Highly Sensitive Person

The Highly Sensitive Person

Are you easily overwhelmed?

Do you need alone time to recharge your batteries?

Do other people’s feelings affect you?

Are you moved deeply by music and the arts?

Do you feel more empathetic and intuitive than most people?

Do you become overly passionate about certain things?

After a day traveling, do you need a day of rest?

Do you startle easily?

When you were a child, did people say you were shy?

These are some of the traits of a Highly Sensitive Person.

For Highly Sensitive People (HSP), the world can often seem chaotic and overwhelming and many HSPs feel the need to escape and hide. You probably feel different than others and often wonder why! Subsequently, you are probably seeking tools to help you cope and function in the world.

Being an HSP is not an excuse to hide from the world. I help Highly Sensitive People reduce and manage their overwhelm so that their sensitivity becomes their gift and not their curse!

You Are Not The Only Highly Sensitive Person

Dr. Elaine Aron coined the term “Highly Sensitive Person”. She found that 15-20% of people are highly sensitive. Also, there are as many male sensitive people out there are there are females. Only males may be suppressing their sensitive traits more.

HSP is not a diagnosis. It is a personality trait where certain people have sensitivity with their sensory processing and inner states. The nervous system becomes overloaded with too much external and internal stimuli. Additionally, there have been studies that have found brain differences in Highly Sensitive People! The HSP brain has a sensory processing sensitivity. It processes deeper than a non-HSP brain and it notices more subtleties in the environment.

HSPs & Trauma

Adult HSPs with childhood trauma may have a harder time than HSPs without childhood trauma. People with trauma that are innately sensitive might struggle more with anxiety and depression and being out in the world in general.

The good news is that you can learn to use your sensitivity to your advantage. Many successful people are Highly Sensitive!

Supporting Highly Sensitive People

I relate to Highly Sensitive People because I am one. As a highly sensitive therapist, I am able to use my trait to tap in intuitively to my clients. I understand first-hand what it’s like to live in a state of overwhelm and to learn to manage it. And after a lot of trial and error, I have learned what drains me and what lifts me up. 

It’s a relief when highly sensitive people learn that they fit into the HSP criteria. You’re not neurotic, you’re a highly sensitive person! I work with HSPs to help them cope better with anxiety, overwhelm, and sensory over stimulation. Also, I share tools and lifestyle tips that can help calm the nervous system so life isn’t so overwhelming. Processing trauma can help with general anxiety and stress going into new environments and situations. Modalities I use are mindfulness, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and more.

I get it when the lights are too bright, the sounds are too loud, and too many people drain you. HSP therapy is not about learning to retreat from the world. It’s about learning how to thrive as an HSP in the world.

Questions

 

The HSP is sensitive because they have trauma, right?

Not necessarily. HSP is an innate trait. In other words, it’s something you are born with. Yes, trauma might make a person more sensitive and hypervigilant. But Highly Sensitive People are born with the sensitivity. A HSP with trauma usually has more issues with overwhelm and anxiety than an HSP without trauma.

Does a HSP have a sensory processing disorder?

Being highly sensitive is not a disorder. It is a personality trait. Dr. Elaine Aron calls it- sensory processing sensitivity. HSPs might have some similarities to people with autism. But overall, being a HSP is not the same as being autistic.

I think my child might be highly sensitive. Can you help?

I love working with highly sensitive teens! Teens are extremely receptive to suggestions on how to make their lives less overwhelming. See HERE for Teen Therapy.

 

Highly Sensitive Person Therapy Can Help

With your dedication, therapy can help rewire your anxious brain and calm your nervous system. It’s about dissecting your life and finding where to make changes. Maybe you need more sleep than the average person. Maybe you do best in a career where you can work from home. Your thoughts may be working against you and not for you! Together, we will figure out how to dial down your sensory processing sensitivity and use it for your benefit. Overall, I will help you to figure out how to live fully while being a Highly Sensitive Person.

 

I Truly Get It!

For a HSP, finding the right therapist can be overwhelming! There are a lot of great therapists in California to choose from. But when deciding to work with me, you can feel relieved that I really do understand you. I am a Highly Sensitive Therapist and Highly Sensitive Person. Therapy is never a – one size fits all approach. While HSPs have a lot of similarities, we come from all walks of life and circumstances. Therapy is a collaboration and I aim to tailor my techniques to your individuality. To put things simply, lets make the therapy process as easy as possible for you.

