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1614 X St., Suite A
Sacramento, CA 95818
US

916-287-3430

Thrive Therapy & Counseling provides high quality therapy to Highly Sensitive People and to kids, teens or adults struggling with anxiety, depression or self-esteem.

You are not alone

Blog

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!

You are not alone

Ivy Griffin

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. 

On the one hand--whew! Wherever you live in the world, there are likely other people in your neighborhood, community, friends, or family who are also highly sensitive. So, even when it feels like no one else responds the way you do, you can know you’re not alone. 

On the other hand, 80-85% of any given population are not highly sensitive. Annnd, that can be a bummer. Given how disproportionate the numbers are, it’s no reason why HSPs can feel so alone and isolated! Even though other people who think and reflect as carefully as you, feel emotions as intensely, experience their senses strongly, and empathize deeply with other humans and animals are out there, they can seem hard to find. And, that can make sensitive folks feel isolated. 

Personally, I spent my childhood being told “there’s nothing to cry about” when happy or stressful moments brought me easily to tears. In high school, I’d feel utterly exhausted by the end of the day and thought I was broken because my friends wanted to socialize after school, and I felt like I wanted to hide or sleep. In college and beyond, I found myself overwhelmed by the options of adulthood--often paralyzed by too many choices, which led to sadness and a sense of isolation because I didn’t see anyone around me having the same reactions. 

Fortunately, through graduate school and later my work experience I began to learn about this personality trait of high sensitivity. The first time I heard “highly sensitive person” I felt like a light bulb turned on! That must be me! I instantly resonated with the term and felt relief to know that others might be sensitive too. 

Through reading, studying, and my practice as a therapist, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about what it means to be a highly sensitive person, and I’ve had the honor and the joy to witness so many wonderful people come to understand, appreciate, and even embrace this trait as they look back with new understanding on a lifetime of experiences, learn how to care for and meet their own needs, and recognize and step into their own strengths. I’ve also seen the power and the healing that can occur when sensitive souls are able to connect with other sensitive souls in real, meaningful ways and experience first hand how not alone they are. 

Even when it feels true to your core, you are not alone. There are many other sensitive folks in the world, just like you, and we all need and deserve support. How can you offer this support to yourself? 

Check out these resources for starters:

meetup.com--Many areas have meetup groups for HSPs. If your community doesn’t have one, maybe you’d want to start one up.

hsperson.com--You can find a therapist in your area with specialized training in working with HSPs here, and some of them offer support groups.

facebook.com--For a more casual means of connecting with or hearing from other HSPs, you can find all sorts of HSP facebook groups. Just type in “highly sensitive” and see what all comes up. 

My Highly Sensitive Person Online Coaching Group 
12 weeks of online group video meetings plus homework to help you understand, appreciate, and embrace your sensitive nature while connecting with other HSPs, just like you. Starts 1/24/19, space is limited!

My Monthly HSP Support Group
For HSPs who have a solid understanding of their trait but are looking for support from other sensitive souls in the challenges that life can bring. Starts 2/7/19. 

I wish you all much support, love, and connection with other HSPs! 

Be well,
Ivy

Ivy Griffin, LMFT # 51714, Director
Thrive Therapy & Counseling
1614 X St., Suite A
Sacramento, CA 95818
916-287-3430