I often hear the frustration and sadness and defeat in the voices of highly sensitive people (HSP) when they share how they become more emotional, overwhelmed, shut down, or worn out in situations that don’t seem to affect other people. This difference can make HSPs feel like outsiders, like there must be something wrong with them because they are abnormal compared to everyone around them.Read More
This blog is written by a therapist in midtown Sacramento and focuses on the concerns and struggles of highly sensitive people (HSPs) and of kids, teens and adults struggling with depression, anxiety or just trying to figure out what they want for themselves. There's help and hope through counseling and therapy!
Our society has made suicide a taboo topic to talk about, which is unfortunate since suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. Despite the myth, talking about suicide does not lead people to commit suicide. In fact, talking honestly about suicide can be a tool for prevention. Being open to talking with your teen about their feelings and about any thoughts of self-harm can actually help educate and support them with their mental health needs.Read More
Codependency can often feel like a scary word when first brought up in a therapy session. The first sign for me when working with someone struggling with codependency is being the proverbial “Super Woman/Man.” This person is unable to say no to those around them--often placing themselves last in every way--rushing in to save the day emotionally, mentally, and physically without stopping to look at the consequences of doing so and ignoring their own feelings to prioritize the comfort of others.Read More
Do you have those moments where it feels like your entire body has been taken over by a feeling? Almost as if you’ve been consumed by a strange creature, and you’re not sure if there’s going to be a “you” when it’s all said and done?? I imagine most of us highly sensitive people (HSPs) have had and will continue to have these moments—much to our chagrin. We hate them, right? I have that sense of ‘Wait, seriously, seriously?’ when it starts to happen. Like, are you kidding me—I’m here—AGAIN?!Read More
You may have heard of DBT but have no idea what it is actually used for. Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT is a form of mental health treatment originally developed for adults who struggled with extremely intense and unstable emotions, as well as self-injurious behaviors like cutting and chronic suicidal thinking. Dr. Marsha Linehan is credited with creating this model of treatment, and over the past 30 years, it’s been found very beneficial for all kinds of issues, like depression, anxiety, impulsivity, eating disorders, etc.Read More
I often hear from highly sensitive people (HSPs) how different and alone they feel. “I’m too sensitive,” “I need to grow a thicker skin,” “Why can’t I just let it go like everyone else?” are common refrains. Such beliefs often stem from a lifetime of conscious and unconscious messages from well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning people about how there’s something wrong with the way you are. And, the reality is--highly sensitive people are not the norm. We know this because research has found that 15-20% of people in any given population in any given culture carry the personality trait of being highly sensitive.
Do you see your teen lounging around--eyes glued to their phone constantly--and worry about what kind of adult they’re going to become and what on earth they’re going to do with their lives? You might be frustrated with their lack of caring . . . about seemingly anything serious or with their ability to sleep 17 hours a day or with how you have to tell them 8 times to unload the dishwasher, and you wonder when they’ll fiiiiinally get it together.Read More
How many times have you said, “this year I’m going to start preparing for the holidays early,” only to see mid-December roll around and have nothing done? You are not alone! Most of us are so busy throughout the year that we’ve broken that promise over and over again. Then, inevitably, the stress level raises and we rush through the holiday season, documenting memories through social media posts, and completely missing out on being fully present with our family and friends. Suddenly, Valentine’s Day is upon us and we shake our heads in disbelief that yet again that ‘special and magical’ time of year passed us by.Read More
Imagine this scenario:
Your friend or family member is going through a separation, and you know they’re having a hard time. You empathize with their struggles and offer them support, reminding them that it will get better again. They start to lean on you more, needing more time and asking for more favors. You begin feeling resentful, but you don’t want to hurt your loved one’s feelings, especially when they’re struggling so much. This goes on for a couple months, and you become more and more frustrated. Of course, you have your own life and struggles to manage!Read More
Is your teen coming home sad, angry, and/or anxious? Is your teen isolating and withdrawing from family members when they get home from school? You may be wondering whether their mood is caused by normal teenage emotions or whether something else is happening at school that may be contributing.
Gratitude. We hear about this notion all the time, especially in the month of November. Count your blessings! Remember what you’re grateful for! Give thanks! We hear about gratitude so much that it can start to sound trite, and we may tune out. I get it. And, I’m a realist. Gratitude probably doesn’t change everything, despite the alluring image. However, despite the word being tossed all about, the practice of gratitude can be legitimately helpful, especially for highly sensitive people.
Teens are constantly comparing themselves to unrealistic expectations of beauty. They have images of flawless people that are portrayed everywhere they look in social media, TV, movies, and magazines. Teens are not thinking about the fact that the majority of these people have gone through plastic surgery to look the way that they do and that these so-called “flawless people” have their photos airbrushed and photo-shopped in order for them to appear so perfect. Instead, they're asking themselves questions like “Why do I not look perfect like them?”Read More
Highly sensitive people (HSPs) truly benefit from having a solid support system. We can be so good and helpful at taking care of and being there for others and not so good at taking care of ourselves. While part of our personal work may be learning to prioritize self-care, it also helps tremendously if we have people in our lives who understand our sensitive nature, check-in with us about how we’re doing, and give us both space and support as we need.
For some HSPs, this support may come from a loving partner, an understanding parent, a close sibling, a kind aunt. For others, family may not be what they need.
Parents, let’s get real here. If you have a teenager, chances are they have either tried cannabis (pot/weed), are actively using it, or they know another teen who is. And, chances are that at least some of the parents you’ve talked to are in some way co-signing their teen’s pot use. “Oh, it’s just pot,” they may say. Or, “they’re just teenagers, they’ll grow out of it;” “they’re stressed; they’re under so much pressure; they are just blowing off steam.”Read More
In all relationships—whether with friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers—boundaries exist. The boundaries may be conscious or unconscious, intentional or unintentional. No matter how much or little thought goes into any particular interpersonal boundary, these boundaries guide our interactions. We teach people how to treat us, and they teach us how to treat them, either by what we do or by what we don’t do.
Even though boundaries play a critical role in relationships throughout our lives, we often don’t spend much time talking or thinking about boundaries, unless something goes wrong.