Michael R. Smith, Ph.D.

My professional bio and personal story

My name is Michael.  
I'm an Intuitive Empath. And I'm here to Serve the Divine through YOU....

I am so grateful that the Universe has sent you here, and perhaps you are interested in exploring your spiritual gifts and/or learning more about Empath Connection!   

It brings me such joy to know that Spirit has entrusted me with sheparding individuals to the Light by serving as a spiritual guide and mentor for empaths, highly sensitive people, and lightworkers. And when I think of all the wondrous things that we have co-created together in 27 years as a healing practitioner, well, it still shocks me to this day.   Quite honestly, I can't wrap my head around it all, but thankfully I don't have to because the Divine is in charge of that process. :) 

I hope to be able to offer something of value to you, because YOU are my primary commitment in this lifetime.   

Like you, from the time I was a little child, I felt the motivations and emotions of other people. I could tell, like you, when someone was sad, lonely, depressed, or angry. I would cry other people’s tears for them, and absorb their energy and this made me sick for many years, until I raised my vibration so it didn't hurt anymore. Like most spiritual folks, we as empaths usually must endure some darkness in order that we may truly understand and work with the Light, and so many of us endure trauma or PTSD or unpleasant experiences that allow our souls to expand.

This is often referred to as the 'dark night of the soul.' My first of several 'dark night' experience came as an adult in the late 1990's/early 2000's, when I ignored signs from Spirit and was out of alignment with my own soul. I knew the kind of counseling I was practicing wasn’t right for me because it was too cognitive. I longed for spiritual work. But, at that time, I was too scared of the unknown to change on my own. I felt I needed the illusory 'security' of a steady paycheck no matter how soul sucking it was.

Thus, the Universe manifested me basically getting fired from my lucrative professorship and endured a depression that left me not wanting to live on this planet anymore.

After all these shenanigans, I knew that I must step outside my comfort zone and ask for help. I went on a retreat for gay men in Santa Fe, and that’s when I met the first of many important spiritual mentors, a Native American healer in Santa Fe. In spiritual ceremony, I felt at 'home' for the first time in my entire life, and truly for the first time in my human body. In Santa Fe in 2005, I completed a one-year program in energy medicine, started working with clients on and off the body, and started exploring for the first time what it felt like to be grounded in my OWN energy and in my OWN body.

Soon, I started traveling, expanding my lifelong interest in dancing, movement, and yoga. I traveled to Asia and spent some months hiking through rural villages, learning from the Earth and exploring her healing power. I became good friends with intuitives and healers. I bought a drum and started attending drum ceremonies. I began explorations into martial arts and healing movement/dance practices such as Nia. My earnest steps were being reflected back to me and I was rewarded with medicine dreams and feelings of total communion with the Universe.

As I continued to do weekly Native American sweat lodge for many years and raise my vibration through this and other means, I learned also that I was a medium and could communicate beyond the veils of Earth. In 2009, I wrote my first book for empaths, The Complete Empath Toolkit: A Guide to Spiritual and Energetic Empowerment for Sensitive People.

Over the last few years, my work and our collaborative movement have evolved to a new level as I have made it my intention to surrender even more to Divine Will and the unique design that the Universe has in store for all of us. In doing so, I have discovered even more beauty and wonder. It has been, and continues to be, my absolute Joy to channel the Divine to create offerings to share with you and all the magnificent souls with whom I am grateful to be able to call my brothers and sisters.  Thank you for visiting my website, and wishing you massive blessings of ease, Grace, and happiness on your Earthly journey!  

I invite you to follow me on Instagram where I post daily videos or perhaps at Empath Connection Facebook -  and also you are invited to join 25,000+ readers of my inspirational "Monday Messages" - and stay in touch!


