Highly Sensitive Person

Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a personality trait characterized by a high level of sensitivity to external stimuli. A person with a particularly high measure of SPS is considered to be a highly sensitive person.  A highly sensitive person experiences the world differently than others. Due to a biological difference that they’re born with, highly sensitive people have a greater depth of cognitive processing and high emotional reactivity. This can have both positive and negative implications. Highly sensitive people tend to be more empathetic, creative and insightful, but are also more easily overwhelmed and stress prone. They may “feel too deeply” or “feel too much.” If you think you may be a highly sensitive person and are having trouble managing on your own, a qualified mental health professional can help to teach you emotional and sensory immunity strategies. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s highly sensitive person experts today.

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Do you feel like you are super sensitive to your environment and you tend to absorb other people's feelings and emotions as your own? Together we will work to recognize this patterning and you will learn tools to set healthy boundaries with others.

— Tara Parker, Psychotherapist in Glenview, IL

High sensitivity is misunderstood in the therapeutic community. I have seen on many occasions when an HSP (me included) was mistakenly diagnosed with a disorder when symptoms were actually attributed to temperament. However, many HSPs I work with do have challenges with anxiety and depression. Studies show there are reasons for this, and when HSPs become aware of why this happens and know how to process, reframe, and care for their sensitivity, life becomes more manageable. Balance is possible.

— Carolyn Memmott, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in West Jordan, UT

As a HSP myself, I am acutely attuned and responsive to people who also seem to have a heightened sense of their internal and external environments. I also know full well the difficulties we face when we are met head-on with traumas resulting from the lifelong challenge of conforming to a desensitized world.

— Andrew Amick, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Valley Village, CA

Are you stressed? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Do you feel ungrounded in your relationships? Do you find it hard to manage your life without losing who you are? Learn how to rediscover your sense of purpose and empowerment as a Highly Sensitive Person, by managing stress, relationships and work demands while honoring your authentic self.

— Layla Ashley, Marriage & Family Therapist in Valley Village, CA

As a highly sensitive person myself, I understand how an overstimulating lifestyle can lead to symptoms that mimic anxiety and depression. I can help you navigate your life and make changes so you can let your light shine and reduce overwhelm in your life. Sometimes small, sustainable changes can have a huge impact.

— Kylee Nelson, Counselor in Tulsa, OK

Empaths; highly sensitive; spiritually-minded; activists; intuitives; creatives and artists.

— Maia Kiley, Counselor in ,

According to research by Dr. Elaine Aron, High Sensitivity, otherwise known by its research term of Sensory Processing Sensitivity, is an innate trait dispersed equally among all genders and found in over 100 species. It is a temperament variation found in 15-20% of the population that allows the brain and nervous system to process subtleties and details that others miss. This trait is often confused with Introversion, but actually 30% of HSPs are Extroverts. All Highly Sensitive People (HSP) share four main characteristics (D.O.E.S.): Depth of Processing Overstimulation Emotional Responsiveness/Empathy Sensitive to Subtleties/Sensory Stimuli There is a misperception that Sensitivity is caused by adverse childhood experiences (abuse, neglect) or induced by traumatic experiences. Although these events can increase the likelihood of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues for the Highly Sensitive Person, the trait is innate and something you are born with.

— April Snow, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

As a highly sensitive therapist, I love working with highly sensitive clients to find the gifts in what may feel at times to be very overwhelming. I work with highly sensitive clients to find tools and rituals that help with overstimluation and allow them to more deeply connect with their beautiful empathy for self and others, their depth of processing, and their rich and complex inner life. To explore if you may be highly sensitive visit this page: https://hsperson.com/test/

— Megan Satterfield, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX

I provide individual therapy and couples counseling to introverts and highly sensitive people who struggle with managing deep emotions, feeling easily overwhelmed or overstimulated. The flip side of the HSP trait may be a strong sense of justice or empathy or noticing details that others often miss. There are tools that we can learn to help cope with the overwhelming feelings and sensitivities while honoring the strengths that go along with the HSP trait.

— Rachelle Miller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Spokane Valley, WA

Highly Sensitive People (HSP), also know as Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), make up only 15-20% of the population (yes you are as unique as you thought!) and it is not a disorder or a personal failing. In fact it is estimated that 50% of all people in therapy possess this trait, so there is a 50/50 chance right off the bat that you might be an HSP. It is a trait that you were born with that allows your brain and nervous system to process subtle details.

— Christina Wall, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in , OR

I was so shocked to see the lack of HSP friendly treatments in my area I decided to become the first HSP-Knowledgeable therapist in my county. Today I offer trainings to local therapists to help them better understand how to serve HSP's. Come see how much knowledge I can share with you about your sensitivity!

— Shelby Solis, Therapist

You feel as though you are constantly under a microscope and everyone is judging. You're overly concerned with others' evaluation of you. You have been told not to be "so sensitive". It is almost impossible for you to be free from worry an just be in the moment. I can help you discover your strengths and embrace your true self. It helps to have someone outside your circle available to listen to your unique perspective. I want to help you explore ways to keep perfectionism and over-thinking from stealing your joy. Being an "empath" or a "highly sensitive person" is your superpower!

— Allison Glorioso, Mental Health Counselor in Fort Myers, FL

As someone who has been described "wearing my emotions on my sleeve" being a highly sensitive person is not without its benefits. The biggest problem though is difficulty setting internal and external boundaries. Highly sensitive people go through hell because the feeling of letting someone down is so strong, that they sometimes don't set boundaries when they should. This leads to an entire host of problems that look like "mental illness". I will show you how to say no without feeling guilty.

— Derrick Hoard, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , WA

As a highly sensitive therapist and person, I know first-hand what it is like to feel different. What a relief it can be to learn it's a natural trait that makes up around 20% of humans. We feel, think and experience things deeply, often need more downtime, may experience more emotional ups and down's and angry outbursts when at our max, and are prone to experiencing higher levels of stress, people-pleasing patterns, and low self-confidence. If you are having trouble managing, I am here.

— Amanda Rebel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Wheat Ridge, CO

As a highly sensitive person or an empath, do you absorb the feelings of those around you? Do you get overwhelmed and feel drained from social situations? Learn to untangle what emotions belong to you and those that belong to others. Learn skills to create boundaries that will increase your sense of balance. Once you learn to manage your heightened sensitivity, it can become a valued gift instead of a hindrance.

— Tanya Hanrihan, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

It’s likely that the emotional pain of feeling helpless and alone is amplified if you are Highly Sensitive - HSPs tend to feel both joy and pain more intensely than people who are not Highly Sensitive. Being a Highly Sensitive Person has contributed to your success already. Therapy will pay attention to these successes when looking at how you are also suffering.

— Bronwyn Shiffer, Clinical Social Worker in Madison, WI

Are you an empath? Empaths feel "everything"! Many have developed anxiety in social settings due to feeling overwhelmed around others. I specialize in helping empaths develop boundaries. I do this through the process of therapy, and also through the use of energy work tools.

— Sara Rotger, Marriage & Family Therapist in Montrose, CA

Are you familiar with this term? It's often used to describe a person who has a deeper central nervous system sensitivity to emotional, physical, and/or social stimulation. Many individuals I work with tell me they've been told that they're "too sensitive" all of their lives. Being an HSP can significantly impact the way you move through the world--we can work on developing adaptive coping techniques to make it easier to tolerate distressing situations and empower you on your journey.

— Leta Lawhead, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA