Empathy can be a double-edged sword. While it’s largely considered a positive trait, it can also negatively impact an empath person’s life. If you believe you’re an empath whose empathy sometimes becomes too much to handle, you may need therapy. But how to find empath therapy near me, you might ask?
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Well, therapists offer all kinds of therapy to help people with different issues. You may think that empathy as a personal trait doesn’t qualify for therapy, but you may be wrong. Empathy therapy can help in many ways, mainly to learn how to control your empathetic energy.
While it’s not really a well-defined therapy with a specific protocol, it’s becoming increasingly popular these days with people recognizing and trying to resolve their issues springing from empathy for others.
If you’re lookimg for a good empath therapist, you should take a look at online platforms such as BetterHelp.com.
Who is an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person?
An empath is someone with an unusually high degree of empathy.
Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and emotions of others, including people, animals, and even the environment.
An empath person is usually too sensitive, emotional, and gets easily overwhelmed by feelings, especially coming from others. For this reason, empaths are also sometimes referred to as an ‘emotional sponge.’ They absorb others’ energy and feelings too readily.
While normal individuals have certain boundaries and filters to not get others’ experiences, feelings, and emotions to get to them, empaths, on the other hand, don’t have those filters to block those emotions in a healthy way.
Of course, having no empathy at all is also an issue, as those people don’t respond to other people’s feelings, emotions, and needs at all. There’s a fine line between being unempathetic and empathetic.
In psychology, the term empath is usually used for people with too much empathy. Such individuals find every day pretty difficult and emotionally overwhelming as they readily and almost inadvertently absorb others’ energy, which is often negative and saddening. This hinders their ability to function properly at times.
Signs of an Empath
Are you an empath? Following are some of the signs:
- You absorb the energy of the room.
- You may have a big circle.
- If a family member or friend is upset, you also get upset and feel their emotions as if they are your own.
- You can often read between the lines and think that there’s more to a story.
- You easily get drained by emotions after meeting someone or hanging out in a group and may require some alone time.
- Hypocrisy, lies, and deception affect you deeply, and you see right through them.
- You consciously or unconsciously take on the demeanor, body language, and accent of others.
- You may have a hard time saying no to people and feel guilty if you do.
- Your emotional and physical boundaries may not be well-defined.
- You sometimes get overwhelmed by relations and the people around you.
Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with an empath therapist online.
What is Empath Therapy?
Empath therapy or empathy therapy is basically a therapy that helps empaths better manage their empathic traits. It helps them to filter and block others’ energy to avoid feeling overwhelmed or drained by emotions.
It’s important to note that empath psychology is not a specific field of psychology, and neither is empath therapy a documented therapy with a specific protocol or tools. However, therapists can help empaths by helping them identify the hows and whys of their empathic traits while also giving them the techniques and knowledge to cope.
Psychology has established the notion of ‘catching feelings’ and ‘absorbing energy’ a long time ago. Some studies have found that people unconsciously copy the emotional expressions of people around them, especially those close to them, to the level where they start to feel those emotions as if they are their own.
There’s a term for this transfer of energy and emotions in psychology, ‘emotional contagion.’ The theory behind this is that emotions are contagious. This may not happen to everyone, but people who are innately sensitive and more in touch with their emotions are susceptible to catching others’ feelings.
On the other end of the spectrum, some people are senders of that energy who reflect their emotions a lot, and that can impact a receiver, who is an empath, automatically.
So, in short, empath therapy, sometimes also referred to as highly sensitive person therapy, helps empaths regulate the emotional contagion and not let the energy of the room or an individual overwhelm them.
How Does Empath Therapy Work?
As mentioned before, there’s no set protocol of empath therapy, so the actual therapy, its stages, and exercises may vary by the therapist. However, over the years, many practices from other kinds of therapies are being used to deliver empathy therapy.
The first step of therapy for empaths is identifying to what extent you’re an empath. While there are several empathy measurement scales, the most popular one is Carkhuff’s Five-Point Empathy Scale. Then there’s the Empathy Quotient Test that involves answering a questionnaire.
Once the therapist has established the level of empathy and that you’re an empath, they will begin the therapy.
For the most part, the therapy is similar to traditional talk therapy, where the therapist talks to the client to learn about them, their experiences, and how they process them. Your therapist will help you understand how you absorb others’ energy and take on their emotions.
Finally, the therapist will give you the tools and techniques to regulate your own emotions and filter out those coming from others and the environment around you.
Setting boundaries is also an important part of empath therapy, so those highly sensitive individuals set boundaries that save them from being emotionally exploited.
Empath Therapy Near Me
A simple search on Google or any other search engine for ‘empath therapy near me’ or ‘therapist for highly sensitive people’ may not be enough. The problem is that not every therapist may have the experience with empath therapy or practices used for it. Moreover, there isn’t any well-known certifying or training authority for this kind of therapy.
Nevertheless, there are ways to find one near you. Here’s what you should do:
When you search online for ‘empath therapist near me, make sure to read all the information. You might get the results for many therapists and clinics that provide general therapy. Find out if they offer therapy for empaths. It may be mentioned on their website.
A better way is to contact the therapist or mental health clinic, asking for a therapist that treats overly sensitive people.
By speaking to a therapist beforehand, you can ensure that the therapist is suitable for your problem. Ask them if they have any sort of training for this or years of experience.
Asking Around for an HSP therapist
You can also ask your friends or family for a recommendation of a therapist that may provide empath therapy. This is a good solution to finding one within your town or city.
If you already see a therapist or know of one, you can ask them for a recommendation as well. As professionals, they may be able to connect with a highly sensitive person or HSP therapist.
Empath Therapy & Highly Sensitive Person Treatment Online
Depending on where you live, it may be hard to find a therapist for empath therapy near your location. For instance, small towns already have a scarcity of therapists, let alone those with specialty training.
The best alternative, rather a preferred solution, is to go with online therapy for empaths.
The easiest way to find a therapist is to go with a platform. BetterHelp.com is your best bet to find an empathy therapist online. It’s one of the best online therapy platforms, with professional, certified therapists providing a wide range of services. Not only is it more affordable than in-person therapy, but it also offers a lot of convenience and flexibility. You can check our post about BetterHelp.
And if you’re wondering if online therapy can work for a highly sensitive person, well, yes, it can. As most of this kind of therapy is talk therapy, you can easily communicate on call or video call.
Even if you think you’re not matched with a therapist that’s a good fit for you, you can always request to change and find a new one.
The number of sessions and duration may vary by client.
Empath therapy can help people with very high levels of empathy learn how to create barriers and avoid absorbing others’ energy and emotions all the time. Highly sensitive people with more than normal empathy can find themselves drained and overwhelmed frequently, which can disturb their personal and social life.
Working with a therapist may just be the best way to resolve these issues and equip yourself with the right tools to have balanced empathy that doesn’t overpower your emotions or allow people to misuse your sensitivity.
Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.