I work with many Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) and consider myself an HSP. Being a Highly Sensitive Person is not a diagnosis or disorder but a trait that applies to approximately 15-20% of the population. Dr. Elaine Aron, a clinical psychologist, has been a pioneer in the research of HSPs since the 1990s and has developed resources and training for providers and individuals to understand this unique and complex trait better.
Being an HSP involves a heightened sensitivity to the environment and the emotions of others and an increased responsiveness to stimuli in the environment. HSPs are often more empathetic, intuitive, creative, and attuned to the needs and feelings of others. However, in certain situations, HSPs may experience more stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. HSPs can experience intense emotions, feel overwhelmed, and may struggle with anxiety and depression.
Therapy can be an effective tool for helping HSPs navigate life’s challenges and opportunities that come with this trait. Through therapy, HSPs can understand this trait, embrace their sensitivity, learn how it can be a strength, develop coping skills to cope with emotions, and build resilience to navigate life’s ups and downs more effectively.
If you are an HSP, know you are not alone; therapy can help. Together, we can work towards developing strategies to help you thrive in a world that doesn’t always understand the sensitivity.
For more information on the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) trait and Dr. Elaine Aron:
The Highly Sensitive Person website (hsperson.com) This website includes information on HSP research, resources for HSPs, and a directory of HSP-friendly therapists.