Are you highly sensitive?
Do you often feel overwhelmed?
Do you need time out or alone time to refuel?
Do people sometimes accuse you of being “anti-social” or oversensitive?
Do you find it hard to fit in?
Do you feel like your partner or workmates will never understand you?
Highly sensitive people often have trouble fitting into the hustle and bustle of modern life. It can sometimes be overwhelming just being around other people. We can take on other people’s emotions and if we’re not careful we can become overwhelmed.
Because of our sensitivity, we can be more susceptible to anxiety and adjustment problems, but we also have the capacity to experience more joy and wonder.
HSPs live and experience things more deeply than others.
We react more intensely to situations which others just ignore or take in their stride. We are often the “canary in the gold mine”, experiencing an awareness of unpleasant or dysfunctional dynamics in the workplace and in families. This can lead to other people thinking we are “weird” or overreacting and we can find ourselves the target of bullying or exclusion because others don’t want to acknowledge what is really going on.
Although being highly sensitive is not necessarily a “problem” it can provide us with challenges. HSPs are outnumbered by those who are not highly sensitive and it can be difficult when your intuition tells you that there is something wrong and no-one else is prepared to acknowledge it.
You are not alone in feeling things more deeply than others.
According to Elaine Aron HSPs make up 20% of the population. Although we are not the majority, being highly sensitive is a gift, not a curse.
It can be hard to find others who understand us. It can also be hard to adjust to the challenges we face being highly sensitive in a competitive and dynamic world. If you are surrounded by people who aren’t sensitive, you might find it hard to fit in.
The demands of the contemporary workplace can make people with HSP feel like an endangered species. Open plan offices are particularly challenging for people with this temperament.
It feels like there is too much going on.
Or maybe there are too many people asking different things of you.
You might have trouble explaining how you feel because you fear being labelled “oversensitive” or accused of overreacting. Other people haven’t noticed, why should you be given special treatment or have allowances made for you? It can be hard to stand up for yourself when other people keep telling you that you are wrong.
Because highly sensitive people are in the minority, you can often feel that you are the one who needs to change and adapt.
In families, HSPs are often the ones who sense that there is something wrong. You may not be able to pinpoint or verbalise it but you can’t just “let it go.” Often the legacy of unhealthy family dynamics will remain with HSPs while our siblings and parents tell us everything is fine. So we end up thinking it is our fault.
You don’t need to apologise for your sensitive nature, but you might need to understand yourself more.
The good news is that with the help of a compassionate, experienced therapist who is also highly sensitive, you can let go of the pain of the past and learn to value your unique and powerful gifts.
HOW CAN HSP COUNSELLING HELP?
One one level, it can be reassuring just to speak with someone who understands you.
But HSP counselling can help you at a much deeper level.
Through psychotherapy with me, you can learn to value and understand your unique qualities.
Often people who are highly sensitive will be vulnerable to unhealthy dynamics in the workplace, at home or in their family of origin. I will help you understand yourself and manage your responses, regain your equilibrium and thrive, even when others are not validating or supportive.
As you learn to understand yourself, you will be less likely to react and more able to accept and move on. You will have more choices and be able to decide what is best for you, without hanging onto other people’s emotions.
Because I am also HSP, I can empathise with you on a deeper level.
HSP counselling will allow you to value yourself and make the most of your gifts.
As we work in therapy, I will tune into your feelings and thoughts as well as your ideas, symbols and metaphors. As an artist, I can help you explore your creativity and connect to your deepest impulses. As you develop more self-awareness and self-compassion you will be free to find a more authentic and more fulfilling life.
I believe that the highly sensitive trait can allow us to experience life more fully, to embrace everything that life has to offer.
My aim is to help you to explore your potential and live your best life.
You might still have some questions about coming to therapy.
Why should I be the one to change when there is nothing wrong with me?
Having therapy doesn’t mean you are “wrong”. Sometimes people seek psychotherapy to enhance their self-awareness and wellbeing rather than because there is something wrong. It can be useful to look at HSP counselling as a journey of self-discovery, rather than a treatment regime.
For HSPs, the sense of being outnumbered or of not “fitting in” can be strong and at times unpleasant. It can feel unfair that you might need to adapt, when others just breeze through life blissfully unaware of the challenges you face everyday.
HSP counselling is a way of helping you manage challenging situations which you may not have the ability to control. Understanding yourself and your responses is part of what will make you stronger and more resilient, and more compassionate towards yourself.
What can i expect from HSP counselling?
HSP counselling will help you understand yourself better and get on top of whatever might be preventing you from enjoying a full and happy life. Therapy will allow you to explore not just what might be “wrong” with your life, but also what might be right. Through the process of self-exploration, I can help you make the most of your gifts of creativity, sensitivity, intuition and compassion.
These strengths will stand you in good stead as you learn about how you respond to others and develop self-awareness around your feelings and responses. Therapy will help you develop resilience and self-compassion, allowing you to cope better with environments and relationships which might initially be stressful. As the therapy unfolds you will find that you are more patient with yourself and with others, helping you accept what you cannot change.
I’ve heard that therapy is expensive, How will I afford it?
As a social worker, I am committed to making therapy affordable for everyone. I offer Medicare rebateable sessions to eligible clients and can offer discounts for those suffering financial hardship. If money is providing an obstacle to beginning (or continuing) therapy, we can discuss how to make it more affordable for you.
HSP counselling is an investment in you and your life. By helping you develop more self-awareness and better coping strategies, you are investing in your wellbeing and your future.
Sometimes there are deeper issues at play in your emotional wellbeing, especially where you may have suffered trauma or mental health challenges in the past. This can take a while to untangle.
Rest assured that I will work with you to get the best results for you, whether that is to help you manage everyday stresses, tolerate your anxiety or just to learn to relax more. The length and depth of the therapy will depend on you and the issues you want to work on.
Start your journey towards self-awareness and fulfilment here:
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