About 20% of people are "highly sensitive." Learn more about this trait and how to help yourself thrive as an HSP in this post.
According to Dr. Elaine Aron, a psychotherapist and highly sensitive person researcher, about 15-20% of the population is “highly sensitive.” Highly sensitive people tend to process things deeply, have nervous systems that pick up more subtlety, can be easily over-stimulated, and can often be more empathetic and feel more deeply than other people. High sensitivity is not a disorder or a diagnosis, it is an innate trait or difference.
Highly sensitive people often have unique gifts, such as empathy, enhanced creativity, and greater attunement to their own emotional worlds. They are often found in careers as therapists, writers, healers, massage therapists, artists, or other creative and caring professions and tend to thrive in environments where they can express these gifts and take care of their needs. However, they also tend to face certain struggles since they live in a world that isn’t designed for those who are sensitive. Without proper self-care, boundaries, and awareness, HSPs can be more prone to burnout, anxiety, stress, and depression.
The good news is that it is possible to learn more about your sensitivity, love yourself more deeply, and learn how to take better care of yourself as someone who is sensitive, so you can feel more free and confident to express your gifts and needs. If you’re curious whether or not you are an HSP, this self-test is a good place to start.
Many clients of mine who discover that they are highly sensitive are grateful to learn that they are HSPs. They may remark that "everything makes so much more sense" about themselves and are happy to learn that there was never anything "wrong" with them. In fact, many people are grateful to hear that being a highly sensitive person is a valid trait, and that there are a lot of resources out there to help them grow and flourish.
Some of my clients know they are highly sensitive people before they start working with me, or discover that they are highly sensitive once they begin working with me! As a highly sensitive person myself, navigating your life and your inner experience is something I can help you do in our sessions together.
See you in session!
P.S., if you'd like to learn about how the IFS model can help HSPs, you can listen to this interview I did on the "Highly Sensitive Humans" podcast!