Ask Dr. Orloff
Are empaths meant to serve in the healing arts or are they too sensitive?
Question: Dr. Orloff,
For me I feel like there is no "off" switch with my empathy and I have felt healthier and happier since leaving behind my work in health counselling (includes mental and emotional) and yet there is something missing in my life because I am called to this vocation. Do empaths ever manage to pursue their calling in the healing arts and not end up either sick with their own illness, low on life force energy and thus burn out, or actually picking up and taking on the disease of the patient?
Answer: Dear Amanda,
Empaths are intuitive, loving, sensitive and make wonderful healers IF they learn how not to take on the stress of their patients. As a psychiatrist I work at this all the time and succeed. There are many techniques that you will need to practice such as grounding, shielding, meditation, and notice what buttons of yours get pushed by your patients--for instance, their depression, anxiety, frustrations--and begin to heal those triggers in yourself. Then you won't be as prone to absorb other people's emotions. Check out my CD Becoming An Intuitive Healer which is made for healers and health care professionals of all kinds. There are multiple techniques there that you can practice.
Good luck! You can do it!