Highly sensitive person and proud of it

One of the tempting things to do when we find ourselves being labelled as 'over sensitive' is to be a people pleaser. It feels easier to go along with the person who is labelling you for fear of reinforcing the label. But deep down, it can feel like yet another setback.


How can counselling help?

This feeling of being defined by a label can apply to the relationship we have with our therapist as well as the therapeutic process itself.

As with any significant relationship, the therapeutic one needs to be large enough so that we feel safe and at ease with our own sensitivities, anxieties and worries. It may also need to start slowly. So, it can be a good idea to take some time before committing. Once therapy starts, appreciate that, on occasions, it will be hard work and uncomfortable at times.

Identifying emotions and feelings from a person from your past and transferring them (or not) onto your therapist is only one example of all kinds of inexplicable forces at work. At times like these, it can be useful to remind yourself that, in therapy, you are telling your unconscious mind that it is OK to express and reveal your thoughts and feelings.

Sometimes, therapy just gets too emotionally overwhelming and, if this happens, it is a good idea to have a discussion with your therapist about how this can be changed. Sometimes a break is needed. This can speed up your progress even if it appears to be slowing it down. Perhaps some sessions need to be calm, reflective and (dare I say it) superficial. After all, there is only so much intensity that highly sensitive people (HSPs) can take.

I believe that therapy is a collection of paths towards wisdom and wholeness - an opportunity to learn about our inner selves. I also believe that for a HSP who has had a troubled childhood, therapy is probably a key aspect to recovery.

Therapy can require working in depth. Others may feel lost in such a place but this is where the HSP feels most at home.

HSPs can travel through such terrain with their own thoughts and happily carry with them anything useful - books, courses, relationships, interests, words, music. Somehow they become companions with professionals and laypeople alike who they discover along their journey.

For the HSP, this is a special place that sometimes others cannot appreciate. Yet it can be a good place to be.

So, don't let society's attitudes keep you away from it. Stay with it even if it becomes the latest 'hot topic' or the butt of jokes. It's your escape as well as your safe place. Own it.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Walsall, Staffordshire, WS6
Written by Lyn Reed, MA,MBACP,Pro.Adv.Dip.PC, Pgd.Cert. in Supervision
Walsall, Staffordshire, WS6

I am a qualified and experienced counsellor/psychotherapist offering a professional and confidential service to those who want to improve their emotional well-being. Together we can work together to make sense of the world and your place within it. The future can be approached with renewed confidence, self-belief and inner strength.

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