What is an Empath?
An Empath is an individual with the ability to sense & feel the emotions and energies of people, animals or objects at a distance.
What is a Clairsentient?
A Clairsentient person is able to perceive energy fields (through physical sensations), including a person's aura and vibrations (such as voice and how words are strung together). This may also explain the ability to "sense" the presence of non-corporeal entities, such as ghosts.
More to the point, Clairsentience is also known as 'Clear Feeling' or 'Clear Sensing'. This ability encompasses an Empath's gift of sensing and feeling another person's or animal's emotions and energies. It also encompasses the ability of Psychometry, which is the ability to read the residual emotions and energies imprinted on inanimate objects.
This can be accompanied by other Clair Abilities, which fall under the category of Extra Sensory Perception (ESP), such as Claircognizance (clear knowing), Clairvoyance (clear seeing), Clairaudience (clear hearing), Clairscentist (clear smelling), and Clairgustant (clear tasting). But, as with every Clair ability, it can also stand alone. What this means is that, if one is Clairsentient, they will feel or sense energies, whether from a corporeal or non-corporeal source. And it might be accompanied with the ability to see or hear such things as spirits and energies, within the mind's eye, or it might not be. Each Clair ability can work in cooperation with others, or stand alone.
What's the difference?
Empathy and Clairsentience are within the same spectrum of gifts, which are those of feeling or sensing the emotions and energies of the world around them. But Clairsentience is a broadened form of Empathy which encompasses a wider field of sensitivities ~ expanding beyond just the emotions and/or energies of other people and/or animals.
How do I determine which one I am?
First, look at some basic information about the two: Empathy and Clairsentience.
Information About Clairsentience:
The Clairsentient Body
Information About Empaths:
16 Empath Traits
About Empaths & Empathy
Beyond looking at definitions and trait lists of each type, you should begin to look at the experiences you have with your 'feeling' or 'sensing' gift. As you go over those incidences, you will discover the extent of your abilities.
Have you had experiences of overwhelming emotions and/or energies, from people and/or animals alone? Does it expand beyond that to objects and non-corporeal entities? Some basic questions, like the ones above, will help you ascertain what your ability is right now.
But remember, over time, as with any gift, it always has the potential to expand and grow. This is because, as you grow and develop as a person, so to will your gifts.
Now that I know what I am, what do I do with it?
Well, that's really up to you. You can do nothing with it. Or you can begin to understand it better and develop it. Neither choice is wrong or right, because it's all based on where you want to go and what you want to do with this gift, and with your life in general.
For basic coping techniques and immediate help, try this:
The Empath Survival Program, By Elise Lebeau ~ A free online resource for Empaths
For Communities of like minded people to share you experiences and questions with, try these:
I am an Empath ~Forum & Chat
A thing to remember is that even though these seem oriented to Empaths alone, they are all based in the 'feeling' or 'sensing' abilities. And there is a shared need, whether you believe you are an Empath or a Clairsentient person. So do not turn away from these resources because you choose to call yourself by another title. Be open minded.