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    Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

    Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is a term coined by Dr. Elaine Aron. To take the self-test and/or learn more about her research, you can read the information below, or visit Dr. Aron’s website here:  The Highly Sensitive Person ( 

    In general, Highly Sensitive Persons may find that they experience some or all of the following:

    • Being aware of and deeply impacted by others’ moods, energies, and reactions
    • Experiencing sensory sensitivity and overwhelm in response to loud noises, bright lights, harsh smells, or chaotic environments
    • Avoidance of violent movies and shows or the news
    • Avoidance of any situations that might lead to distress or overstimulation
    • Avoidance of conflict
    • Being called “too sensitive” or “too shy” as a child, or even now
    • Feeling a need to retreat or be alone after an overstimulating experience or a long day
    • Working very hard to avoid mistakes or upsetting others
    • Having a rich, inner world
    • Feeling strong responses/connections to art, music, movies, etc.
    • Being easily startled
    • Being perceptive and attuned to changes in the environment and to others around them
    • Having a high capacity for empathy (some HSP’S might identify as an “empath”)
    • Being sensitive to criticism
    • Having an ability to experience deep emotions, connections, and relationships

    Several of our therapists identify as Highly Sensitive Persons themselves, and it is important to know that ICW believes sensitivity to be a beautiful, valuable, precious trait. There is nothing wrong with being a Highly Sensitive Person; it is not a “disorder”, and it is not something we look to “cure” in our clients. In fact, highly sensitive individuals, in our opinion, hold a lot of strength within them because doesn’t it take an incredibly strong person to experience such connection, vulnerability, and emotion in this world? (Yes!) 

    Notably, though, being a Highly Sensitive Person can often be linked to anxiety, people-pleasing, low self-esteem, perfectionism, and more frequent experiences of overwhelm and dysregulation within your relationships and in response to your environment and daily life. That is what we’d love to support you with by: 

    Compassionately exploring your internal narratives and reframing them when it’s helpful,

    Helping you learn to be with your feelings and the feelings of others,

    Helping you to set healthy boundaries and take less responsibility for what is not yours,

    Creating warm pockets of self-care and respite in your daily life,

    And ultimately allowing you to honor your HSP depths so you can continue existing softly, sensitively, strongly, and safely in this sometimes hard, sharp world. If you identify with any of the above and would like to explore therapy options, please reach out to us. We’re here to hold you and your sensitive soul with warmth and love!

    Welcome to Our Haven: Warm Guides for Highly Sensitive Souls

    Meet Our Heartfelt Heroes: Specially attuned to the Highly Sensitive People community. Your journey of gentle discovery starts here. Welcome home!

    Highly Sensitive People