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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Meet the specialists

 

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 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
 

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

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
 

Feeling the emotions and or physical sensations of the other and often feeling overwhelmed by it all.

— Marcelle Little, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

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

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

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
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

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

— Megan Herrington, Psychotherapist in CHICAGO, IL

In therapy, we can make space for your sensitivities, learn to manage when they feel overwhelming, and especially elevate when they can be an asset.

— Halina Brooke, Therapist in Phoenix, AZ