This book reads more like a novel than a self-help book. Judith Orloff is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, has a private practice, is a New York Times bestselling author… and is an empathic intuitive. Not a ‘put-on-a-turban-roll-your-eyes-into-your-head-entertainer’, but an authentic healer and seer. She was part of the team awhile back that intuited and uncovered buried sea treasure. I remember reading about that in the news and thinking “cool – to be able to find buried treasure with your thoughts!”
Second Sight starts out with Judith’s childhood fear of ‘knowing’ when her grandpa died, and why she could tell which of her parents friends were going to be hurt. To try to hide these sudden insights that never seemed to be happy, she used drugs as a teenager (drugs numb intuition). Her mother and father – both in the medical profession – were horrified that their daughter wasn’t fitting in (or worse, might hurt herself).
Through the kindness, compassion, and intelligence of the scholar community and the beginnings of enlightenment in the medical community, Judith was given opportunities to learn more about her abilities…and to understand that empathy is something that EVERYONE has, just some have it more developed. As we use our empathy and accept it, instead of just the scary/negative insights, helping insights start to appear (the scary/negative insights have the most emotion behind them, and therefore are ‘louder’).
The clinical example stories on empathy she told were so practical and ‘normal’ – such as the mother who woke up feeling ill, and by instinct raced to her baby’s room to find the baby with a fever. As soon as the mother realized it was the baby who was sick, her own ‘symptoms’ went away. Or the 5th grade boy who had stomachaches at school, even thought when tested by doctors nothing was found. Once, the girl sitting next him was gone for the entire week and he felt fine (they had last names alphabetically so they always sat next to each other in school). On a hunch, the 5th grader asked his teacher if he could sit elsewhere in the classroom (away from the girl). After that his stomachaches went away. Turns out the girl had constant stomach problems – and he was so empathetic HE felt them physically!
Dr. Orloff gives simple exercises on how to increase your own empathy so you can help yourself and help others. She also instructs how to tell the difference between a real empathic healer and a quack, which is good to know as well.
This was a fascinating book of one woman’s journey into discovering how something seemingly so odd as empathy/intuition is actually very ordinary and useful in helping ourselves and helping others. This book was a fun romp, partly because I already have been helped by (not so long ago ‘odd’ medical treatments) chiropractic, acupuncture, and homeopathic medicine. So why be afraid of something as simple and kind as EMPATHY? As the book cover states “Second Site, by Judith Orloff, M.D., an intuitive psychiatrist tells her extraordinary story and shows you how to tap your own inner wisdom.”