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

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
 

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

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
 

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

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.

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

I help people who identify with "being really sensitive." I provide scientific evidenced based methods to help sensitive individuals better understand why they are having physical, mental or emotional responses to places and people. Places can be your surrounding be that at home, school or work. The responses can be expressed outwardly or inward such as thoughts or feelings that can effect mood and self image.

— Alicia L Goodman, Licensed Professional Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

Sensitive people are highly attuned to the people and environments around them. If you are a HSP, you will find particular benefit in creating rhythms and spaces that support and protect your unique sensitivity. Sensitive people are often strongly drawn to helping professions, but you are also at VERY high risk of burnout because you take in ALL the stories of pain that you are hearing throughout your day.

— Jessica Brohmer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Aptos, CA
 

I also specialize in working with highly sensitive individuals who often suffer from depression and anxiety. If you are such an individual, then you know that you are mostly misunderstood as being oversensitive. However, you are likely just more receptive to your surroundings and respond according to your feelings. Let me help you live a more enjoyable life by learning coping techniques to manage your symptoms.

— Alexandra Lambeth, Licensed Professional Counselor in Grand Prairie, TX

I assist workshops with the creator and main researcher Elaine Aron. Sensory Processing Sensitivity is found in over 20% of the population and over 100 species. A deep processing of thought, overstimulation, deeply feeling emotions/empathy, and sensitivity to subtleties. It is an often misunderstood in a capitalist society that can cause great issues, as it can be seen as a weakness, when in fact it is a great gift and asset when nurtured and appreciated and taken care of.

— Aaron Freshour, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

I have several years experience working with highly sensitive persons. I provide a body-based approach that helps clients to understand and care for their sensitivity at the level of the nervous system. This brings greater confidence and ability to manage the overwhelm that often comes with sensitivity. I also help highly sensitive clients connect with their unique gifts and support them in bringing those gifts into their relationships and work.

— Natasha Kruger, Psychologist in Campbell, CA

I specialize in helping HSPs (also termed Sensory Processing Sensitivity) better understand, value and thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person. 15-20% of us have the innate trait of high sensitivity, it's not a diagnosis it's a common personality temperament.

— Louisa Lombard, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Los Angeles, CA
 

Sensitive people are highly attuned to the people and environments around them. If you are a HSP, you will find particular benefit in creating rhythms and spaces that support and protect your unique sensitivity. Sensitive people are often strongly drawn to helping professions, but you are also at VERY high risk of burnout because you take in ALL the stories of pain that you are hearing throughout your day.

— Jessica Brohmer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Aptos, CA

Boundary definition is vital in improving our own health and creating balance in relationships. I assist people in attuning to your own needs and recognizing when you are holding emotions and stresses that are not actually your own. I can safely hold space for people who are used to being the one everyone else goes to with problems but feel you have no one to turn to for support. I understand how it can be exhausting work to stay strong all the time and offer ways to shift from that.

— Shana Wright Wood, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA
 

Oooh, guess what? I ALSO wrote about this topic on my blog! In short, HSP qualities can include: Being easily overwhelmed by stimuli Being affected by other people’s moods Being easily startled Needing to withdraw during busy times to a private, quiet place Getting nervous or shaky if someone is observing you or competing with you Check out my blog for a longer explanation AND a link to a quiz!

— Wendy Curtis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

While high sensitive person's are not listed as an official diagnosis, I have learned as an HSP that we are sensitive to so many different parts of daily life that we can often have panic attacks without understanding where they stem from on a regular basis. I can assist you with better understanding your triggers and how to work toward lessening panic attacks that interfere with daily functioning.

— Kristin Holland-Pitts, Counselor in Oklahoma City, OK
 

I am a Highly Sensitive Person. It's one of my passions to help other HSPs to discover their unique gifts as well as learn tools to cope with the overwhelming influx of sensory input through the environment. Example are: vibrations, sounds, sights, smells and other's emotions.

— Donna Del Bello, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX