• Elizabeth Harvey

Mini-Review: The Empath's Survival Guide



Mini-Review: The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff, MD

What does it mean to be an empath? Judith Orloff, MD describes in this book that it goes beyond having empathy: “Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain. But for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.”


A psychiatrist and highly intuitive person, Orloff describes how being an empath includes but goes beyond high sensitivity to encompass the realm of sensing and taking in subtle energy. If you relate to Dr. Elaine Aron’s books on being a highly sensitive person (HSP) but want to learn more about the energetic and intuitive aspects of your experience, this book can be very helpful.


Dr. Orloff has a positive and validating take on empath experiences and characteristics, and a proactive approach to strategies for protecting your energy and crafting a lifestyle that supports wellbeing.


It can be life-changing to realize that the reason you feel “weird, “different,” alone in your perspective, or often feel more drained than the people around you is that you’re perceiving and taking in things that others may not notice. Awareness of this can pave the way to more intentional and supportive approaches to life.


Some of the key content covered includes:

  • how to stop absorbing other people’s distress

  • empaths and addictions: self-medicating when you’re overstimulated

  • what being an empath means for relationships and parenting

  • protecting yourself from those who drain your energy

  • supportive work environments for empaths

  • dreams and empaths

  • intuition, extraordinary perception, and “nonlocal” information (as described by consciousness researchers)

  • protection strategies for empaths (extensive quick-reference guide)

I often recommend this book to clients who are highly sensitive and looking for additional resources. It’s a great place to start to understand navigating life as an empath. And Judith Orloff has written many more extremely helpful books for empaths.