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The Language of Emotions (Paperback)

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Your emotions contain brilliant information. 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. In The Language of Emotions, she presents her breakthrough teachings for a new and empowering relationship with your feeling states.

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. In 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.

When we relate to our emotions with respect and authenticity, we can directly access our innermost wisdom, unfold the deepest parts of ourselves, and heal our most painful wounds. The Language of Emotions gives us a much-needed resource for self-understanding and freedom:
  • How to overcome addictions, distractions, and unresolved trauma--the three primary impediments to emotional ease
  • Using the energy of anger to protect and restore personal boundaries
    • Step-by-step guidance in the five skills of the empath (someone skilled in reading emotions)
    • How to balance your "quaternity," a metaphor for the interplay of mind, body, spirit, and emotions
    • Honoring sadness as a source of release and rejuvenation
Joy, the natural response to beauty and communion


"In my graduate education in counseling psychology, I found very little information about our emotions. Yet in my work as a therapist and educator, I've seen that emotions are key to healing. Karla McLaren's book offers an outstanding guide to the signals and messages emotions send us, along with clear instructions for intelligent and emotion-supporting actions we can take in response. Karla has made a huge contribution to the well-being of us all; The Language of Emotions will become required reading in all of my courses."--Nancy --Feehan, MFT, adjunct professor of counseling psychology at the University of San Francisco

"Karla McLaren's unique, empathic view of emotions surprisingly revalues even the most 'negative' emotions and opens pathways to understanding the depths of the human soul."
--Michael Meade, author of The World Behind the World and The Water of Life

"This book changed the way I relate to others, and to myself, forever."
--Gavin De Becker, author of The Gift of Fear

Table of Contents

Part I: Restoring Your Native Language
  1. Introduction- Creating a Conscious Life
  2. My Empathic Journey- The Difficult Beginnings of Empathy
  3. Troubled Waters - How We Got So Confused
  4. It Takes a Village - Surrounding Your Emotions With Support
  5. Reviving Your Essential Nature - Making Room for Your Central Self
  6. Avoidance, Addiction, and Awakening--Understanding the Need for Distractions
  7. Unintentional Shamans--The Role of Trauma in Soul-Making and Culture-Binding
  8. The Role of Emotions in the Resolution of Trauma--Water Will Carry You Home
  9. The Steadfast Promise - Why Love is Not an Emotion
  10. Building Your Raft--The Five Empathic Skills
PART II: Embracing Your Emotions

  1. Wading Into the Water - Awakening All of Your Emotions
  2. Anger: Protection and Restoration--Includes Rage, Fury, and the Healing of Trauma
  3. Apathy and Boredom--The Mask for Anger
  4. Guilt and Shame--Restoring Integrity
  5. Hatred--The Profound Mirror--Includes Resentment, Contempt, Disgust, and Shadow Work
  6. Fear: Intuition and Action - Includes Anxiety, Worry, and the Healing of Trauma
  7. Confusion: The Mask for Fear
  8. Jealousy and Envy: Relational Radar--Includes Greed
  9. Panic and Terror: Frozen Fire - Includes Healing from Trauma
  10. Sadness: Release and Rejuvenation: Includes Despair and Despondency
  11. Grief: The Deep River of the Soul
  12. Depression: Ingenious Stagnation--Focusing on Situational Depression
  13. Suicidal Urges: The Darkness Before Dawn
  14. Happiness: Amusement and Anticipation
  15. Contentment: Appreciation and Recognition
  16. Joy: Affinity and Communion--Includes Exhilaration and Honoring Happiness in Others
  17. Stress and Resistance: Understanding Emotional Physics
  18. Emotions Are Your Native Language--The Fine Art of a Life Well Lived

About the Author

Karla McLarenEmpath 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 (Sounds True, 2010), the online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions (Sounds True, 2012) and The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life's Most Essential Skill (October, 2013).Karla has taught at such venues as the University of San Francisco, Omega Institute, Naropa University, Kripalu, and the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Additionally, as a prison arts educator with the William James Foundation, she has utilized singing, drumming, and drama to help men in maximum security prisons explore and heal long-held emotional traumas. She is currently developing new forms of Empathy and Social Interaction curricula for neurologically diverse populations.Karla lives in California with her husband, Tino Plank, a Master's level nurse educator who works in hospice and end-of-life care.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781591797692
ISBN-10: 1591797691
Publisher: Sounds True
Publication Date: May 28th, 2010
Pages: 415
Language: English