 

Reach Out

My office is located in Ventura, California. It is near Ojai, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks. I also offer online therapy if that’s easier for you or if you are not in the immediate area. Call or send me a MESSAGE to set up your complimentary 20 minute consultation.

Latest Blog Posts
  • misophonia woman

    Misophonia The Beast. Misophonia Treatment.   Misophonia is a beast! Misophonia is a selective sound sensitivity that that can cause anger, anxiety, disgust, panic, and other tough emotions. Anyone with Misophonia who is reading this definitely knows the monster that is Misophonia. Finding treatment for Misophonia can be a struggle. I personally (and unfortunately) have first-hand experience with the monster. We met after a  traumatic event I had in college, many years ago.  Importantly, I know my sound sensitivity began at an earlier age but it wasn’t a major problem then. Subsequently, I saw my fair share of therapists as a young adult, trying to get help. One therapist told me to “tolerate” the noise. I did my very best to not curse that therapist out! Another therapist told me that I need to live in quiet apartments (but how does that happen when you live in New York City). Another therapist attempted to trigger me by knocking on the wall in her office- it did not work. After moving to Los Angeles and studying to become a therapist, I thought to myself- what’s the deal with current Misophonia treatment? While treatment and therapy options were scarce, I did meet some fascinating people researching, treating, and diving into the Misophonia monster.   Full Disclosure   Full disclosure, I have been treating Misophonia for a little over a year but I’ve been exploring Misophonia treatments and working with therapy clients for many years. And in this time, wow, have I learned a lot! I guess I fit well into the Misophonia personality type that some professionals talk about- Type A, perfectionistic, rigid, etc. When I have an interest in something, I will learn all I can. Basically, I strive to help my clients one hundred percent. Interestingly, that Miso personality type is similar to the chronic pain personality type. I will discuss my thoughts on chronic pain and Misophonia a few paragraphs down! Overall, I have a passion about learning all things Misophonia.   Highly Sensitive People   Something that I am realizing is that many people with Misophonia are sensitive people. We are sensitive people with sensitive nervous systems. Could we be Highly Sensitive People? The term “Highly Sensitive People” became popular because of the work of Dr. Elaine Aron. You can take the Highly Sensitive Person quiz HERE.  Dr. Aron found out that HSPs have greater depth of processing, become over stimulated, have emotional reactivity, are empathetic, and sense the subtle in the environment. Sound familiar? Being a Highly Sensitive Person is not a sensory disorder. It is a sensory sensitivity.   Highly Sensitive People, Misophonia & The Brain   What really piqued my interest on how HSP relates to Misophonia was the research on the brain. Research has shown that Highly Sensitive People have more activation in the Insula (knowledge of inner states and emotions- love, trust, fear, sexual arousal and the awareness of bodily position in space and the awareness of outer events). Also, HSPs have more active mirror neurons. If you are a Misophonia nerd like me, you would have seen the latest research around the Insula and over active mirror neurons. If I had more time, I would get into the scientific info but I trust your ability in using google! Misophonia can arrive in a person’s life for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes trauma plays a role and sometimes it does not. But I feel when you are born a sensitive person, have the genetic susceptibility to Misophonia, and then throw in some trauma or parental attachment ruptures, the Misophonia monster rears it’s ugly head.   Chronic Pain & Neural Pathways   Before I dove into learning about Misophonia, I dove into Mind-Body Syndromes (also known as Tension Myositis Syndrome & Psychophysiologic Disorders) over ten years ago. Mind-Body Syndromes are classified as chronic pain, chronic fatigue, pelvic pain, irritable bowl and more. Mind-Body Syndromes became popular from the work of Dr. John Sarno. He wrote the book famous book Healing Back Back Pain-The Mind-Body Connection. Sarno’s work has been expanded on by doctors such as Howard Schubiner. Similarly to Misophonia, many people with Mind-Body Syndromes also have sensitive brains/ nervous systems. Interestingly, some people with Mind-Body Syndromes fit into the category of Central Sensitization Syndrome. From my multiple professional trainings on Mind-Body Syndromes over the years (trainings with Dr. Howard Scubiner & Alan Gordon LCSW), I have learned that a large part of these syndromes are ruled by neural pathways. Basically, neural pathways are learned networks in our brain.  For example, when you learn to ride a bike, your brain learns to ride (and not) forget through neural networks. An excellent video on neural networks and bike riding is HERE. In chronic pain and other Mind-Body Syndromes the symptoms get stuck in a feedback loop and a large reason they get stuck is from the fear over symptoms. From my training in Somatic Experiencing, I have learned that many people with Mind-Body Syndromes (and I believe Misophonia people) are living in a state of sympathetic activation. Basically, people’s nervous systems are so sensitized, which wreaks havoc on the body and mind. Please note, I am sensitive to the fact that the Mind-Body symptoms are real and not in a person’s mind. Thank goodness the medical community is studying this, but in my belief and many other professionals belief, these symptoms are perpetuated by brain neural networks and a sensitized nervous system.   Neural Pathways, The Nervous System & Misophonia   From studying the work of Tom Dozier, Dr Ezra Cowan, Marsha Johnson, and more recently Chris Pearson, I see a lot of similarities between Mind-Body Syndromes and Misophonia.   Here’s what I’ve learned and pondered: Misophonia has a somatic component. The body reacts to a sound. The brain and the body are connected. When the body tenses and recoils, this sends messages to the brain that there is danger.   Avoiding the sound, running away, reinforces the fear.   Ruminating on preceptory anxiety […]

