Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson has a BA in psychology from Cornell University, an MD from Tufts University, and an MFA in Writing for Young People from Lesley University. She works as a therapist for children, teenagers, and adults, and is the author of numerous picture books. Lisa lives in Newton, Massachusetts. Learn more at author-lisa-robinson.com.

Author photo © Cheryl Clegg

Also By Author

Forest Bath Right Down This Path

Dear Readers, I’m excited that my new picture book  Forest Bath Right Down this Path is part of the Sounds True Kids collection. It’s a book of my heart as it portrays a fog forest—Barred Island Preserve—that my family and I hike every year on our summer vacation in Maine. I’m thrilled that you can enjoy this forest through the window of Khoa Le’s gorgeous illustrations.

As we wander the forest’s moss-lined paths, we smell pines and firs, touch bark and berries, and listen to birds and chipmunks. The hike ends at a rocky beach where we swim and explore tidepools. When we leave, we feel peaceful and calm. The name for this kind of soothing experience is forest bathing.

There’s evidence that smelling chemicals from trees called phytoncides and microbes from soil called mycobacterium vaccae may reduce stress and boost immune function.

I work as a child psychiatrist to help children, teens, and adults, and I’m always looking for ways to help people manage stress and anxiety. Some of the recommendations I make for doing this include exercise, taking time away from screens, meditating, and connecting with family and friends. I try to do these things myself, too! Every morning I take a half hour walk through the woods near my home.

I’m also a parent of two children (now young adults), and I’ve been concerned about the ways phones and screens are interfering with paying attention to the natural world as well as one another. It’s known that spending a lot of time on social media is contributing to the worsening of teens’ mental health. Adults need to take time away from their phones, too. That’s why the main character of my book, Kayla, encourages her father to put away his phone and fully engage in their walk through their forest. Children want their parents’ undivided attention; often they’re the ones encouraging adults to turn off their phones and be present.

I hope this book inspires you to spend time with your loved ones outdoors and soak in all its beauty and mental health benefits. Happy forest bathing!

Wishing you fresh air and sunshine,

Lisa Robinson

P.S. I invite you to download the free story time kit with five activities for children to learn more about forest bathing—from heading out on a sensory expedition to exploring their senses to making art in nature.


Lisa Robinson is a therapist, picture book writer, and nature enthusiast. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts. Every summer her family travels to coastal Maine for two weeks. The highlight of the trip is a walk through Barred Island Preserve on Deer Isle. The animals and plants mentioned in her new children’s book, Forest Bath Right Down This Path, are all found there. Learn more about Lisa and her work at author-lisa-robinson.com.

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Embracing Empathy as Your Superpower

What do I do when a loved one is suffering? How do I have empathy if I’m getting a divorce or losing my job? If my family treats me unfairly? Or if I’m emotionally overwhelmed or in chronic pain?

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, I’ve written The Genius of Empathy for you. It also includes a beautiful foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In the book, I present empathy as a healing force that helps you overcome obstacles in your life with dignity, grace, and power. As a psychiatrist and empath, I draw from my insights and present techniques from my own life and from the healing journeys of my clients, students, and readers. As I say in the book, “Empathy softens the struggle, quiets the unkind voices, and lets you befriend yourself again.”

Empathy doesn’t mean being “on call” 24 hours a day for those in need. Empaths can often wear an invisible sign that says, “I can help you.” However, if you want to heal yourself, have better relationships, and contribute to healing our tumultuous world, you must learn how to set healthy boundaries and observe, not absorb, the energy of others.

To start taking a more proactive role in how much empathy you give others at any one time, I suggest that you keep in mind the following “rights.” They will help you maintain a healthy mindset and prevent or lessen any empathy overwhelm that might arise:

  • I have the right to say a loving, positive “no” or “no, thank-you.”
  • I have the right to set limits with how long I listen to people’s problems.
  • I have the right to rest and not be always available to everyone.
  • I have the right to quiet peacefulness in my home and in my heart.

Practice: Take a Sound Break to Repair Yourself

Plan periods of quiet to recover from our noisy, fast-paced world. This helps calm your nervous system and your mind, an act of self-empathy.

It’s rejuvenating to schedule at least five minutes of quiet or, even better, complete silence for an hour or more where no one can intrude. As I do, hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your office or bedroom door. During this reset period, you’ve officially escaped from the world. You’re free of demands and noxious sounds. You may also get noise canceling earbuds to block out noise.

If too much quiet is unsettling, go for a walk in a local park or a peaceful neighborhood to decompress from excessive sound stimulation. Simply focus on putting one foot in front of the other, which is called mindful walking. Nothing to do. Nothing to be. Move slowly and refrain from talking. If thoughts come, keep refocusing on your breath, each inhalation and exhalation. Just letting life settle will regenerate your body and empathic heart.

Embracing your empathy does require courage. It can feel scary. If you’re ready to discover its healing power, I would be honored to be your guide to helping you in overcoming your fears and obstacles, and enhancing this essential skill for long-term change.

Though many of us have never met, I feel connected to you. Connection is what fuels life. While empathy is what allows you to find peace. With both, we can make sense of this world together.

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Ignite empathy as a superpower for personal healing, deeper relationships, and more potent work in the world. New York Times bestselling author Dr. Judith Orloff draws on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and energy medicine to show us how to access our sensitivities, soothe our nervous systems, and embody our most fierce and authentic selves.

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