Featured Articles

  • Marti Olsen Laney on Introversion Advantages

    Marti Olsen Laney on Introversion Advantages

    Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., M.F.T., is an author, researcher, speaker, educator, psychotherapist and an authority on introversion. On her site: MartiLaney.com she lists : Top 10 Advantages Introverts Possess: 10) Work Well With Others, Especially In One-to-One Relationships 9) Maintain Long-Term Friendships 8) Flexible 7) Independent 6) Strong Ability To Concentrate 5) Self-Reflective 4) Responsible […]

  • Judith Orloff M.D. on "energy vampires"

    Judith Orloff M.D. on “energy vampires”

    The image is Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman in the movie Dracula (1992). The book Meeting the Shadow declares, “Bram Stoker’s ‘Count Dracula’ [is] but a recent instance of this genre. Tales of vampires and werewolves have probably always been with us.” Aside from the dramatic mythology, psychiatrist and energy specialist Judith Orloff M.D. says […]

  • What is our rush? Freeing yourself from pressure.

    What is our rush? Freeing yourself from pressure.

    “It is also good every so often to go away and relax a little for when you come back to your work your judgment will be better, since to remain constantly at work causes you to deceive yourself.” Leonardo da Vinci This need to “get away” from work and other people, even our own overactive […]

  • Highly Sensitive People and Depression

    Highly Sensitive People and Depression

    Psychologist Susan Meindl writes: Highly sensitive people…have nervous systems and minds which permit more stimulation to enter without automatically and unconsciously shutting it out, and further, that they then cognitively process the stimulation that they receive in more detail than others do. Stimulation comes in on all sensory channels: sights, sounds, smells, vibrations, touch. HSP’s […]

  • High Sensitivity and Addiction

    High Sensitivity and Addiction

    Writer Pearl Buck famously commented, “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.” I don’t agree that being highly sensitive makes us “inhuman” in any sense, but the trait can bring with it emotional challenges. A number of highly sensitive and creative people have […]

  • Highly Sensitive and Living With Social Anxiety

    Highly Sensitive and Living With Social Anxiety

    Shyness, social anxiety, social phobia – one of the problems in using these labels about ourselves is they are often too unspecific and relative: shy compared with whom? How anxious, for how long, in what situations? Many people avoid crowds or social contacts that are too anxiety producing. But if this kind of social anxiety […]


Programs for Introverts and Highly Sensitive People

Programs for Introverts and Highly Sensitive People

Programs to “encourage, inspire, and equip other introverted and Highly Sensitive People.” (To quote Andy Mort of Sheep Dressed Like Wolves, below). See bottom of page for links to other resource pages for books, articles and more sites. This painting is “Mindfulness” by Erika Pochybova-Johnson – a depiction, it seems to me, of the rich […]

Different Personality Styles to Deal with a High Sensitivity Personality

Different Personality Styles to Deal with a High Sensitivity Personality

Dealing with sensitivity The photo is Christina Ricci as Wednesday in “Addams Family Values” (1993), which also featured David Krumholtz [later in the tv series “Numb3rs”] as a rather stereotypical highly sensitive kid, repressed and using an inhaler to cope with asthma. But Wednesday may represent another sort of coping with high sensitivity: responding to […]

Relationships and Highly Sensitive People

Relationships and Highly Sensitive People

Everyone can have difficulties with friendships and romance, but being highly sensitive may include additional challenges. Elaine N. Aron, PhD, in an interview about her book The Highly Sensitive Person In Love, said people with more sensitive and excitable constitutions and personalities “need help with intimacy.” She explains: “Maybe we are afraid, have been hurt, […]

Genes and the startle response and high sensitivity

Genes and the startle response and high sensitivity

One aspect of a highly sensitive nervous system can be a strong startle response or startle reflex, which can be related to a vulnerability to anxiety. Among the items in the Self-Test for sensitivity by Dr. Elaine Aron is “I startle easily.” In an edition of her Comfort Zone newsletter titled The Benefits of Being […]

