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The Genius of Empathy: Practical Skills to Heal Your Sensitive Self, Your Relationships and the World, by Judith Orloff, M.D.

Mar 29, 2024 06:45AM ● By Reviewed by Ronald Alexander, Ph.D., author of Core Creativity
Book cover of The Genius of Empathy.

According to New York Times bestselling psychiatrist Judith Orloff, M.D., empathy is a superpower that can transform your life, your relationships, and the world. In her new book, The Genius of Empathy (with foreword by the Dalai Lama), Orloff shows readers how to ignite and embody the emotional intelligence of empathy as a daily healing practice.
The Genius of Empathy shows readers ways to tap into the gift of their sensitivities without being drained. You will learn to soothe your nervous system and stop absorbing others’ emotions. It’s a practical, action-driven guide for highly sensitive people and for those who want to develop empathy as a healing skill.
The book is divided into three sections. It begins with the magic of empathy to find greater self-love and healing—including from trauma. Subsequent chapters teach you how to apply empathy to your relationships, communities and the world. Exploring each chapter’s practices, you’ll learn the art of empathic listening, how to stop overthinking, and the importance of setting healthy boundaries and showing loving detachment to prevent overwhelm and compassion fatigue.
Throughout the book, psychiatrist and empath Orloff uses insights from neuroscience, psychology and energy medicine to teach readers how to use and amplify their empathy without feeling overwhelmed. You’ll learn:
·       What is your most comfortable empathy style.
·       Techniques to enhance self-empathy and healthy giving.
·       How to stop overthinking to prevent empathy burnout.
·       How to set healthy boundaries in relationships, including if you are a caregiver.
·       How to use empathic communication and leadership skills at work and in your personal life.
·       How to show empathy for others even when you don’t like them or agree with them.
·       How to recognize and protect yourself from people with “empathy-deficient disorder,” such as narcissists, sociopaths and bullies.
Each chapter has compelling anecdotes of how Orloff’s patients enhanced their lives with this book’s techniques. “Cultivating empathy is a kind of peaceful warrior training,” says Orloff. “You will learn to be both strong and loving, neither a pushover nor rigid. Wherever you are in your life, this book can meet you there and lift you higher.”

Photo credit: Bob Riha

Dr. Judith Orloff has also written The Empath’s Survival Guide and Thriving as an Empath, which offer daily self-care tools for sensitive people. She integrates the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting-edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine and spirituality. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show and CNN and in Oprah Magazine, The New York Times and USA Today. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Asia. For more information about Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath’s Survival Guide Online Course, and speaking schedule, visit Join Orloff for a special book talk to learn empathic healing techniques at the Tempe-based Changing Hands Bookstore on May 30. Learn more at