Are you a highly sensitive person? Do you have a highly sensitive person in your family? What are some things to be aware of when it comes to working with highly sensitive people?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Lisa Lewis about working with highly sensitive people and her podcast, Am I OK?
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With three certificates in energy healing and Level 2, Reiki certified, Lisa has gained extensive training in the mind-body connection. She also has the traditional training of a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and together she offers clients a holistic approach during sessions. Dedicated to her private practice and work in her community, Lisa sees patients in her Pasadena, California office, as well as virtually in online therapy or phone therapy.
She has a keen interest in helping those who struggle with issues related to being a highly sensitive person, as well as parents and individuals navigating through depression, anxiety, stress, or trauma. With over 20 years of education, training, and life experience, Lisa is well-equipped to help others in their healing and personal growth.
Get in touch with Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her for an initial consult at 626.319.5076.
In This Podcast
- What does it mean to be an HSP?
- Parenting a highly sensitive child
- Finding balance as an HSP
What does it mean to be an HSP?
An HSP, a highly sensitive person, is characterized by different traits:
- Someone who is deeply empathetic,
- Feeling emotions deeply and at an intensive level,
- Thinking deeply about various topics and can deep dive into topics,
- Highly sensitive people are sensorily sensitive: they are sensitive to loud sounds, bright lights, noise, crowds, very rich or spicy foods.
It’s not a mental disorder, it’s not a physical disorder, it’s actually a personality trait that you’re usually born with … a highly sensitive person is also known as sensory processing sensitivity and highly sensitive people make up about 20% of the population. (Lisa Lewis)
Highly sensitive people are attuned to subtleties and can easily pick up on the subtext of a situation, read someone’s expression or understand slight changes in the environment or in the person they are interacting with. This is different from being hyperaware.
Dr. Elaine Aron coined the acronym DOES that explain the HSP traits:
- D – depth of processing
- O – overstimulation
- E – emotional responsivity or empathy
- S – sensitivity to subtleties
Parenting a highly sensitive child
You do not need to label your child an HSP if it feels premature or unnecessary, however being aware of this can help you to be understanding of the situation, which is more important.
With an adult or a child, how to teach regulation if you suspect some high sensitivity:
- Working with a personal boundary: teach people and children about your emotional and energetic bubble.
- Learn what is comfortable for you in terms of your space, both physically and emotionally, and set that boundary with your loved ones,
It can be difficult in the beginning for an HSP, as a child or as an adult, to set up those boundaries because they may be concerned about being perceived as aggressive or standoffish. To get past these mindsets, you can try:
- Getting to know yourself and what you need.
- Recognize in yourself when you feel uncomfortable in a situation and understand what emotions you are feeling in that moment. Being aware of this mind-body connection can really help an HSP to understand what they need to do in order to equalize their emotions and return to their equilibrium.
Finding balance as an HSP
Highly sensitive people may sometimes feel like they are swinging back and forth between being withdrawn into themselves or being expansively empathetic and carrying everyone’s emotions.
It’s learning to navigate [that] maybe if I pull back a little bit of my energy that I can still be present with the person while they’re experiencing what they’re experiencing, it doesn’t mean I have to merge or I have to have that really deep empathy where it’s going to really affect me … it’s learning how to keep that boundary and really be present and grounded with yourself. (Lisa Lewis)
In order to maintain equilibrium and remain grounded in themselves, highly sensitive people need to find a balance between how much they give and how they nurture their own energy.
Because they so willingly and freely invest their time and energy into others without expecting any return, they can become resentful if they stay that course. Therefore, HSPs need to learn how to self-regulate and place boundaries around their energy so that they do not become depleted or burdened with things that are not theirs to carry.
It is also important that non-highly sensitive people and HSPs have a dialogue about what each person’s needs are so that each party can be welcomed and interacted with without someone giving or taking more than necessary.
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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