Counselor Rue Hass on using EFT to help highly sensitive people celebrate their positive qualities

Counselor Rue Hass on using EFT to help highly sensitive people celebrate their positive qualities

Rue Hass, M.A. is a counselor and Intuitive Mentor – and a Highly Sensitive Person. An EFT Master therapist, she uses Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) with a variety of clients, including HSP individuals to “help them see what they and others might view as a ‘flaw’ as a ‘blessing’ or gift.” A blog post on […]

Erika Harris on moving beyond "coping" or "surviving"

Erika Harris on moving beyond “coping” or “surviving”

In her ebook “You’ve Got Nerve!” An Empowerment Toolkit for Highly Sensitive People, Erika Harris wrote, “Yes of course, we must first master HSP basics like self-care, energy-management, boundaries and joyful work. “And while I will certainly help you with those things in each celebration, those concerns are starting-points because we are destined for quite […]

Actors and High Sensitivity

Actors and High Sensitivity

“Most actors are highly sensitive people.”  Nicole Kidman Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted, usually more one way than the other. Many actors and performers identify themselves as “shy” and may have the personality trait of high sensitivity. Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD notes highly sensitive people (HSPs) are often called “shy” – but, […]

Gifts and challenges of being highly sensitive

Gifts and challenges of being highly sensitive

Therese Borchard of Beliefnet interviewed me about the trait; her article [on Beliefnet] is titled 5 Gifts of Being Highly Sensitive and 5 Curses. She also published it for her Huffington Post column with the title 5 Gifts of Being Highly Sensitive – which has over 100 comments. Here are her two questions, and my […]

The shy personality and two kinds of social phobia

The shy personality and two kinds of social phobia

By Bertil Hjert — “There are two different types of social phobia. The first is generalized, where anything and everything in the way of social interaction has the potential to send your nerves into overdrive. “People who are only afraid of a few or a particular type of social interaction have non-generalized or specific social […]

Better At Noticing Subtle Details

Better At Noticing Subtle Details

Photorealist painting is one form of creative expression that demands a high degree of technical prowess and attention to detail. The image is Tom’s Diner, 1993, a watercolor by Ralph Goings – from the book Photorealism at the Millennium, by Louis K. Meisel, Linda Chase. A CNN article on sensory processing sensitivity – more commonly […]

Jenna Forrest on having a sensitive childhood

Jenna Forrest on having a sensitive childhood

A number of people claim to have had an idyllic or happy early life, the sort evoked by this photo: “The Walk to Paradise Garden” [1946] by W. Eugene Smith. But for many of us who have been highly sensitive all our lives, or had especially challenging experiences as children, that image does not feel […]

Are you drowning in a sea of sensitivity? It's time to walk on water

Are you drowning in a sea of sensitivity? It’s time to walk on water

By Ane Axford, MS, LFMT I have often heard an analogy in the psychology field that creative geniuses and those who experience mental disorder are in the same water. The difference is that one is swimming and the other is drowning. Let’s talk about this water. These fluid, intangible, ever-changing emotions. Sensations. All that arises […]

Creativity in solitude - Ani DiFranco and others

Creativity in solitude – Ani DiFranco and others

Musician Ani DiFranco produced her album, “Educated Guess,” entirely on her own. An interviewer asked, “Your approach, your energy on the current tour and on the new album seem different. Why is that?” DiFranco: “The difference is solitude. I have it in my life now…” In a new Psychology Today article, the author writes about […]

Highly Sensitive Personality and Creativity

Highly Sensitive Personality and Creativity

By guest author Lisa A. Riley, LMFT, Creativity Coach Throughout my practice, I have encountered a connection between highly sensitive people and their own creative impulses. This characteristic does not discriminate between painter, actor, or musician—they all appear to have one thing in common: they experience the world differently than the average individual. Creatives often […]

Jenna Forrest on empowering sensitivity and relieving anxiety

Jenna Forrest on empowering sensitivity and relieving anxiety

Jenna Forrest is a coach who offers “energy healing, intuitive coaching and spiritual apprenticeships to help sensitives experience inner peace, higher consciousness, and life transformation” and writes in her memoir Help Is On Its Way about growing up with the trait of high sensitivity. In our podcast interview, she talks about empowering and transcending sensitivity. […]

Winona Ryder: "Maybe I'm too sensitive for this world."

