Jenna Avery, CLC, MCP, MLA Creative Vision & Life Purpose Breakthrough Coach Sensitive Living Expert


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Following are some of the books I have greatly enjoyed and highly recommend for clients. The links provided connect with  If you purchase a book through my site, I will receive a small commission for it.

Understanding Your Sensitivity
Support Skills
Self-Development & Expansion

Thriving at Work
Raising Sensitive Children and Teens
Books on the Enneagram

Understanding Your Sensitivity

coverThe Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine M. Aron, Ph. D.

An excellent book pioneering the concept that Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) are NORMAL and play a crucial role in our society.  My rating: 


coverThe Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You
by Elaine M. Aron, Ph. D.

This book elaborates on the concepts put forth in Aron's first book, and draws attention to the opportunities and challenges of being an HSP in love.  She also provides even more insight into the trait of sensitivity, particularly by explaining how some HSPs are also "High Sensation Seekers," which can add an additional layer of complexity for HSPs. (Begin simultaneously sensitive to stimulation and easily overwhelmed by it makes for quite a narrow range of optimal stimulation!). 
My rating: 

The Sensitive Person's Survival Guide: An Alternative Health Answer to Emotional Sensitivity & Depression
by Kyra Mesich, Psy.D.

This mini-book (110 pages) makes a more direct connection to the empathic and psychic abilities often displayed by Highly Sensitive Souls than Elaine Aron’s ”The Highly Sensitive Person,” which walks a more mainstream path. Dr. Mesich believes that distorted empathic ability is at the root of the “less desirable traits” of being Highly Sensitive, including feeling “easily hurt and overwhelmed, a prevalence of negative emotions, depression and anxiety, and stimulus overload.” She also identifies what she considers to be the “more desirable traits,” including being emotionally self-aware, empathically able to understand other’s emotions, deep appreciators of art, and often artistic. She makes two key recommendations for balancing one’s empathic abilities, including flower essences, visualization and meditation.  Also visit Dr. Mesich's website for more information at
My rating: 

Appreciating the Trait of High Sensitivity: Learn to Thrive in a Not-So-Sensitive World (audio tape) by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.  Dr. Aron continues to shed light on critical aspects of sensitivity.  This tape clarified and highlighted several key points for me, including:

  • HSPs have merely a "lower threshold" for stimulation that others; it's not that we dislike ALL stimulation.  For example, an 8 for me on a scale of 0-10 might be a 4 for a non-HSP.  We're just different!

  • HSP's have a "spiritual talent" - most will answer yes when asked, "would you be willing to sit at the beside of dying stranger and comfort them?"

  • Water is a powerful tool for dealing with stress and pollutants - whether drinking it, bathing in it, or being near it - even washing dishes in it!!
  • Finding ways to put our sensitivity to use is one of our most significant challenges.
    My rating: 

  • coverThe Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.

    Laney goes into some detail about the differences in brain function between introverts and extroverts, and explains (*finally*) that introverts (or "innies," as she calls them) have to access long-term memory to retrieve vocabulary words when speaking out loud. This is why introverts often feel tongue-tied in social or other verbal situations. Laney points out that introverts can often feel as though they have no idea what they like to do or even what they know about a particular subject until they can access their long-term memory. She also makes a distinction between HSPs and introverts, clarifying that the discerning trait of the HSP is our heightened perceptive ability, or sixth sense.   Later chapters of the book focus on some practical techniques for “navigating the extroverted waters,” which include some simple suggestions for getting by in this world we live in, along with some ways introverts can learn to “extrovert” a bit too.  My rating: 

    coverToo Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World by Sharon Heller defines sensory defensiveness as a "condition," with the primary symptom being the result of having a nervous system that is "overly sensitive to sensation." This may or may not be the same as being Highly Sensitive. She makes a number of recommendations for coping with sensory defensiveness that include modalities such as "heavy work" (essentially intense physical exercise), a special skin brushing technique and other skin stimulation activities, light therapy, essential oils, diet modification, breathing techniques, a variety of hands-on therapy including cranio-sacral therapy, traeger body work, movement therapies, yoga, martial arts & qi gong, and meditation. Buyer beware, however, this book definitely takes a more "negative" look at many characteristics of high sensitivity and is somewhat esoteric in its approach.  My rating: 

