This article contains plot details from the latest book.
When Sophie did the countdown exercise, she had to do it differently due to her many abilities. She thought of five words to describe how it feels when she uses her telepathy (unifying, draining, energizing, inspiring, and frightening), four words to describe her inflicting ability (overwhelming, empowering, unsettling, and refreshing), three words to describe her teleporting (liberating, surprising, and alarming), two words to describe her Polyglot ability (humbling, and uplifting), and one word to describe her enhancing ability (restricting). After she said that enhancing made her feel restricted, her enhancing was turned off. When she wanted it to turn it back on again, it turned on.
Empaths have to use the countdown exercise to separate their own emotions from the ones that they are reading. They have to learn not to judge, condemn, or interfere with either of the feelings.