Highly Sensitive Person: A Guide for Your Therapist
How many times have you felt misunderstood because of your Sensitivity? Having deeper emotional reactions and noticing subtleties that others miss creates a barrier to shared experience. We experience the world unlike 80% of other people, therefore it’s not surprising that we feel differently from those around us. When we feel dissimilar to our family and friends, we are more likely to experience loneliness, low self-esteem and self-doubt. We may start to see our Sensitivity as a burden or obstacle to feeling connected, when in reality we have an exceptional capacity for empathy and deep connection with others.
Feeling Misunderstood as an HSP
Feeling misunderstood by our therapist is especially problematic because this is the person we are relying on to provide a safe environment where we can feel seen and heard. Studies show that feeling understood by our therapist is essential to making progress during therapy. Since the research for Sensory Processing Sensitivity (the research term for High Sensitivity) is not well known, well meaning therapists may misinterpret our High Sensitivity and not understand that our brain and nervous system are more finely tuned. For example, overstimulation can be mislabeled as ADHD or Social Anxiety while our tendency to process before acting can be seen as procrastination or rumination.
A therapist who understands the trait of High Sensitivity can help us manage the challenges of being an HSP so that we can access our many Sensitive Strengths.
Want to feel more deeply understood by your own therapist?
Share my guide “Working with the Highly Sensitive Client: A Brief Introduction for Psychotherapists”.