    Are You Really Too Sensitive?: How to Develop and Understand Your Sensitivity as the Strength It Is by Marcy Calhoun looks at a much less mainstream perspective on sensitivity, and is useful at supporting one to tune into guidance.  My rating: 

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    heart's desireCreating Your Heart’s Desire

    Connecting with Sonia
    If you want to find out more about Sonia, seeing her in person is absolutely fantastic. You will leave feeling inspired and uplifted! She also hosts a weekly radio show on I also recommend exploring her website and her wonderful books and audio CDs, including:

    psychic pathwayThe Psychic Pathway: A Workbook for Awakening the Voice of Your Soul

    The Wise Child: A Spiritual Guide to Nurturing Your Child’s Intuition

    trust your vibesTrust Your Vibes: Secret Tools for Six Sensory Living True Balance: A Commonsense Guide for Renewing Your Spirit

    Support Skills

    True Balance: A Commonsense Guide for Renewing Your Spirit by Sonia Choquette

    An excellent self-care book that doubles as a guide to balancing your chakras with practical, everyday techniques. Also visit her website for more information at
    My rating: 

    cover The Procrastinator's Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now by Rita Emmett

    A terrific little book that explains lots of little tricks to overcome procrastination.  An excellent read for HSPs of the world!  Many of us procrastinate because we are perfectionistic, and this book offers great tips for working with that!  
    My rating: 

    The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World by Ted Zeff, Ph.D.

    I found Ted Zeff's book to contain a number of insightful, useful, and carefully considered strategies for getting by in a not-so-sensitive world.

    He offers practical solutions to HSP challenges throughout, and addresses specific issues in a Q&A style in the last chapter. He also brings new information about insomnia and ayurvedic medicine to the table. I greatly appreciated his incorporation of Eastern spiritual principles and self-healing methodologies. Zeff has synthesized a range of experience, knowledge, and study into a comprehensive, clear, and accessible guide to life as an HSP.
    My rating: 
         Visit Dr. Zeff’s website for more information.

    Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life: How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect and Happiness
    by Karen Rauch Carter

    This is one of my favorite books on Feng Shui; it is funny, clever, and easy to use. 

    My rating: 

    The Art of Doing Nothing : Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself by Veronique Vienne, photographs by Erica Lennard

    A wonderful little book that reminds us how important it is to take time out and rejuvenate in simple, yet profound, ways.  Reading it IS taking time out - it's a deep breath of connection to yourself.  Enjoy it! 
    My rating: 

    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

    My rating: 


    First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy by Stephen R. Covey

    My rating: 


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    Self-Development & expansion

    coverThe Artist's Way: A Spiritual Guide to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron 

    This book played a key role in my own career transition. The morning pages alone brought such clarity and such freedom to my life! I highly recommend this book to ANYONE seeking more clarity about their own lives and their own creative process (artistic or otherwise), whether they consider themselves to be an "artist" or not.
    My rating: 

    The Psychic Pathway: A Workbook for Reawakening the Voice of Your Soul by Sonia Choquette

    Sonia Choquette's work on developing your intuition is grounded, practical, and fun. She offers great techniques and helpful information for learning to work in concert with your inner voice.  Also visit her website for more information at
    My rating: 


    Empowered by Empathy: 25 Ways to Fly in Spirit by Rose Rosetree. 

    I'm currently reading this book - stay tuned for a review. So far I can highly recommend it.

    My rating:  not yet available.


    Energetic Boundaries: Practical Protection and Renewal Skills for Healers, Therapists, and Sensitive People by Karla McLaren

    This six CD set includes some intriguing skills for creating "energetic boundaries" - in other words, strengthening your aura and improving your grounding and centering skills.  While I like McLaren's work in general, I find Sonia Choquette's work (see above) to be better grounded and accessible. 
    My rating: 

    Becoming An Empath: How to Develop the Power of Your Emotional Intuition by Karla McLaren. 