  • overwhelmed woman

    Feeling Overwhelmed? Whether you are a Highly Sensitive Person or just someone with a lot of Anxiety, coping with feeling overwhelmed can be challenging. The phrase “Too much to do, too little time” probably rings true! Maybe, it’s a hectic family life, a job that’s demanding, or health problems you’re experiencing. Life has its way of being overwhelming! Undoubtably, some people struggle more than others with feeling overwhelmed.   9 tips to help when overwhelming feelings or stressful life events take over.   1. Keep a daily To-Do List. Trying to remember fifty different things that you need to accomplish a day will definitely overwhelm you! It can help to get the small things done first, so your list gets smaller faster. Also, a daily planner can help. Getting organized, and writing everything down will definitely take a load off. My favorite daily planner which also has a To-Do list on each page is by Day Designer. But, there’s also Google Calendar if online organization is your thing.   2. Don’t take on too much at once. Basically, do one thing at a time. Know your limits. Most definitely, learn how to say NO. If you tend to be a people pleaser, do some self-exploration on why you can’t say no. Saying NO is a form of self-respect. Also, creating some self-boundaries can be helpful. Maybe it’s committing to stopping work at 6pm every night. Also, asking for help and delegating tasks can be a huge help.   3. Keep your environment organized. Studies have shown that clutter and mess increase cognitive overload. Clutter has also been linked to high cortisol which is a stress hormone. Overall, clean up your work space, home, car, or even computer desktop (something I am guilty of keeping messy!). Remember, Messy= Stressy!   4. Take breaks when you can. Avoid getting to the place of exhaustion. If you get a lunch break, take it. Too many people feel the need to impress their bosses by working through lunch. But, you’re not impressing anyone if you become sick or burnt out from stress! Green spaces (trees, grass) have been found to lower stress levels. Absolutely, try to get out into nature as much as possible when feeling overwhelmed.   5. Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep each night. If you are lacking on sleep or not getting good sleep, up your sleep hygiene routine (quiet, dark, cool, etc.). When a person who has anxiety doesn’t get enough solid sleep, their anxiety just gets worse. Additionally, eat well. Low blood sugar can also up your anxiety.   6. Be around people who have a regulated nervous system. When you are in a state of overwhelm, it can help a lot to be around someone who is calm. If no one is around, call a calming person on the phone. Humans are social creatures. We are not meant to be alone.   7. Close your eyes! A large part of stimulation comes through the eyes. Whether it’s just taking a few deep breaths or taking 20 minutes to meditate, closing the eyes can help you to calm down.   8. Ground yourself. Often when we are full of anxiety, it feels like we may as well be floating in space. We’ve left our bodies and probably have left earth too! Sensory experiences can help to ground you. One of my favorites is smelling your favorite essential oil. Scent is the fasted way to our limbic system which regulates emotions. Besides that, just orienting to where you are can help ground. What does it feel like to be supported by your chair? Try tapping your feet on the ground a few times.   9. Talk to a therapist. Sometimes dealing with overwhelm takes some extra help. If you are interested in working with me, send me a MESSAGE. I see clients in person in Ventura, California and online all over.  

Get In Touch 

 

Call: 
805.669.8176

Email:
contact@siporaweissman.com

Location:
5550 Telegraph Rd. Ventura, California 93003
Located near Ojai, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks.

Also seeing clients for online therapy all over.

Call

805.669.8176

Location

5550 Telegraph Rd. Ventura, California 93003

Located near Ojai, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks.

Also seeing clients for online therapy all over.