Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam







Excerpt from The Empath’s Survival Guide: The Science of Intuition

As a psychiatrist and an intuitive empath, I am fascinated by how the phenomenon of intuition works.

Most people are only intuitively tuned into a narrow bandwidth of frequencies in the everyday material or “real world.” Their ability to “see” is limited to linear time. But don’t mistake the material plane for the only reality. Once your sensitivities can reach beyond it, you will enter a playground of subtler energies and fascinating “non-local” realms (a term used by consciousness researchers) which defy the laws of physics.

In my book The Empath’s Survival Guide I discuss what I call intuitive empaths. They differ from highly sensitive people in the area of intuition. Though both have a heightened awareness of touch, smell, sound, and light, intuitive empaths can sense beyond what’s usual to contact extraordinary knowledge. They know things that other people don’t. Their channels are wide open. They may have visions that predict the future or they are able to communicate with animals, nature, plants, even spirit guides. Some are powerful dreamers who receive guidance in their dreams. Intuitive empaths can access the mysterious, “non-local” aspects of human consciousness that mainstream science doesn’t yet understand, perhaps because they aren’t as guarded as others. Being so open can feel both exciting and scary.

I’ve experienced the fears and rewards of manifesting this ability. In my psychiatric practice, it serves me because I have greater insight into my patients, allowing me to quickly “read” people and other aspects of my environment. I am also a passionate dreamer and follow the directions of my dreams to guide my life. In addition, I am deeply nurtured by communing with nature and the elements: air, fire, water, and earth. I can appreciate their beauty by observing it, but I can also feel each element’s aliveness and passion in my body, which is exhilarating.


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

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