I am an empath.
An empath, to me, is when I or another empath can pick up the emotions and energy of people, places, things around them and it sometimes can feel as if they take on those emotions and energies as their own. This can sometimes be taken as being psychic because an empath can feel when something has happened or what may about to happen but really its just picking up on the energy of a place or on people around them.
Its sort of a love-hate relationship. I tend to hate it because I have to constantly shield and process emotions in places like hospitals, funerals, clubs, etc.
I've broken down randomly crying when I've felt the loss of someone near me.
I've had to take a cold shower when passing a couple making out at school...and when I go to strip clubs its intense and usually ends up with my husband and I having sex in the car before we can even get home.
But all around hospitals and prisons are the worst. I've only ever been to 1 prison but it made me sick all over. Hospitals make me fidgety, nervous, nauseous, and all around scared. I tend to have to block everything when going into one and even that didn't help the last time I went to one because I was visiting a relative and right across the hall someone had died only hours before and I could feel the emotions of everyone like splinters...
My empathic abilities have helped in divination readings. I always know I'm on key even if someone says I'm totally off (which has happened a few times and each time I'm giving what could be interpreted as bad news and the person gets worried and pretends to not know what I'm talking about).
They have also helped when I have gone into places that my husband is doing a reading. He can get carried away and sometimes say way too much and make people very uncomfortable and I have to sort of reign him in when he's gone to far even if the querent wants him to go on out of curiosity.
I also have to decipher sometimes if its my intuition or Higher Self guiding me or the empathy of someone or someplace guiding me. That just takes practice and meditation on the inner self to learn which is which.