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 the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her latest book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s 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 and has a TEDX talk. Her other books are Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive HealingExplore more information about her Empath Support Online course and speaking schedule on www.drjudithorloff.com.

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