 3: Emotion Regulation

Learning to work with your emotions Your Emotion Regulation skills help you feel, understand, and work with your own emotions. These abilities are crucial to your capacity to empathize skillfully; good Emotion Regulation skills can make your experience of empathy much more comfortable! Let’s revisit the six aspects so that we can understand where Emotion Regulation fits into the larger picture: Emotion Contagion: Before empathy can … Read More

The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy, Part 1: Emotion Contagion

An empathic approach to empathy! In my book and audio learning program, The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill, I focus on my Six Essential Aspects of Empathy model, starting with the first, which has a strange name: Emotion Contagion. Because empathy is first and foremost an emotional skill. Before empathy can take place, you need to sense that an emotion … Read More

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

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