Highly Sensitive Persons
The trait of high sensitivity was first identified by Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, and can be understood as giftedness in the domain of sensitivity. HSPs are often very intuitive and empathic and can be sensitive to any strong stimulation, such as bright lights, loud sounds, angry conversations, and violent movies. As a result of overstimulation, many HSPs learn to shut down, withdraw from social situations, avoid new experiences, or push themselves to persevere and then negatively judge their dread and overwhelm.
Since only 15-20% of all people are highly sensitive, many HSPs learn to devalue this trait, as they hear from others that they are “too sensitive” or “care too much.”
In counseling, I provide a safe, emotionally attuned healing environment in which Highly Sensitive persons (HSPs) can heal emotional wounds and move towards greater self-understanding and acceptance. Our work focuses on helping HSPs validate and appreciate their strengths and learn effective coping strategies for living in a world where the majority of people are not highly sensitive.
Therapy for Therapists and Other Healers
While skilled at helping others, therapists may be reluctant to seek their own support, believing instead that they should somehow be able to heal themselves. While therapists can do a lot to nurture their own wellness, engaging in the process of therapy can bring tremendous insight and growth. I understand the challenges of this role shift for healers, accustomed to being the ones giving the care instead of receiving it, and am experienced in facilitating a respectful and safe container for the work.
Healers may enter the profession in part motivated by the unresolved issues of their own childhoods, issues that may be triggered or even exacerbated in their work. Therapy encourages the cultivation of deeper self-compassion and encourages healers to access their innate healing qualities on their own behalf. Many counselors also benefit from doing EMDR work to process unresolved traumatic experiences and/or to address negative core beliefs impacting their current happiness.