Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? If so, this workbook is for you.
Do noise and confusion quickly overwhelm you? Do you have a rich inner life and intense dreams? Did parents or teachers call you "too shy" or "too sensitive"? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
High sensitivity is a trait shared by 20 percent of the population, according to Dr. Elaine Aron, a clinical psychologist and workshop leader and the bestselling author of The Highly Sensitive Person. The enormous response to her book led Dr. Aron to create The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook, designed to honor that long-ignored, trampled-on part of yourself--your sensitivity. A collection of exercises and activities for both individuals and groups, this workbook will help you identify the HSP trait in yourself, nurture the new, positive self-image you deserve, and create a fuller, richer life. You will be able to:
Identify your specific sensitivities with self-assessment tests
Reframe past experiences in a more positive light
Interpret dreams and relate them to your sensitivity
Cope with overarousal through relaxation, breathing, and visualization techniques
Describe your trait in a work interview or to an unsympathetic family member, new friend, doctor, or therapist
Can 1.2 billion exceptionally nervous nervous systems be wrong? No way, says depth psychologist Elaine Aron, bestselling author of The Highly Sensitive Person
. An HSP herself, Aron is also the reigning expert on the subject, and this workbook exists to make you a more helpful expert on yourself. It can be read in conjunction with her more narrative book--the chapter headings match--or without it. "You should use this workbook in any way you darn well please," says Aron in a typical free-yourself comment.
So what is an HSP? Aron thinks one-fifth of humanity is born with more finely tuned perceptions than the rest. In primitive times, HSPs were the first to spot the lion lurking in the bush, the last to shoot the arrow--and the likeliest to hit the lion in one shot. Later, HSPs became the tempering priestly advisors to the more aggressive warrior kings. To be an HSP is a challenge and an opportunity, she argues. This book contains self-tests to determine whether you're an HSP, and if so, which kind: introverted, extroverted, sensation seeking, and other plausible categories. Some HSPs yearn for "earlids" to shut out sound, for instance. There are plenty of blanks to fill in as you analyze your childhood, health concerns, work history, and psychic wounds, with plenty of guidance on how to do it--sample entries as intriguing as someone else's diary. If you've ever wished you could go back and retort to somebody who said something hurtful that made you speechless, Aron has the exercise to channel your resentment into insight. She gives a quick course in dream analysis (Freud couldn't outdo her job on a dream about The A-Team's Mr. T and a tiger), and rather boldly invites you to envision and prepare for your death. There's also a practical guide to setting up HSP discussion groups with enough structure to prevent fizzle and poor focus.