What is the difference between a codependent and an empath?


What is the difference between a codependent and an empath?


Answer: There’s a joke that when a codependent dies it’s your life that passes in front of his/her eyes. Codependents are obsessed with fixing and helping other people. Empaths can have codependent tendencies but not all codependents are empaths. Empaths absorb the energy of others and the world into their bodies. In “The Empath’s Survival Guide” I discuss many ways for empaths to stop absorbing other people’s emotions and stress. To learn about codependency I recommend “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie.

Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote on “How to Cut an Unhealthy Bond with Someone”.

All the best,

Many of us instinctively want to take away another person’s pain, especially a loved one, but that can be unhealthy for those who soak up their negative energy.

I’ve learned to be present for my patients but not shoulder their discomfort. Since I frequently give workshops and speak in front of hundreds of people at a time, it’s essential that I ground and protect myself. Then I won’t absorb the suffering of the participants (suffering is present in all humans), which is amplified in large groups. This allows me to do the teaching I love and not get worn out by excessive stimulation.

One strategy I teach my patients and workshop participants to help them maintain healthy relationships is a cord cutting visualization technique. My patient, Terry, realized she had been absorbing her mother’s anxiety since childhood. She has a big heart and was unconsciously taking on her loved one’s emotions. However, once Terry became aware of this dynamic, I taught her to set boundaries by visualizing cutting an energetic cord between herself and her mother’s anxiety. This technique from my book, “The Empath’s Survival Guide” allowed Terry to create a healthy boundary and still remain a caring daughter.

Click HERE to read the complete article.

Judith Orloff, MD is a New York Times bestselling author with the upcoming book The Genius of Empathy: Practical Skills to Heal Yourself, Your Relationships and the World (Foreword by the Dalai Lama). She has also written The Empath’s Survival Guide and Thriving as an Empath, which offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people. She integrates the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Asia. More information about Dr. Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath Survival Guide Online Course and speaking schedule at www.drjudithorloff.com.

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