Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?
You are easily overwhelmed. You pick up on information more than others, and you feel so deeply for the world around you. The arts and visual stimulation probably move you very much as well.
At a young age, people might have called you sensitive or shy. Every now and then (probably often), you get overstimulated by bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, and nearby sirens.
If many of these statements resonated with you, you may be a highly sensitive person (HSP).
Aron (1996) concluded from her research that the HSP brain works differently than a non HSP.
According to Aron (1996) the highly sensitive person is someone that processes the subtleties of their environment more than others, may become overstimulated easily, and feels a deep amount of empathy.
As a helping professional, it is important for me to be mindful of both the temperament of a person and the mental health aspect of what they are going through. A person that withdraws or isolates themselves from others can look depressed but a highly sensitive person can also withdraw because they are overstimulated. This poses a question of whether people are being misunderstood because there needs to be a better understanding of this innate sensitivity trait. Aron (1996) states that this innate trait is found in 15-20% of the population which is equally distributed in boys and girls.
My work with Highly Sensitive People (HSP) in Therapy
As a highly sensitive person/therapist myself, I take a very gentle and curious approach with the HSP population. A lot of times people that identify themselves as HSP need a safe space to be able to voice their thoughts out loud. This space will also allow someone to connect their feelings and thoughts together and know that they are not alone. Children and teens who have this trait may also need emotional vocabulary to help express their inner world. My work in therapy can help someone know the strengths and challenges of the trait. Lastly, I attempt to provide guidance and tools with how to manage the overstimulation that a HSP might feel on the day to day happenings of life.
I hope to be a professional that gets to know and understand the whole person which includes temperament, experiences, and possible mental health concerns. Some of your mental health concerns may get in the way of your functioning, but I am here to honor and value your whole person experience when working together.
Aron, E. (1996). The Highly Sensitive Person. Broadway, New York: Three Rivers Press.
If you interested in learning more please contact Sharon Chan LMFT in Orange County. Provides teen, individual, and children therapy.