Understanding unhealthy leadership

Last year, I co-authored a book about children who grew up in cults (like I did) and escaped. Escaping Utopia (Routledge, 2017) tells the stories of 65 people from 39 different cults in more than a dozen countries. My co-author, sociologist Janja Lalich, PhD, is an internationally renowned expert on cults, indoctrination, extremist groups, and terrorist groups, and she is a cult survivor as well. Because we … Read More

Welcome to the Empathic Autistic Community!

Hello and welcome! I just received an email from a young newly-identified autistic man* who was looking for resources, and I realized that I need more pages devoted to resources on my site! *I use identify-first language (for instance, autistic man) for most disabilities, including my own, and it’s an intentional choice. Before you prepare a person-first lecture, see the note at the bottom of this … Read More

A new therapeutic approach and licensing program!

Emotions contain vital healing wisdom that isn’t available anywhere else Recent research is helping us see that emotions are vital to nearly everything we do. Though we have misunderstood emotions for centuries and treated them very poorly, we are beginning to understand their value and their power. Emotions help us attach value to information. They help us decide whether people are safe or unsafe. They help … Read More

Healing support for the people who support us

Essential Boundaries for Bodyworkers Balanced Empathy and Self-Care to Prevent Burnout Starts Monday July 16th – 6 weeks Online at Empathy Academy – $265 6-18 CEUs* available During this difficult time, many of us are turning to our caregivers and healers for support: healthcare professionals, bodyworkers, and counselors. We expect these people to be available, emotionally stable, and prepared to help us — yet something I … Read More

How to talk about suicide

The Darkness before Dawn: Understanding the Suicidal Urge When a famous person commits suicide, and breathless news reports sensationalize or confuse the situation, there is the danger that others will follow his or her lead. Careful reporting can reduce this risk, and providing straightforward information about depression and suicide can help suffering people find help. Numerous studies have shown that responsible media can save lives (or … Read More

Love is constant; only the names change

In my work, I focus on emotions and empathy, and people regularly ask me whether love is an emotion. To my eye, no. it’s not. Here’s why. Why love is not an emotion When an emotion is healthy, it arises only when it’s needed, it shifts and changes in response to its environment, and it recedes willingly once it has addressed an issue. When love is … Read More

The Magical Healing Properties of Sadness

Letting go, relaxing, and rejuvenating: These are the gifts of sadness New course starts January 22nd! I’ve been watching the emotional behavior on the left and the right here in the U.S., and it pretty much goes like this: Anger, fear, panic, hatred, depression, despair, and then it starts again at anger. These are all valuable emotions when you know how to regulate them, but if … Read More

Is it empathy or projection?

Ten Ways to Identify the Difference I’m teaching the 3rd cohort of the Dynamic Emotional Integration® series this year, and one of the students had an excellent question about whether we can, in fact, be accurate about other people’s emotions. Are we able to accurately read the emotions of others, or are we simply projecting based on our own understanding? Some people make empathic accuracy difficult, … Read More

Welcome to Autism Acceptance Month!

And Now We Celebrate! April 2nd is International Autism Awareness Day, but really, if you’re not aware of autism yet, where have you been? The cool kids have already moved on from mere awareness to inclusion, acceptance, and love. We’re celebrating Autism Acceptance Month. Many of my friends in the autism community find mere awareness campaigns to be painful, because the messages about autism tend to … Read More

Emotion Regulation helps you persevere

Where do we go from here? We are in a new and deeply troubling world, where pundits, writers, philosophers, social scientists, and spiritual leaders are churning out endless opinion pieces about how we got here. We’ve all been consuming these opinions, and that’s a natural response. But I don’t know if it’s helping us regulate and ground ourselves. I don’t have an opinion piece yet; it’s … Read More

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