Winona Ryder: “Maybe I’m too sensitive for this world.”

Winona Ryder starred in the film based on Susanna Kaysen‘s novel Girl, Interrupted, and thinks Kaysen “captures a mood we’ve all experienced. “It’s like a reflective time we’ve all had in our lives, whether to kill ourselves, whether to be miserable or move on. You go through spells where you feel that maybe you’re too […]

Hypervigilance and Highly Sensitive People

Hypervigilance and Highly Sensitive People

The idea of the “sensitive artist” may be a cliche, but still basically true. Sometimes high sensitivity may be based on difficult or hurtful situations. Ashley Judd says she was a “hypervigilant child.” To fuel creative expression requires that we have an ability to be in touch with internal and external feelings and sensations. As […]

Marie Forleo and Ane Axford About Being A Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Marie Forleo and Ane Axford About Being A Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Ane Axford, MS, LMFT (she pronounces it like “Annie”) notes: “I am a highly sensitive person, who is also high sensation seeking, introverted, a licensed mental health and relationship therapist who specializes in working with highly sensitive persons.” In her interview podcast “On HSPs as Entrepreneurs with Marie Forleo,” Ane and Marie talk about being, […]

Sarah Dolliver on better boundaries for inner-directed individuals

Sarah Dolliver on better boundaries for inner-directed individuals

Sarah Dolliver is the Founder of InnerVantage, the “online community for inner-directed individuals (those who focus inward to restore).” [Apparently no longer online.] In her article Build Better Boundaries, she writes: * Have you ever agreed to do something that you knew you would rather not do? * Have you not given yourself enough time […]

Elaine Aron

Elaine Aron on the trait of high sensitivity

“I know ALL HSPs are creative, by definition. Many have squashed their creativity because of their low self-esteem; many more had it squashed for them, before they could ever know about. But we all have it…” – Elaine Aron Video: Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., summarizes the trait of high sensitivity: ~ ~ See more videos, […]

Relationships for highly sensitive people

Relationships for highly sensitive people

Interactions with others and just being in social situations can be challenging for those of us who are highly sensitive. Although sensitivity is not the same thing, it often goes along with introversion or even shyness. [See my post: Shyness, Introversion, Sensitivity – What’s the Difference?] Actor Scarlett Johansson has commented: “I think I was […]

Video: The Highly Sensitive Person by Therese J. Borchard

Video: The Highly Sensitive Person by Therese J. Borchard

“Do you get overwhelmed easily? You could be one of the lucky highly sensitive persons living in an overwhelming world.” Therese J. Borchard is the author of the blog “Beyond Blue” on Beliefnet.com, which is featured regularly on The Huffington Post and was voted by PsychCentral.com as one of the top 10 depression blogs. Also […]

Cheryl Richardson on Protecting Our High Sensitivity

Cheryl Richardson on Protecting Our High Sensitivity

Express your blessed creativity “The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able you’ll be to fully and joyfully express your blessed creativity. “That’s when your art becomes more and more successful in the world. It begins with treating yourself with love, respect, kindness, and compassion. “If you’d […]

Director Ang Lee: The Artist, The Introvert

Director Ang Lee: The Artist, The Introvert

“He is so sensitive and the way he directs you is so silent.” Director Ang Lee recently won his second Academy Award for “Life of Pi” (his first was for “Brokeback Mountain”). Actor Adil Hussain, one of the stars of “Pi” described how the Taiwanese filmmaker works. He commented that Lee is “so sensitive and the […]