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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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

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
 

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

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
 

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

You’ve been told throughout your whole life that you are “too sensitive”. Maybe you’ve come to see this as a weakness or maybe you’ve come to see it for what it truly is – a strength. Living as a highly sensitive person means you feel deeply and sometimes that can be overwhelming. Together, we will discover coping tools, acceptance, and self-compassion for the moments that feel like “too much”. Being sensitive isn’t a flaw, it’s a door to deeper vulnerability and connection.

— Sabrina Fish, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Laguna Niguel, CA
 

For people who identify as Highly Sensitive, functioning in our fast-paced world can be really challenging. I offer a safe and empathic space in which moving slowly and modulating pace are encouraged and supported. I'm happy to draw on my background in embodiment and mindfulness to help my clients learn self-regulation skills. Toning the nervous system is a great way for sensitive people to increase tolerance of stress; we'll work together to help you learn how to best care for yourself.

— Rachel Fernbach, Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

I identify as an HSP myself and am familiar with the strengths and challenges that accompany this personality trait. I love working with other HSPs and like to focus on helping you to understand your boundaries, practice self acceptance around them, and to explore how to best communicate your needs to others. I also have experience in facilitating deep inner processing and and managing the levels of distress that tend to be particularly painful to HSPs. My goal is to affirm and empower you.

— Lisa Serrano, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
 

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

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
 

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

Many individuals seeking therapy are HSPs. To the HSP, the world around them is overwhelming. They need more time and space to process. Although gifted with incredible insight and empathy, these individuals struggle to feel strong in a fast-paced world that is designed against them. As an HSP myself, I have studied this trait and can help other HSPs begin to set boundaries, process their often turbulent inner world of emotion, and calm down their nervous system.

— Daniela Childers, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Gainesville, FL
 

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 Culver City, CA

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
 

The world can be overwhelming if you're empathic, creative or otherwise deeply in touch with your feelings. Sometimes it may feel like the daily demands of life are just too much. It helps to have a therapist with whom you can process all of the big emotions that come with being a passionate and sensitive person. I used a combination of mindfulness, CBT and DBT skills to help you regulate your strong reactions, develop self-soothing skills, and learn to create boundaries that lead to more ease.

— Kayla Freeman, Social Worker in Austin, TX

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

— Megan Herrington, Psychotherapist in Skokie, IL
 

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 Petaluma, CA

Having a sensitive nervous system can present challenges in relationships, work environments, social situations and in coping with your own heightened emotional state. As an HSP myself, I know that we sometimes feel different than the rest of the culture and it’s not always easy to find kindred spirits & support. I've devoted myself to discovering life changing tools that can be done ‘on the fly’ to balance & soothe our nervous systems.

— Elinor (Elly) Nygren Szapiro, Licensed Professional Counselor
 

Do you feel everything? The emotions of others? Places? Animals? Can’t watch certain shows or the news because you feel it all? Being a highly sensitive person or empathize can be exhausting and overwhelming. You are drained by others and love helping. Learn vital tools that support you and help you thrive as an empath.

— Margaret Bell, Counselor in Denver, CO

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 Petaluma, CA