How to Help Highly Sensitive People

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Bognar, Eva
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The purpose of this capstone is to review the current literature on definitions of who a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is, what assessment measurements are currently available, what shared traits of a HSP with other mental issues exist, and if HSPs are a different group, and if there are different neuro-biological differences of an HSP. To begin, the background of this topic and a brief explanation of why this area is significant to me and how this research can benefit the counselling field is offered. In reviewing the current literature, the intent is to have a better understanding of an HSP and to propose best practices for therapy modalities for them. As a result, I could not find evidence for a precise definition, the best assessment measurement, and a clear understanding of whether there was a different neuro-biological trait of an HSP. However, based on the listed characteristics of an HSP, I suggested several therapeutic modalities that could help a highly sensitive client. These modalities were psychoeducation, person-centered therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, exposure therapy, resilience building, body-oriented therapies, art therapy, strength-based cognitive behavioral therapy, neurofeedback, and integrative therapeutic approaches. The result is that there needs to be more evidence to prove all of this. I hope, however, that this work will provide information on where the subsequent research studies could go in helping understand and treat HSPs.
highly sensitive person , sensory over-responsivity , sensory processing disorder , sensory processing sensitivity , highly sensitive person scale