The Highly Sensitive Person in Psychotherapy
A Workshop with Dr Elaine Aron, Dr Art Aron and Dr Michael Pluess
Recorded Saturday 25 July 2020
We often think of highly sensitive people as having less structured boundaries than others: their heightened responses can be confused with poor ego function, with personality or mood disorders. But in this conference we will be looking at new work with Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) as those who have an innate trait of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS).READ MORE...
Highly Sensitive People may be super-perceptive, but they also face the considerable and persistent challenges of processing multiple stimuli in depth. They can be easily overwhelmed, including by the therapy relationship itself. To avoid the risk of misdiagnosis – of a borderline or trauma issue, for example – the therapist’s understanding of the SPS’s inner world, and especially how it resonates with their childhood experiences, is crucial. When attachments have been good, the highly sensitive person may flourish; when adverse, they are more prone than others to depression, anxiety and shyness in adulthood. Therapeutic work may need to include dealing with overstimulation and setting boundaries; managing stronger emotional reactions, particularly in relation to criticism; low self-esteem; and the need to reframe even a good childhood and work history.
As well as considering the importance of making accurate differential diagnoses our presenters will also consider many aspects of a highly sensitive person’s needs: how to discuss the trait with them or their families; sensitivity and gender; issues in relationships; challenges at work, and differences in sexual style.
Useful link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_processing_sensitivity