WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HIGH SENSITIVITY?
Knowledge is power: knowing about your levels of sensitivity – and learning more about the trait and how it affects you personally – means you can (if you wish) start taking into account your sensitivity as you go about your daily life.
Dr Elaine Aron is perhaps the world’s foremost expert on SPS, having first identified the trait in 1997 and researched it for the past twenty years. Dr Aron is a counselling psychologist and researcher, and has worked extensively with highly sensitive people in her clinical practice. She has written several excellent books which provide more in-depth information about SPS and offer plenty of practical suggestions to help develop your own self-care plan. Links to purchase Dr. Aron’s books can be found on her website, along with a range of free resources e.g. research articles, and regular newsletters written by Dr Aron which you can subscribe to. Dr Aron also features in a documentary “Sensitive: The Movie” which has recently been released, where research findings on SPS are clearly explained by several researchers, and interviews conducted are with people who have high levels of sensitivity themselves. There is a Facebook page for the movie, and it occasionally posts other relevant information and material. Dr Aron also writes a blog for Psychology Today titled “Attending to the Undervalued Self” where you can read a number of articles which are geared toward those high in sensitivity.
Dr Aron's website: hsperson.com
'Sensitive: The Movie' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sensitivethemovie/
Dr Aron's Psychology Today blog: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/attending-the-undervalued-self
Dr Ted Zeff is another counselling psychologist who specialised in working with highly sensitive people - in particular, highly sensitive men and boys. He has authored several books on the trait of High Sensitivity which are available - along with other resources - from his website. (Sadly, Dr Zeff passed away in 2019).
Dr Zeff's website: http://www.drtedzeff.com/
Dr Zeff's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Ted-Zeff-141625881241/
Dr Tracy Cooper has researched highly sensitive people and careers, and writes a blog on the high-sensation-seeking highly sensitive person. Dr Cooper has authored two books on these topics which are available through his website (where you can also read his blog).
Dr Cooper's website: http://www.drtracycooper.com/home.html
Another useful resource is the UK-based National Center for High Sensitivity, which was founded by a therapist, Barbara Allen-Williams, who has worked extensively with HSPs. This website also includes free resources, along with an optional monthly newsletter subscription, and associated Facebook page.
NCHSP website: http://www.hspsensitive.com/
One of my research papers on HSP wellbeing: https://psyarxiv.com/dmpxn/
You can read a summary of this paper on the blog.
I hope that by completing the HSP measure and learning about your level of sensitivity, this might provide you with some insights that may be actionable, e.g. learning more about High Sensitivity, or creating a self-care plan. Along these lines, when reading about some of the ways the HSP trait can affect individuals, you might ask yourself the following types of questions:
- Have I been self-critical regarding aspects of my sensitivity?
- What is my inner dialogue regarding aspects of sensitivity? Do I want to start thinking differently (or rearrange my mental furniture, so to speak) and begin learning to accept and value my sensitivity?
- Can I take some steps to learn more about high sensitivity? (The above links may be a good starting point)
- Can I make some small changes to start developing a self-care plan for myself?
There are no right or wrong answers for these questions – they’re designed to help you genuinely look at some of your inner dialogue and attitudes towards your sensitivity. We do hope, however, that your insights regarding your sensitivity prove to be actionable. Along those lines, here are some questions that we hope prove helpful:
- How much time am I willing to set aside to learn more/accept and value my sensitivity/create a self-care plan each day/week?
- Which area would I like to focus on? (It’s usually a good idea to choose just one area to focus on, and make one small change at a time)