Counselor and empathic author Karla McLaren writes in her book The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You about emotional intelligence and emotional health:
“If you can learn to work with your emotions and discover the messages they contain, you can access the skills and abilities inside each of them – and develop a more wholesome and conscious understanding of yourself and others.
“If we can learn to properly channel our emotions, we can begin to work with them in vibrant and ingenious ways.
“We can interpret the messages our emotions carry and make use of the instincts our emotions contain.”
video: Karla McLaren: Embracing Our Emotions
video: Emotions Simplified!
“With the genius of your strong emotions and the magic of your strong empathy, you’ll be able to weather anything and keep yourself headed toward higher ground.”
Karla McLaren teaches the course
The Language of Emotions
The course page includes this description:
When you learn to welcome them as your allies, they can reveal creative solutions to any situation.
For 35 years, empathic counselor and researcher Karla McLaren has developed a set of practical tools for the real-world stresses of family, career, and the quest for personal fulfillment.
On The Language of Emotions, she presents her breakthrough teachings for a new and empowering relationship with your feeling states.
How to Harness the Energy of Your Emotions
Your emotions—especially the dark and dishonored ones—hold a tremendous amount of energy.
We’ve all seen what happens when we repress or blindly express them. However, there is a powerful alternative.
On The Language of Emotions, you’ll learn to meet your emotions and engage with them to safely move toward resolution and equilibrium.
Through experiential exercises covering a full spectrum of feelings from anger, fear, and shame to jealousy, grief, joy, and more, you will discover how to work with your own and others’ emotions with fluency and expertise.
Here is an excerpt from one of her posts on working with emotions:
Where do we go from 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 too early. I want to focus instead on the current emotional atmosphere, and on what you can do to keep yourself functional in the months and years ahead of us.
Assessing the Emotional Climate
Here in America, I’m seeing intense multiple emotions, both before our presidential election and after it. I’m seeing this intensity on the left, on the right, and in the middle, and I’m concerned.
As you know, it takes skill to work with intense emotions — not because the emotions are dangerous in themselves, but because our training has been so poor.
For instance, panic is a lifesaving emotion, literally. Panic will help you fight, flee, or freeze when you’re in real danger, and it will save your life.
Panic brings intense and powerful amounts of energy to you, because you need that much energy when your life is endangered.
However, after the danger has passed and you’ve survived (hooray!), you’ll need to do a lot of self-soothing, movement, shaking, down-regulating, and self-care to bring yourself back to a grounded and focused place.
But how many of us have been taught how to do that?
How many of us know what to do after we’ve been overtaken by the intense power inside panic?
Not too many, and sadly, many of us who are trauma survivors — panic-strengthened living legends — spend our lives in despair, flashbacks, and pain, simply because we haven’t been helped to regulate ourselves back to a comfortable place.
[Earth image is from the training course site The Great Courses.]
A Sounds True profile notes:
“Karla McLaren is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and pioneering educator whose empathic approach to emotions has taken her through the healing of her own childhood trauma, into a healing career, and now into the study of sociology, anthropology, neurology, cognitive psychology, and education.
“She is the author of The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You, the online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill.
“Karla has taught at such venues as the University of San Francisco, Omega Institute, Naropa University, Kripalu, and the Association for Humanistic Psychology.”
Another online program by Karla McLaren:
Course description from the Sounds True site:
Awaken and Master Empathy, the Most Life-Changing of Emotional Skills
Some of us are natural-born empaths—those with an exceptional gift for feeling and understanding the emotions, circumstances, and needs of others.
But empathy, teaches Karla McLaren, is a universal human skill that we can all learn to awaken and use wisely.
Drawing on insights spanning social psychology, current brain research, and traditional healing and spiritual wisdom, this acclaimed teacher and author shows us how to:
Discover and strengthen this natural social and emotional ability
Prepare for empathy training by learning to identify and regulate our emotions and boundaries
Move into the felt experience of others with authenticity and respect
Stay rejuvenated on the empathic path through grounding, healthy boundaries, and replenishing with joy — and more
The Art of Empathy program.