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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HSPs make up about 20% of the population, so one in 5 of us has this trait. I am one of them, and if you are (or think you might be), know that I can empathize as well as help you to see how you can begin to see this trait as more positive than negative (which is what our society tends to think in general about this trait). Don't let society determine how you think about yourself, let's decide that all on our own!

— Julie Williams, Psychologist in Portland, OR

I also identify as a highly sensitive person and can help you navigate how this trait may show up for you and ways in which is a major strength to appreciate in yourself.

— Emily Donahue, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY

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

I consider myself an HSP and an Empath. I am also an Intuitive. I help you manage your 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 living and expansive life.

— DeeAnna Nagel, Psychotherapist

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

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

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

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

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

Are you discovering that you process things more deeply than others? Perhaps you have struggled with low self-esteem, perfectionism, people-pleasing, and being overly self-critical. Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) spend their lives often feeling misunderstood and have likely internalized negative messages that they are "too sensitive." Sensitivity is the key to the treasure trove of life. Let's work together to help you embrace it and change the narrative of your gift.

— Brenton Guice, Counselor in Kansas City, MO

What if "you're too sensitive" were taken to mean that you have a gift to hone?

— Megan Herrington, Psychotherapist in CHICAGO, IL

As a highly sensitive person myself I know that a huge change like becoming a mom can bring new feelings of anxiety, stress and overwhelm along with the joy & excitement. If you’d like support navigate this transition while honoring yourself as a highly sensitive person - I’m you’re gal!

— Kylee Nelson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

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

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

Feeling overwhelmed by your world? Do others tell you that you're "too sensitive?" Experiencing high sensitivity to your environment and the people around you can impact your energy and mood and feels EXHAUSTING. It can also make having and maintaining relationships with others a bit difficult. If you're interested to learn more about ways to cope and navigate your world more effectively, let's work together on that.

— Dr. Dana Avey, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Colorado Springs, CO

Having Sensory disorders or being emotionally sensitive is often highly miss understood. I am very patient and understanding when working with these type of symptoms and have found the art to be a helpful way in working with sensitivities of any kind if one is open to it.

— Samantha Hanson, Art Therapist in Appleton, WI

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

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