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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Highly sensitive people feel, perceive, and think deeply. They are often sensitive to changes in their environment and stimuli as well as other's emotions. While this can come with challenges, it can also be a great strength and allow for deep fulfillment. I have taken trainings and understand both the difficulties and the possibilities that come with this sensory processing trait.

— Sammy Kirk, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Alexandria, VA

For Highly Sensitive individuals, functioning well in our fast paced world can be a lot of work. I'm interested in helping people who identify this way by providing a safe and empathic space, one in which moving slowly and sharing at a modulated pace are encouraged and supported. With my training in Dance/Therapy, Authentic Movement, Yoga and Meditation, it's a pleasure for me to share embodiment and mindfulness tools in service of nervous system regulation and self care.

— Rachel Fernbach, Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

I am an HSP and have worked with both HSP clients and therapists.

— Mariah Dancing, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, 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 Wheat Ridge, CO

I have always been drawn to working with highly sensitive people, including those who have been identified as having a personality disorder such as BPD. I see being highly sensitive as a superpower that no one teaches you how to wield. My training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy in conjunction with attachment-based treatment helps highly sensitive people move through their emotions without suppressing or becoming overtaken by them so they can lead more intentional and grounded lives.

— Molly Nestor Kaye, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Beverly Hills, CA

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

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

Being an HSP myself, I understand what it's like to navigate the world in a more sensitive manner and how overwhelming that can feel at times. I also know that being highly sensitive comes with very valuable gifts that we may not always connect with. I'd like to help you connect with your own sensitivity gifts and learn how to thrive in an overwhelming world.

— Christine Tomasello, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

I consider myself an HSP and an Empath. I am also an Intuitive. I help others manage their sensitivity to others as well as the environment. We will talk about boundaries- physical, emotional and psychic boundaries. We will talk about grounding and centering techniques. We will discover together your best approach to live expansively.

— DeeAnna Nagel, Psychotherapist

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 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, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Portland, OR

I commonly work with highly sensitive persons who tend to often be: Gifted, Highly Intelligent, 2e, Artists, Musicians, Actors, Cultural Creatives, & those in the caring professions, plus those who have Sensory processing differences, Learning differences (Dyslexia in it's many forms), Asperger's/ASD-I, Environmental sensitivities, Emotional sensitivities, & those sensitive to the Sacred, Mystical, Intangible and Non-material.

— Kim Salinger, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

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

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

Intuitives, empaths, people who get overwhelmed but might not always understand why

— Sabra Maurice, Licensed Professional Counselor in Skokie, IL

I am a qualified Highly Sensitive Person informed counselor in residency.

— Jess Callaway, Licensed Resident in Counseling in Norfolk, VA

I empower HSPs to appreciate their emotional complexity and capacity for feeling while also offering attunement and understanding for the experience of feeling overwhelmed or misunderstood.

— Sarah LaFleur, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Cherry Hill, NJ

I am a qualified Highly Sensitive Person informed counselor in residency.

— Jess Callaway, Licensed Resident in Counseling in Norfolk, VA

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