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.

Meet the specialists

I work to support the highly sensitive person in finding calmness, clarity, and self-acceptance by utilizing their natural ingenuity and intuition. I promote balance and interconnectedness between spirit, mind, and body to support whole person wellness. https://praxisthriving.com/highly-sensitive-person

— Kristen Henshaw, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

I identify as an HSP. I have been studying Elaine Aron's research on HSPs and helpful methods for conducting therapy with Highly Sensitive People. I can help HSPs understand the trait and their needs in order to feel empowered to make adjustments or set boundaries to feel less overwhelmed. I also help HSPs use their strengths to be successful and enjoy life.

— Jenna Wonish-Mottin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in The Woodlands, TX

As Elaine Aron, Ph.D., states in her work with highly sensitive people (HSP), "There is nothing wrong with high sensitivity. Sensitivity is an advantage in many situations and for many purposes, but not in other cases. Like having a certain eye color, it is a neutral, normal trait inherited by a large portion of the population, not the majority." Dr. Aron estimates that this trait s found in 15-20% of the population. I help HSPs understand their strength and true gift as an empath.

— Shari Grande, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Santa Clara, CA

If you've always been told "you're too sensitive," I can definitely relate. Sometimes you just want to scream at the world, "YOU'RE NOT SENSITIVE ENOUGH!" There is a way to strike a balance. I can help you identify, understand, and communicate your emotions in a healthy way. There are tools you can use to manage moments in life when you feel like you're about to fall apart or when it feels like no one else understands. Being sensitive doesn't have to be a burden, it is a way to connect.

— Alice Rizzi, Clinical Psychologist in Brooklyn, NY

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

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

— Maia Kiley, Counselor in ,

High sensitivity is a normal, research-based trait found in 20% of the population. If you are a highly sensitive person, we can work together to understand and embrace your unique trait. In doing so, you will come to understand ways to care for yourself and improve the quality of your life. I am passionate about research on high sensitivity, and have presented at various conferences and conducted training on Highly Sensitive Persons in the LGBTQ+ community.

— Brian Torres, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

You are a sensitive person. The things people say and do impact you more than you’d like, and your sadness sometimes takes you to places that scare you. My clients struggle like you do. They crave connection, but the heaviness of their emotions makes them feel like they’re a burden to those closest to them. Those who partner with me often share that our sessions are the best part of their week. Why? Because putting on a show and wearing the “I’m fine!” smile is so damn exhausting.

— Tamara Clarkson, Counselor in Houston, TX

As a Highly Sensitive Person, you may have struggled to feel understood by others. I want to provide you with the experience of feeling truly heard.

— Andrew Conner, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

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, anxiety, relationships and work demand while honoring your authentic self.

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

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 Denver, CO

Non-highly sensitive people seem to function with 10 layers of protection against the world. We HSPs often seem to have only 2. Being a highly sensitive person in an insensitive world offers a unique set of challenges but also allows us to access different wells of strength. Embracing one's highly sensitive nature and learning about limits and boundaries can help us feel better equipped and add back layers of protection we didn't realize were possible.

— Lauren Bartholomew, Psychologist in King of Prussia, PA

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

My expertise with Highly Sensitive Person (also called sensory processing sensitivity) is based on personal and professional experience. I've completed Dr. Elaine Aron's books and video training. I'm a member of several groups for ongoing consultation and growth in this area.

— Nancy Lee, Licensed Professional Counselor in Foxfield, CO

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

As a sensitive, myself, I have learned to work with my energy system to balance and restore it, recognize its warning flags, and keep my energies humming. Energy medicine techniques, clearing non-self energy, releasing energetic impacts from others, learning to discern what is yours from what belongs to another, and developing healthy emotional and energetic boundaries are specialties of mine. Rather than seeing your sensitivity as a problem. you can learn to recognize it as a valuable tool.

— Lisa Love, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Serving all of Maine online, ME

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 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, anxiety, relationships and work demand while honoring your authentic self.

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

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

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 Intern in , OR