Dynamic Emotional Integration logo

Dynamic Emotional Integration® (also known as DEI) is based on the work of award-winning author and pioneering researcher, Karla McLaren, M.Ed., whose grand unified theory of emotions revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens startling new pathways to self-awareness, effective communication, and healthy empathy.

DEI also incorporates her six essential aspects of empathy model, which makes empathy clearly understandable, accessible, and manageable for everyone.

Dynamic Emotional Integration® is a proprietary process that is only taught in this 14-month licensing program here at EmpathyAcademy.org. All of the materials and concepts are copyrighted by Karla McLaren, M.Ed. and by Emotion Dynamics Inc.

Only licensed DEI Trainers and Consultants are permitted to use this work professionally (this includes the copyrighted work in Karla McLaren's books, audio learning programs, and online courses).

DEI Licensing Cohort 7 is in progress now. Cohort 8 will begin in 2024.

The Dynamic Emotional Integration® licensing tracks

The Licensing Tracks

The Trainer track is a 14-month program for people who will offer individually developed group trainings on emotions and empathy using specific DEI processes and materials.

The Consultant track is a 10-week post-Trainer's course for people who will utilize DEI principles and practices in unique non-clinical consultations with individuals.

Dynamic Emotional Integration® licensing curriculum

Course 1: Learning the Language of Emotions4 weeks

This introductory course is based on the material in The Language of Emotions, and involves skill building and delving into new information on emotions and empathy.

Course 2: Deeper Inquiry4 weeks

Deeper inquiry into The Language of Emotions, including the Three Stages of Initiation (and trauma), Trauma Healing, and working with intense emotional states, including Panic, Rage, Suicidal Urges, and Emotion Shrines.

Course 3: Exploring the Art of Empathy4 weeks

Focused learning for empathic health and well-being based on The Art of Empathy, including communication skills, empathic practices, emotion work, and attachment.

Course 4: DEI Practicum & Online Retreat Intensive6 weeks

Self-care and self-awareness practicum focused on integrating the skills, practices, and knowledge developed thus far. This course includes an integrated 3-day online retreat intensive for all students.

Course 5: Deeper Empathy4 weeks

A deeper dive into the research behind The Art of Empathy, and a closer look at the rationale for the Six Essential Aspects of Empathy. Includes further exploration of supportive practices for self-care, communication, cross-cultural empathy, and Emotion Regulation.

DEI Retreat Intensive 2: Online 3 days

Initiation into the Empathic Livelihood

Course 6: Peer Training & Consulting: 6 weeks

Students will work in pairs and groups to practice empathic consulting and training skills; this course includes open-book tests, and may require videotaping of one or more sessions.

Course 7: Trainer Track: Specific Focus & Populations10 weeks

This course will focus on skills, teaching and training approaches, and each licensee’s specific concentration and intended populations. This course also includes business practices and ethical guidelines.

DEI Retreat Intensive 3: Online 3 days

Welcoming, Witnessing, and the Ritual of Completion.

Course 8: Licensing: Testing and Completion: 4 weeks

Testing, final assignments, business practices, and Trainer's licensing. Celebration!

Dynamic Emotional Integration® licensing course requirements and overview

Time Requirements: The DEI curriculum is built on an adult learning model, which relies upon your ability to manage your own time and your own reading schedule. Each DEI course involves 10 hours (per course week) of study, forum assignments, and exercises that you can complete on your own schedule. These 10 hours also include one (1) required 60-minute live weekly webinar per course week that will be offered at different times and days so that people with heavy work schedules or people in disparate time zones can attend.

Prerequisites: Students need to have read The Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy before the first course (LoE100: Learning the Language of Emotions) begins. Prospective students should have a working understanding of the emotional skills and the Empathic Mindfulness practices, with at least 1 year of practice and application. This is not a read-along program; it is a deepening and interactive inquiry into the "grand unified theory of emotions" model and the Empathic Mindfulness practices that Karla McLaren has developed over the past five decades.

What each course entails: Each online course includes online text and video curriculum, assigned readings, and regular live weekly webinar sessions (one hour per course week) with licensed DEI Trainers and Consultants Sherry Olander, Jennifer Nate, and other DEI professionals. Karla McLaren is a guest instructor in the first four courses, and a lead instructor for the rest. There are also regular written forum interactions, Q&As, and opportunities for deeper inquiry. This is a live and responsive program focused on your well-being, your empathic awareness and skill, and our learning community.

Online learning awareness: The courses in the DEI curriculum deepen and expand your understanding of the material in The Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy and the other course texts. The reading and response requirements are not difficult, but they require comfort with (or the willingness to learn) online navigation and communication. You need to be comfortable online, able to read and write for content, willing to engage with your learning community, and willing and able to put new skills and ideas into practice in your own life.

Course Intensive Retreats: There are 3 scheduled online intensive retreats in the DEI program. All intensives begin on Friday evening (in each person's time zone) and end after lunch on each person's Sunday afternoon.

