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The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You Paperback – June 1, 2010
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—Nancy Feehan, MFT, adjunct professor of counseling psychology at the University of San Francisco
"Karla McLaren's unique, empathic view of emotions surprisingly revalues even the most "negative" emotions and opens pathways to understanding the depths of the human soul."
—Michael Meade, author of The World Behind the World and The Water of Life
"This book changed the way I relate to others, and to myself, forever."
—Gavin De Becker, author of The Gift of Fear
About the Author
Empath Karla McLaren is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and pioneering educator whose empathic approach to emotions has taken her through the healing of her own childhood trauma, into a healing career, and now into the study of sociology, anthropology, neurology, cognitive psychology, and education. She is the author of The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You (Sounds True, 2010), the online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions (Sounds True, 2012) and The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life's Most Essential Skill (October, 2013).
Karla has taught at such venues as the University of San Francisco, Omega Institute, Naropa University, Kripalu, and the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Additionally, as a prison arts educator with the William James Foundation, she has utilized singing, drumming, and drama to help men in maximum security prisons explore and heal long-held emotional traumas. She is currently developing new forms of Empathy and Social Interaction curricula for neurologically diverse populations.
Karla lives in California with her husband, Tino Plank, a Master's level nurse educator who works in hospice and end-of-life care.
Top Customer Reviews
Before I had read this book, I had the experience of "going into the emotion"--just feeling it for what it was--not analyzing, etc. It is absolutely true that when you do that, and leave out the story--that the emotion quickly dissipates. I had not thought of it as giving me energy and life force--but after reading this book--perhaps that is exactly what it is. My personal experience in dealing with transforming emotions has been very powerful--and this book gives the reader instructions to do that very easily. Of course, you have to be willing---sometimes when I am angry I don't necessarily want to give up the story or move on from the anger. But repressing that feeling--or any feeling leads to disease--so it is especially great for me to have a book that can kind of prod me to move on and deal with any feeling in a healthy way.
I thought the sections and breakdown of each emotion was insightful. The author lets you know what gifts that emotion can bring. She also articulates what power comes from that emotion. And lets you know what being stuck in that emotion can do to you. Her description of each one was exactly the same as my experiences. The difference is that she has been able to put it into a great teachable format and I have not.
There are many self-help books out there in the world. I find that a lot of books have some good and a lot not so good. Or that the book promises a lot but doesn't really have the substance to deliver.Read more ›
I've read a LOT of self-help books (and wrote one), and this is one of the most original I've ever come across. I usually prefer books by scientists like Martin Seligman or John Gottman, but there isn't much in the way of research or studies in The Language of Emotions. The author, Karla McLaren, is not anti-science, but this book is very personal and her expertise is personal. The material is refreshing and makes sense, but you won't get a lot of "proof" other than your own experience, which sometimes is enough.
In this book, McLaren is presenting a new way of understanding how the emotions you feel today can bring you wisdom and understanding (if approached in the right way). She asks you to see your emotions as "specific and brilliant messengers," and she shows you how to do it.
The way we normally think of emotions is wrong, says McLaren. There are no "good" emotions or "bad" emotions. All emotions are valueable and necessary and can help us, and she is not referring to any kind of positive thinking here or trying to transform "negative emotions" into "positive emotions." She's talking about something more authentic and profound. This is a very different way of thinking about emotions; considering that they have skills, functions, gifts. Each emotion has a different purpose.
The first part of the book explains all this and how McLaren came to her conclusions. The last part of the book gives you instructions and examples of applying these ideas to specific emotions, one emotion per chapter. If you'd like to raise your "emotional intelligence" or deal with your emotions more capably and responsibly, I recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Karla, this book changed my life. It's one of the few books that I can say that about. I finally found out how to have my emotions work for me, instead of overwhelm me. Thank you.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Great great great book! I love how detailed it is, yet simple enough to explain to my clients during the life coaching sessions. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
So happy I got this book really helped me to understand my emotions better. I know I will be referencing it in the future.Published 19 days ago by Danny Seymour
Karla has such a gentle way at approaching the topic of Emotions. Her understanding of their value and messages is clear and when applied, so obvious. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robbyn Smith
This is an excellently written book where Karla speaks and teaches about emotions in ways that no one has written about. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J Darragh
Got the language of emotions cards in a human growth and development psych class in grad school, quickly bought the book because they're that good. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Erin