Logo for DEI with welcoming group in silhouette on purple background

About Dynamic Emotional Integration®

Your emotions – all of them – are the motivation for everything you think and every action you take, and Dynamic Emotional Integration® (also known as DEI) can help you access the intelligence, energy, and insight in every emotion you have.

Dynamic Emotional Integration® 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 and manageable for everyone.

The DEI curriculum at Empathy Academy has 2 facets:

Self-Care: The Self-Care track is a 5-month education and self-awareness program based on the work in Karla McLaren’s books, The Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy.

Licensing: The 3 licensing tracks follow Self-Care, and are for people who wish to become Licensed DEI Consultants, Trainers, or Practitioners (this is a 6-month post-licensing track for mental health professionals).

Continuing Education Credits are available for psychologists, psychoanalysts, counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, creative arts therapists, nurses, dentists, educators, and chemical dependency counselors.

You can find Licensed DEI Professionals at our sister site, EmotionDynamics.org.

DEI cohort 6 begins on Monday, August 24th, 2020.

The PDF below contains the full course schedule for Cohort 6, the tuition for each learning track, the DEI reading list, and further details.

DEI Schedule, Tuition, and Details

The four Dynamic Emotional Integration® learning tracks

The Self-Care and Awareness Track: These first 4 courses focus on you and your emotional and empathic skills and awareness. These courses will help prepare you for the empathic, peer-based teaching and consulting processes of DEI. The Self-Care track is a 5-month program.

The Self-Care track includes the courses Learning the Language of Emotions (4 weeks), Deeper Inquiry (4 weeks), Exploring the Art of Empathy (4 weeks), and the Self-Care Practicum (6 weeks).

The 3 Licensing Tracks: If you complete the first 4 courses successfully, you’ll have the option to go forward into an 8-month licensing program in one of these 3 DEI licensing tracks:

The Consultant track is an 8-month program for people who will utilize the DEI principles and practices in unique non-clinical consultations with individuals.

The Trainer track is an 8-month program for people who will offer individually developed group trainings on emotions and empathy using specific DEI processes and materials.

The Practitioner track is a 6-month post-licensing program for mental health professionals who will utilize DEI theory and application in their counseling practices.

Dynamic Emotional Integration® curriculum

The Self-Care and Awareness Track: 5 months

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 Emotional Styles (see the Course Schedule and Reading List below).

Course 4: Self-Care 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.

The DEI Licensing Tracks for Trainers and Consultants: 8 months

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 1: Online 3 days

Initiation into the Empathic Livelihood and Commencement of the DEI Licensing Program.

Course 6: Peer Consulting & Training: 6 weeks

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

Course 7C: Consultant Track: Specific Focus & Populations: 8 weeks

Consultants only: This course will focus on the Consultation track, and on developing DEI Consultation skills and experience. This course also includes business practices and ethical guidelines.

Course 7T: Trainer Track: Specific Focus & Populations10 weeks

Trainers only: This course will focus on the Trainer track and each licensee’s specific concentration and intended population. This course also includes business practices and ethical guidelines.

DEI Retreat Intensive 2: Online 3 days

Welcoming, Witnessing, and the Ritual of Completion.

Course 8: Licensing: Testing and Completion: 4 weeks

Testing, final assignments, business practices, and licensing. Celebration!

DEI cohort 6 begins on Monday, August 24th, 2020.

Dynamic Emotional Integration® 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, assignments, and exercises that you can complete on your own schedule. You'll also post in the online course forum whenever you have questions or ideas to share. These 10 hours 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 different time zones can attend.

Prerequisites: Students need to have read or listened to 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, such that they could teach them to a friend. This is not a read-along course; 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 four 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 Amanda Ball, MS, Sherry Olander, and Jennifer Nate. Karla McLaren, M.Ed. is a guest instructor in the Self-Care track, and a lead instructor in the licensing tracks. 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 first three courses in the DEI curriculum deepen and expand your understanding of the material in The Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy. The reading and response requirements are not difficult, but they require comfort with (or the willingness to learn) online navigation and communication. The fourth course, Self-Care Practicum, brings all of your learning together into practice and application, and includes a 3-day online intensive retreat. 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 intensive retreats in the DEI program. The first is a 3-day online intensive in course 4 (Self-Care Practicum), and the next 2 intensives are at the beginning and end of the licensing tracks. All intensives begin on Friday evening (in each person's time zone) and end after lunch on each person's Sunday afternoon. 

Duration: The Self-Care track is a 5-month program, and the 3 DEI Licensing tracks are 8-month and 6-month programs. DEI cohort 6 begins on Monday, August 24th, 2020.

Continuing Education credits are available.

The PDF below contains the full course schedule for Cohort 6, the tuition for each learning track, the DEI reading list, and further details.

DEI Schedule, Tuition, and Details

DEI Reading List

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 IndieBound 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

Before course 2, Deeper Inquiry

Before course 3, Exploring the Art of Empathy

Before course 4, the Self-Care Practicum

Before Course 5, Deeper Empathy

Before course 6, Peer Consulting & Training

Before course 7, Trainer Track or Consultant Track

Before course 8, Licensing

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 Dynamic Emotional Integration®

If you would like to be considered for future DEI cohorts, please send us a statement of interest that includes:

  1. Your name, contact information, location, and time zone.
  2. The extent of your experience with Karla McLaren's work.
  3. Your chosen learning track (which can shift and change as you do).
  4. Your experience with online learning.
  5. Your plans for implementing Dynamic Emotional Integration® in your life and practice.

The start date for DEI cohort 6 is Monday, August 24th, 2020.

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.

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 4G 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

For PC users

  • Operating System | Windows XP or higher
  • Processor | IDual Core 2Ghz or Higher (i3/i5/i7 or AMD equivalent)
  • At least 2 GB of RAM
  • Stable and reliable internet connection
  • Graphics | 64MB of graphics memory
  • A webcam and microphone

For Mac users

  • Operating System | OS x 10.8.5 or later
  • Processor | Intel core duo 2.66 GHz + Memory
  • At least 2 GB of RAM
  • Stable and reliable internet connection
  • Graphics | 128 MB of graphics memory
  • A webcam and microphone

For more information, 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.



Karla McLaren, M.Ed. [ Instructor ]

    Amanda Ball

    Amanda Ball, MS [ Instructor ]


      Sherry Jean Olander, LMT [ Instructor ]

        Nate [ Instructor ]

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