Empathy, Validation, Vulnerability & Risk


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Do you find yourself frequently upset with others? Do you struggle to understand why your close relationships behave as they do? Is there a person in your life who remains “stuck” in anger, sadness, or other intense emotions? Do you find their behavior puzzling or frustrating? Do you struggle with these behaviors yourself?

Empathy is spiritual and emotional medicine. As we give and receive empathy, we heal emotional wounds in ourselves and others. Empathy allows us to heal hurts and enjoy vitality and happiness where there was pain.

Most of us probably know that empathy is “good” or important. However, empathy, validation, risk and vulnerability are all skills which must be learned. This course will explain in detail what it means to have empathy; how to demonstrate empathy in your relationships; and how empathy is related to risk, vulnerability and validation. This course is both abstract and concrete—dealing with both ideas and practical application. It will support you in your efforts to understand your relationships more thoroughly, know yourself more completely, and become more deeply connected with others.

This course will explain the emotional tools required to give and receive the spiritual medicine called empathy. Giving empathy requires genuine connection to the person’s emotions; it also requires validation, or a willingness to be emotionally vulnerable—to risk your own emotional comfort for the person’s sake.

Most of us struggle to engage in true empathy – we must first learn how to do it. We must experience it so that we know how it feels. Empathy demands consistent practice, self-control, maturity, and often intense work. When we successfully empathize, we discover that empathy heals both the giver and the receiver. Coupled with honesty, humility, and responsibility, empathy heals relationships and empowers the giver and the receiver.


This course includes:

  • 10 video segments:
    1. Empathy (13:41)
    2. Empathic Techniques (10:26)
    3. Sympathy & Empathy (3:06)
    4. Validating (9:20)
    5. Risk (10:03)
    6. Healthy & Unhealthy Risk (9:37)
    7. The Process of Risking (3:59)
    8. Vulnerability & Connection (4:42)
    9. Vulnerability & Validation (3:14)
    10. A Cycle of Empathy (6:31)
  • Total video run-time: approx. 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Written homework activities

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • What empathy is
  • The difference between empathy and sympathy
  • Why empathy requires validation
  • How to communicate empathically
  • What validation is and how to do it
  • Why emotional vulnerability & risk are essential for connection
  • How to engage in healthy risk and avoid unhealthy risk
  • How to deepen relationships through the principles of empathy, validation, risk, and vulnerability
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