What is an Empath?
“ An Empath is someone who can feel other people’s emotions as their own: we feel what other people feel.”
It sounds cool doesn’t it? Like a secret power! But it’s a heart wrenching curse if you don’t know what’s happening to you.
Until you learn to master your skills, it’s an overwhelming experience to feel the emotions of everyone around you.
I’ve been updating this page of resources for empaths for over 10 years. I hope you will find the clarity, validation and support to better understanding your Empath experiences!
Are you an Empath? Take the Quiz!
These are common Empath skills:
- Can you feel what other people are feeling, even if they’re not in your physical presence?
- Do you spontaneously know what people need to hear/do to feel better?
- Do people find it easy to confide in you?
These are common Empath side effects if you cannot control (yet!) your Empath skills:
- Feeling emotionally or physically overwhelmed in crowds
- Feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders
- Having random mood swing (angry, sad, scared, etc) that have nothing to do with your life
- Have a hard time falling asleep before midnight or procrastinate going to bed
- Have physical symptoms that related to hearing (ringing, popping, itching in the ear canal)
- Feel emotionally uncomfortable when having sex (anxious, no sex drive, angry)
Disclaimer: This checklist is not a diagnostic or treatment tool. I am not a doctor nor a mental health professional. Some of the characteristics of Empaths can be diagnosed as ADD, agoraphobia or clinical depression. Contact your health care professional if you have any questions, need diagnostic or treatment for a mental health issue.
What kind of Empath are you?
- Impaired Empaths have might have some basic filters but get overwhelmed easily, especially in a crowded venue or when people around them are experiencing emotional turmoil. They tend to struggle with experience emotional distress (i.e. feeling the weight of the world) and physical symptoms (i.e. exhaustion, headaches, depression)
- Balanced Empaths are able to control the flow of emotional information so that it is comfortable and doesn’t overwhelm them.
- Professional Empaths are able to interpret complex emotional information accurately and use it for specific purposes (such as healing work).
- Everyone else:I believe that everyone is born with the ability to be an empath. However, most people shut this down and use other cues to get emotional information (such as verbal and non-verbal indicators). Over time, they completely lose their Empath abilities.
How does it work? Is this for real?
Although you probably have an intuitive understanding of your Empath skills, it’s also important to have intellectual knowledge as well. It’s easier for the brain to accept something that it can explain.
Physiology of a Thought
Everyone is born an Empath. We all have the physical equipment necessary to pick up on what other people are feeling. But, for most of us, this ability will slowly fade away from lack of use. To see how this works, let’s briefly look into the physiological processes involved.
When you think about something, it triggers electrical activity in your brain. Neurons (special cells that relay information in the body) get activated through a very mild electric current. These neurons then activate other neurons, creating a chain reaction.
All this electrical activity generates a magnetic field . As Empaths, we are able to read and interpret this magnetic information. Our own brain translates these magnetic patterns into an emotion that we personally experience.
A few notes about human magnetic waves
- They can go through solids (such as bones and walls) with very little loss. Which means that you can read people even if they are far away.
- They are very very very weak and are often called “Subtle Energies”. They cannot harm you in anyway.
My Ph.D. thesis on Empaths
As I developed the tools described in the Empath Survival Program, I also found myself wanting to dive more deeply towards a better understanding of what I started to call the “Empath experience”.
When the time came to select a topic for my Ph.D. thesis in Metaphysics, it was an obvious choice!
It took me 4 years to complete this research. It allowed me to succinctly (well, in 30 pages) describe the different facets of the Empath experience as I had witnessed them in myself, my clients and my friends on the Empath Community.
It brought me great inner peace to finally be able to write about my research on such a misunderstood topic.
The Empath Survival Program ©
Reclaim your emotional sanity!
Download the Empath Survival Program (PDF)
Are you an Empath?
Do you feel overrun by your Empath skills (also known as being an Impaired Empath)?
Learn 7 life changing techniques that I personally used to reclaim my emotional sanity!
As an Empath, I’ve tried a lot of different tools.
