More About the Author
I'm Karla McLaren. I'm an author, social science researcher, and empath, which means I know that I read emotions. My website is here: http://karlamclaren.com/
I worked as an empathic healer for twenty-five years, and I once thought that my empathic skills were mystical. However, I questioned that and returned to college in 2004 to learn about the roots of my empathic skills. I discovered that empathy is a natural human ability, but it looks magical because most of us are so confused about emotions.
I received my B.A degree in Social Science and Sociology in 2006, graduating summa cum laude as a national Phi Kappa Phi honors scholar. I also worked as a researcher and editor on numerous sociological studies and textbooks.
A special focus in my studies continues to be the sociology of work and occupations, because I am fascinated by the many ways that the workplace reinforces emotional illiteracy. I continue to study everything I can get my hands on regarding work; I'm a Certified Human Resource Administrator and a Certified Career Testing and Guidance Counselor.
In my sabbatical from my healing career, I also had the opportunity to work as a Prison Arts Educator for the William James Association's Prison Arts Project. I taught a cappella singing, drumming, and drama in a maximum security men's prison, and loved the work completely. Being with these men, hearing their stories, and helping them organize their stories into artistic expression was an honor. As a survivor of early childhood trauma, this experience also helped me complete a circle of healing that started with healing my own trauma, then evolved into helping other survivors of trauma. Finally, facing a source of trauma -- facing these perpetrators themselves, I didn't find monsters. I found fellow trauma survivors, and I loved them.
In 2009, I was asked to re-write my 2001 book, Emotional Genius, to include excellent new information -- not just from the academic world of sociology, neurology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology, but also from the mythological, poetic, artistic realm where true empathy and deep healing reside. This book, which was published in 2010, is The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You.
In The Language of Emotions, I use my empathic skills on the emotions themselves, and treat them as a complete and interdependent system without which we cannot be whole. In the field of the sociology of emotions, researchers attempt to connect emotions across cultures to create a grand unified theory of emotion. In this book, I jump into the middle of the emotional realm itself and connect the emotions within and throughout the psyche. The emotions are a fascinatingly interconnected and unified system, and I'm so glad to be able to share this information with you!
I'm also glad to be working with my publisher, Sounds True again; in 2010, they published The Language of Emotions as a book and a 7-1/2 hour audio learning set, and in 2012, we created the 8-part interactive online class to help you further develop your emotional awareness: Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions.
And I'm writing a new book right now, to be published in Fall of 2013. The working title is The Art of Empathy, and it covers new research on empathy, my approach to life as an empath, and hands-on support for developing your empathic and emotional skills at home, at work, in relationships, and in the healing and social justice work you do. I'm really enjoying writing it!