From Jacquelyn Strickland, LPC
Co-Founder with Dr. Elaine Aron of the Highly Sensitive People Gathering Retreats (since 2001):
Greetings dear Finnish HSPs,
I had the pleasure of meeting several of you at the 26th HSP Gathering Retreat held in Enköping, Sweden in April 2012. Since that time, it has been a pleasure to see how you have all come together to create an organization whose aim it is to continuing empowering and educating HSPs and others in your country. Due to social media and the internet, there has been an explosion of information about the HSP genetic trait, and as we know, much of it is not based on the scientific research by Dr. Elaine Aron. I hope the following short explanation will serve you as you continue the important work of sharing accurate information about our HSP trait …
With all the best HSP wishes,
Jacquelyn Strickland, LPC
Fort Collins, Colorado USA
Sensory Processing Sensitivity (HSP) it is not a syndrome, it is not a disorder, it is not a diagnosis. Just as having blue or brown eyes is not a syndrome, disorder or diagnosis. It is also NOT Sensory Processing (Integration) Disorder, it is not Hyperacusis, it is not Soft Sound Sensitivity, it is not on the Autism Spectrum.
Sensory Processing Sensitivity is a genetic, innate and neutral trait that can be greatly affected by environmental stimuli - both positive and negative. And yes, it's true - the more negative the environment, the more likely an HSP might suffer from depression or anxiety. However, the HSP trait in and of itself does not cause depression or anxiety.
One of the major things HSPs must do besides get extremely grounded and knowledgeable about the HSP trait is: Heal from Past Wounds!!! For most of us, this took therapy to do properly. It was when my childhood wounds were healed that my HSP Self blossomed, soared and found delight in being sensitive. It was when I learned to set strong boundaries that I began to honor my true sensitive gifts. It was when I learned to "Be in this World, but Not Of It" that I knew what "thriving" was. (Romans 12:2)
It is also worth knowing that the ONLY four things ALL HSPs have in common are: D.O.E.S.
Depth of Processing
(This is from Elaine Aron's book: Psychotherapy and the HSP)
The ways in which these four things manifest for each individual are incredibly varied - and usually depends much upon one's family of origin (or culture) and the degree to which one's sensitivity was accepted, understood, managed or ridiculed.
Is being a Highly Sensitive Person easy? No, definitely not. But truly, Life Is Difficult for most everyone at one time or another. There is a way to be happy and authentic as an HSP. It takes work, support, knowledge, trial and error, to create your own unique HSP Owners’ Manual. I believe it takes work, support and knowledge for the non-HSP to be happy and authentic as well.
HSP Gathering Retreat in Germany 7 – 11 May 2015
The 29th HSP Gathering Retreat to be held about 1.5 hrs outside of Hamburg, Germany 7 - 11 May 2015. Elaine Aron will be joining us in person on Sunday 10 May. http://www.lifeworkshelp.com/hspgathering.htm
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Subscribe to HSP Highlights & Insights, an ezine newsletter from Jacquelyn Strickland, LPC. You will be kept up-to-date about the HSP Gathering Retreats and receive other information about Highly Sensitive People.
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With you on the journey, and with love,
Photo: Elaine Aron, Jacquelyn Strickland