Duration: The Trainer's Licensing track is a 14-month program, and the Consultant License is a special 10-week post-Trainer's course.

A note about the licensing process: This program is a combination of learning, self-awareness, exploration, and displaying your comprehension and mastery of the material (and your ability to teach and/or consult). There is no guarantee, however, that you'll be ready to be licensed at the end of this process. Some people take these courses a few times before they become licensed, and some get to the end of the program without entering fully into licensure (due to situations such as a lack of readiness, family crises, or other issues that may require them to step away from the licensing process).

Business preparation: These courses include information and support for building your own business as a DEI licensee. As you may know, any new business takes between 1 to 2 years to become financially viable. This is normal; a business is like a baby, and until it grows up, it needs a lot of feeding, care, and attention. This licensing process is just the beginning of developing your own DEI Training and/or Consulting practice, and we support our licensee community throughout their careers.

Continuing Education Credits: These courses are co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Strategic, who provide CEs to psychologists, psychoanalysts, counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, creative arts therapists, nurses, dentists, educators, and chemical dependency counselors.

Reading List for Licensing

These books will become touchstones as we move more deeply into learning, and each is wonderful, concise, and pertinent.

Most of these books are linked to Bookshop.org in the U.S., so you'll know which books they are. We support independent and local bookstores, but of course, most of these books are also available from your local library.

Before course 1, Learning the Language of Emotions

The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren (book version)

Before course 2, Deeper Inquiry

Meeting the Shadow, edited by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams

Owning Your Own Shadow by Robert A. Johnson

Before course 3, Exploring the Art of Empathy

The Art of Empathy by Karla McLaren (book version)

Embracing Anxiety by Karla McLaren (book version)

Before course 4, the DEI Practicum

Wishcraft by Barbara Sher (Barbara has made this book available for free online)

Before Course 5, Deeper Empathy

The Age of Empathy by Frans de Waal

Suggested: Born for Love by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz

Suggested: How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Before course 6, Peer Consulting & Training

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

Suggested: Gravitas by Caroline Goyder

Before course 7, Trainer Track

The Heart of Addiction by Lance Dodes

Suggested: Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot

Before course 8, Licensing

Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Suggested: On Being Certain by Robert Burton

If you also want to read books for specific situations or specific populations, see the Suggested Reading sections in The Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy.

Happy reading!

How to apply for the Dynamic Emotional Integration® licensing program

Thank you for your interest. DEI Cohort 7 is in progress now, and the next cohort will begin in 2024 (the start date is not set yet).

Prerequisites: You need to have read The Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy before the first course (LoE100: Learning the Language of Emotions) begins.

You should have a working understanding of the emotional skills and the Empathic Mindfulness practices, with at least 1 year of practice and application. This is not a read-along program; it is a deepening and interactive inquiry into the "grand unified theory of emotions" model and the Empathic Mindfulness practices that Karla McLaren has developed over the past five decades.

If you would like to be considered for the DEI program, please send us a message through our Contact form.

Note: In 2003, Karla McLaren made a sea change in her work, and left her previous spiritual and metaphysical beliefs behind. Her current work (and DEI) is focused on emotions, empathy, sociology, anthropology, neurology, and the neurodiversity paradigm. If you would like to learn more, Missing the Solstice chronicles her transition, while KarlaMcLaren.com focuses on her current approach.

System Requirements

For DEI online curriculum and Forum interactions

The most recent version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, or Microsoft Edge.

Javascript and cookies must be enabled for the site to work properly.

A broadband internet connection (25 Mbps or greater download speed), or 5G cellular data plan. 3G will work, but might be unacceptably slow.

A computer, phone, or tablet capable of the above with at least 1GB of RAM

EmpathyAcademy.org will adapt to almost any display size, however extremely small screens might experience some display issues.

For the Zoom live webinars

Please make sure that your system can run Zoom, and that you have the most updated version. For system requirements, please visit the Zoom website.

If your computer can't manage Zoom on its own, you can also visit the Zoom website for a live session that includes audio and video of the participants (but not video of you), or you can call in for an audio-only session.

Cancellation Policy

If, for any reason, we cancel a DEI course you've already paid for, you will receive a full refund of your course tuition, or you'll have the option of transferring your tuition amount to another course.

If you cannot attend a DEI course you've already paid for, and you notify us at least two weeks before the course start date, you'll receive a refund minus a $100 processing fee. There will be no refunds after this date, as we plan our staffing budget based upon the attendance numbers for each course.

Instructors of the Licensing Program


Karla McLaren, M.Ed. [ Instructor ]


    Sherry Jean Olander, LMT [ Instructor ]

      Nate [ Instructor ]

        Amanda Ball

        Amanda Ball, MS [ Instructor ]

          Learn about the entire Empathy Academy Team

          All works © Emotion Dynamics Inc. All rights reserved.