Are you an HSP?

How do you know you’re Highly Sensitive?

  • You are aware of subtleties in your environment.

  • You have a rich, complex inner life.

  • Other people’s moods affect you a lot.

  • You become unpleasantly aroused or easily over-stimulated when a lot is going on around you.

These are a few items from Elaine Aron's 27 item test, "Are you highly sensitive?" from her book, The Highly Sensitive Person. You can take her self-test now. To see if your child is highly sensitive, Elaine Aron has created another checklist.  

Quoting directly from Elaine Aron's (founding researcher for HSP) website hsperson.com:

"If you find you are highly sensitive, or your child is, you need to begin by knowing the following:

  • Your trait is normal. It is found in 15 to 20% of the population—too many to be a disorder, but not enough to be well understood by the majority of those around you.

  • It is innate. In fact, biologists have found it to be in most or all animals, from fruit flies and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. This trait reflects a certain type of survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) actually work a little differently than others'.

  • You are more aware than others of subtleties. This is mainly because your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. So even if you wear glasses, for example, you see more than others by noticing more.

  • You are also more easily overwhelmed. If you notice everything, you are naturally going to be overstimulated when things are too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time.

  • This trait is not a new discovery, but it has been misunderstood. Because HSPs prefer to look before entering new situations, they are often called "shy." But shyness is learned, not innate. In fact, 30% of HSPs are extraverts, although the trait is often mislabeled as introversion. It has also been called inhibitedness, fearfulness, or neuroticism. Some HSPs behave in these ways, but it is not innate to do so and not the basic trait.

  • Sensitivity is valued differently in different cultures. In cultures where it is not valued, HSPs tend to have low self-esteem. They are told "don't be so sensitive" so that they feel abnormal."

My clients tell me that it is a great relief to be with someone who understands the unique issues of a person that walks through our not-so-sensitive world as a highly sensitive person. Many gain appreciation for their gifts and skills to live in a world not geared towards these gifts.

I would like for you to thrive. I would like you to experience the riches of your unique sensitivity and learn to get your unique needs met as well. Being sensitive creates more awareness—you may feel out of balance or over-stimulated, even though you don’t know why. Energy work can bring balance and more specific awareness of the subtle energy centers that may be responsible for the sensations you feel.

For some being highly sensitive is at the core of their work with me. For others, it’s simply a background piece that we hold in common, creating understanding and ease. I offer a wide variety of services for body, psyche and soul.

I enjoy working with both adults and children. Work can be short term or long term, on the phone or in person, depending on the issue.  I enjoy relationships that last over time, meeting for a while and taking breaks as life’s issues cycle through. This allows for deep work as our relationship deepens.  

If you are new to my work, please give me a call or email me to set up a consultation. Working together is all about intangible things like relationship, resonance and connection, and we can't know what that feels like without meeting each other. So call or email me to take the time to check it out. I look forward to meeting you!

Mary Kay