I finally narrowed it down to some basic techniques that get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
- Technique 1: Turning down the volume
- Technique 2: Moving through crowds
- Technique 3: Creating healthy boundaries with family and friends
- Technique 4: Holding your emotional space in a romantic relationship
- Technique 5: Grounding technique for Empath Children
- Technique 6: Claiming your emotional space at work
- Technique 7: Feeling safe as an Empath
- Bonus!: Grounding Techniques for Empaths
Finally and most importantly: Get Support!
Lost? Stuck? Confused? Ask Elise!
I can help you identify the root cause of the problem, find a solution that can help you right now and quickly get you unstuck with specific intuitive advice!
Join our Empath Community!
As my work as an Empath became more widely known, more and more people were contacting me saying they felt lost, confused and isolated. I created the Empath Community to provide a safe environment where Empaths could connect to each another.
We’ve been around since 2007 and we have very experienced members who can help you on your journey!
My Story: Growing up as Empath
I grew up as an Empath, not knowing what that was. No one knew what an Empath was back then. So I was left confused, alone and oftentimes in dire emotional and physical pain. /p>
My parents thought I was an unusually quiet child. But I was more in a state of paralysis, feeling completely overwhelmed by what other people were feeling and thinking. This situation left me with very little energy to interact with people. Every conversation was mentally and emotionally exhausting. It just seemed like even more “noise”.
I also had some extremely weird habits, such as falling into a trance-like state while putting on my socks. My mom would have to prompt me several times with “Elise, finish getting dressed” before I would snap out of it. My brain would just drifting away, trying to find some peace before having to brave the outside world.
I had a constant stream of ear infections as a child which left me practically deaf by the time I was 5 years old. But I was so quiet that it took a while for people to notice. Eventually, I had surgery and my hearing reluctantly returned.
Also from a young age, I also had vividly realistic nightmares where people were constantly trying to talk to me in my sleep. The people in my dreams always spoke so softly that I could never quite hear them properly. I would wake up scared, still trying to hear their voices more clearly.
And, of course, the debilitating migraines. I had them constantly throughout my childhood, teens and early adult life. They would leave me curl up in pain, often times for several days in a row, having to stay in a dark room or wearing sun glasses because of the extreme light sensitivity they induced. Doctors all of kinds of specialties were baffled by them, unable to find a root cause of them.
But as it turns out, these were all attempts to to shut down my Empath skills: day dreaming, becoming deaf, nightmares and excruciating pain… Pain is louder than anything else, so it’s was a quick fix when all else failed.
I never told anyone that I could feel what they felt simply because I had no idea this was unusual. I thought everyone felt like this. But the confusion it generated in me was quite overwhelming. I became socially withdrawn. Not interested in parties or any kind of group activities since it was impossible for me to focus on my own thoughts.
Then came the teenage years where I started to attempt to “do something” with all this emotional information. Being an Empath doesn’t mean you know what to do with what you feel. It just means you feel it. So I kept trying to use what I felt in very ineffective ways. I was mildly suicidal from my late teens to my mid-twenties.
It was in college that I finally found a way to start using my skills: psychology! I started studying in this field and was unusually good at it. I felt more empowered, having learned how to inspire and support change through the counseling process. My Empath skills finally had an outlet!
While I was pregnant with my son, I woke up one day with fully awakened intuitive skills. From that day on, information started pouring out of my brain and it hasn’t stopped to this day!
That how I first heard the term “Empath”. It just popped in my head one day. I tried to google it but, at the time, there was only references to famous characters from TV shows (“Star Trek” and “Charmed”). And yet I knew there was something real in that term… Every day, more information would come to me. Specifically, I started to get ideas on ways to manage my Empath skills so they would not be so painful. That’s where the Empath Survival Program came from. It really came “through” me as opposed to “from” me. But either way, I was glad to use these techniques to find much needed relief.
I would frequently received emails from people who had found my web site and were reading up on Empaths. But it struck me how often people would tell me how much they felt alone and had no one to talk to about their experience. And so the Empath Community web site was born! It has now become an amazing circle of Empath friends who wonder, cry and laugh together!
So keep this in my my dear empath friend: You are not alone! I have been where you are and you too can become a balanced empath…
Elise Lebeau, Ph.D, Professional Intuitive
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