  • Assistant Professor of Counseling, University of Wyoming, College of Education, 2002-2005
  • Former National Certified Counselor (Nat'l Board of Certified Counselors)
  • Former Registered Polarity Practitioner (R.P.P) with American Polarity Therapy Association


  • R.P.P. Polarity Therapy 700-hr (1-year) program, 2005 - New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts
  • Ph.D., 2002, Counselor Education, School of Education, The University of  Nevada-Reno
  • Master of Arts, 1996, Educational Psychology/Counseling, University of Minnesota
  • B.A., 1994, Sociology, Saint John's University, Minnesota


  • Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, 2010
  • "Sacred Energy in Motion"; Centers for Spiritual Living
  • American Counseling Association National Conventions (1999-2003)
  • Annual Sedona Retreat, 2022-present
  • 4-day Group Retreat for Empaths, Evergreen, CO, 2012 and 2013


  • Journal of Counseling & Development
  • Journal of Social Psychology
  • Counselor Education & Supervision Journal
  • Dissertation:  Counselor spirituality as a predictor of effectiveness in mainstream counselors

Dr. Michael R. Smith
Professional Biography

For over two decades, Dr. Michael R. Smith has helped millions of people worldwide to connect to their inherent Divinity and intuition. As a doctoral trained counselor and practitioner of indigenous and shamanic healing traditions, he has shared the stage with luminaries like Sonia Choquette and Judith Orloff. He has been featured in documentary films and on countless mind-body healing summits, including the Shift Network.

Dr. Smith has offered a diverse selection of workshops and retreats worldwide, including at New Yorks' Omega Institute, and more recently, his annual retreat in Sedona, Arizona. In teaching over 250+ online classes, he has personally mentored and guided several thousand individuals to make stronger connections between mind, body, and Spirit.  He uses indigenous techniques when called for in his work, and is a spiritual medium, although that is not the focus of his work and advocacy.  

He has amassed a following of over 200,000+ on social media and his videos average 250,000 views a month on Instagram.

He offers classes and spiritual mentoring to support empaths and highly sensitive people in their journey to awakening, as well as business mentoring for lightworkers and healers.

He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, not far from Sedona, where he enjoys a regular hot yoga practice and talking to the trees and mountains.  He previously lived in Bar Harbor, Maine (2016-2019); Santa Fe, NM (2005-2010), Ft. Collins/Evergreen, CO (2010-16), Reno, NV (1999-2002), and other stints in Ohio, Wyoming, Southern California, Michigan, and his home state of Minnesota.

Prior to working exclusively with empaths and sensitive people, Dr. Smith was an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Wyoming, where he was an assistant editor of one of the leading journals of the 50,000+ member American Counseling Association.  He is the author of 8 research publications appearing in various scientific journals, and his doctoral dissertation was groundbreaking for being among the first to research the effect of counselor spirituality on effectiveness in therapy sessions.

In 2003, Michael started an apprenticeship with several Lakota Native American shamans and healers. In a first-of-its-kind partnership, he secured $25,000 in grant funding to teach Native American healing methods to mainstream graduate counseling students. It changed the lives of countless students and community members. "Michael is a leader to me and many others," says Johnna Nunez, Ph.D., one of the students that Michael mentored.  

In 2023, he is writing his third book for publication in 2024, and planning a future podcast to coincide with the book publication.

"I never felt so spiritually connected before. These sessions are amazing; the work is presented.... on a different plane (if that makes sense). That one session is the equivalent of 20 books to me; I seriously could never have energetically taken in so much on my own."

- Jennifer M.
"Immediately after the session last night my anxiety, depression and frustration were gone. I also noticed overall body relaxation (my muscles quit cramping), and continued to improve for several hours after we met. Thank you!!"

- Theresa
"Thank you, Dearest Michael. I am so deeply grateful that God sent you into my life. I already feel better after our session. When I went to pick Mercy up (our puppy)...my Mom took one look at me & said 'I knew how important this appointment with Michael was going to be...you actually, look like yourself.' She rejoices with me in this healing.May the healing continue....can’t wait for our next session"

- Shay
"Hi Micheal! I just wanted to let you know what happened after our last meeting. True to form of what happens after I talk to you, miracles were unleashed. Literally the day after we spoke, I received a phone call from my realtor that we were automatically under contract on the house. Everything since then has been unfolding in a truly miraculous way."

- T.F.