    In this audio set, McLaren gives instruction on how to understand the "messages" that emotions carry, and how to manage and develop your empathic skills. 
    My rating: 

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    Thriving At Work

    Trust Your Vibes at Work, And Let Them Work For You
    by Sonia Choquette

    Sonia does it again with a book filled with strategies to bring your intuition to work. Her techniques are deceptively simple, but profound when studied closely. A must read for sensitives souls, whether self-employed or working in the mainstream world of work.

    My rating: 


    Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person
    by Barrie S. Jaeger

    An excellent yet challenging read - for me because it evoked difficult memories of past work experiences. This book reinforces the fundamental importance of meaningful work for Highly Sensitive Souls. We’re not the sorts of creatures who can “get by” in careers that don’t respect our sensitivity or feed our souls. Jaeger's simple yet telling concept of “psychic income” impressed me. She highlights the importance of balancing the monetary and intangible incomes we get from our work – the satisfaction. She also illustrates the concepts of “drudgery,” the slippery slope of untenable work; “craft,” a middle ground that can be more sustainable; and “calling,” where our work aligns with our sensitivity, values, and gifts, and we are adequately compensated both financially and psychically. It’s a dream to strive for.
    My rating: 

    cover Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger

    Do What You Are lends terrific insight into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as it relates to work and career questions. I have found it particularly helpful in giving guidelines for preferred work environments for different temperaments.
    My rating: 

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    Raising Highly Sensitive Children

    The Wise Child: A Spiritual Guide to Nurturing Your Child's Intuition by Sonia Choquette

    I LOVED this book.  Sonia hits the nail on the head with parenting for sensitive, intuitive children.  This is a must-read for parents who want to teach their children to trust themselves and honor their intuition and spiritual selves in their daily lives.  She gives practical, grounding suggestions for making intuitive living real.
    My rating: 

    The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them
    by Elaine Aron, Ph.D.

    This book contains excellent insights into childhood as a sensitive soul. I highly recommend this book for all sensitive people, parents or not. You will learn a lot about how to "parent" yourself now. Dr. Aron gives very useful, practical advice for helping highly sensitive children find their way the in the world, from early years to young adulthood.
    My rating: 

    coverKnow Your Parenting Personality:  How to Use the Enneagram to Become the Best Parent You Can Be by Janet Levine

    Although this book is focused on parenting, I also found it to be an extremely useful guide to a deeper understanding of the Enneagram.  Levine suggests many helpful strategies for working with innate personality traits.  My rating: 

    cover Life Strategies for Teens by Jay McGraw

    Based on the structure of his father's Life Strategies book, McGraw cleverly narrates approaches for teens to get along better in life, in a way that doesn't talk down or preach.  It's fun, smart and useful. 
    My rating: 


    coverParent As Coach by Diana Haskins

    A small book devoted to some simple and yet crucial components of successfully relating to your teenager, based on the concept of coaching. Simple concepts, solid ideas.  For more information, please also visit Haskins' Parent As Coach website.  My rating: 

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    Books on the Enneagram

    coverPersonality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson

    A terrific overview book on the Enneagram.  I particularly enjoy this approach because it tends to focus a little less on the "negative" aspects of the types as some of the other books do.  It also incorporates the concept of "levels" which illustrates what each type is capable of at their best and worst. 
    My rating: 

    coverUnderstanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson

    This book delves further into detail on the passions and essential nature of each type, and also includes a lengthy discussion of misidentifications.  A great tool if you're having trouble distinguishing between the types.  My rating: 

    coverKnow Your Parenting Personality:  How to Use the Enneagram to Become the Best Parent You Can Be by Janet Levine

    Although this book is focused on parenting, I also found it to be an extremely useful guide to a deeper understanding of the Enneagram.  Levine suggests many helpful strategies for working with innate personality traits.  My rating: 

    Jenna Avery, CLC, MCP, MLA
    2721 Shattuck Avenue, #245, Berkeley, California, 94705
    tel: (510) 984-3474
    Please contact me on my new website here.
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