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60 Mindful Minutes

Jan 13, 2018

Our culture often teaches us to be uncomfortable with emotions, to avoid them, and to set them aside when making important decisions. But neuroscience would have us see them in a different way. In this episode, empathy researcher Karla McLaren invites us to see emotions as data, as fundamental aspects of our intelligence, and inescapable parts of our cognition.

Whether you like it or not, your emotions are always at play. But the good news is, Karla can help us understand the wisdom that they bring and what a gift our emotions truly are.


Guest Bio

Karla McLaren, M.Ed. is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy pioneer. Her lifelong work focuses on her grand unified theory of emotions, which revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens startling new pathways into self-awareness, effective communication, and healthy empathy.

Karla is the author of The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill (2013), The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings are Trying to Tell You (2010), and the multi-media online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions (2012). She has taught at University of San Francisco, Omega Institute, Naropa University, Kripalu Center, Hollyhock Learning Centre, and the Association for Humanistic Psychology.

Her applied work, Dynamic Emotional Integration (also known as DEI) is a trailblazing approach to emotions and empathy that reveals the genius and the healing power within the emotional realm. Licensed DEI Trainers and Consultants are available in the United States and internationally.

Karla has also developed the groundbreaking Six Essential Aspects of Empathy model that highlights all of the processes in healthy empathy and makes them easily understandable, accessible, and attainable. This fully realized model teaches people how to access, develop, and manage their empathy intentionally. It also explicitly welcomes people who have been exiled from earlier models of empathy (such as men, boys, and autistic people).

With her husband, Tino Plank MA, MSN, RN, Karla developed the Healthy Empathy® program. Healthy Empathy® helps health and healing professionals develop healthy and sustainable empathy and compassion skills in their practice, in their workplace, and in their lives.

Learn more at


Mentioned in This Episode

Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents Paperback by Christine Carter Ph.D.

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker


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