Dear Sensitive Soul,

I hope you are having a lovely month. I'm publishing only a brief e-zine this month as a summer break. I hope you are enjoying your summer.

This month I'm answering a question about "hypersensitivity." Next month, look for more answers to questions from a shy librarian asking about public speaking, and some ideas about careers for sensitive souls.

I'll also be starting the next Phase I for my Embrace Your Essential Self Home-Study program in September. If you've been interested, please consider joining me for this round -- I'm not sure when I'll be offering Phase I again. You can sign up to receive announcements about the program, here.

I hope to have you join me!


Feature Article
Q & A: Am I hypersensitive?

I received this question recently. It is similar to many I receive, so I'm sharing my answer here:

Can a therapist or psychiatrist tell if I am hypersensitive? I have been told I am bipolar. I feel very sensitive to my environment. I also have anxious feelings all the time especially when I'm outdoors. How can I tell if I am hypersensitive? Thank you. ~ Gwen

Hi Gwen,

The best way to tell if you are highly sensitive is to take the "self-test" on Elaine Aron's website at Then, you might consider reading and bringing the book The Highly Sensitive Person and your test results when you meet with your therapist or psychiatrist. It seems that more and more therapists are becoming aware of the concept of high sensitivity, though not all are aware of it. Dr. Aron's book includes a page at the end of the book titled, "Tips for Health-Care Professionals Working With Highly Sensitive People" that may be helpful as well.

You've mentioned being bipolar and feeling anxious while outdoors. Since I'm not a therapist, I can't address those aspects of what you've mentioned. I encourage you to explore them and how they might relate to being highly sensitive with your therapist or psychiatrist.

I have also found that sometimes sensitive people push themselves to do things that aren't in alignment with their sensitive nature, which can make them more anxious then they might otherwise be. You might also want to explore this possibility with your therapist.

I also want to encourage you to shift your thinking from "hypersensitive" to "highly sensitive." To me, "hyper" sounds like "too much," which is more of a judgment, than "highly," which is more factual (like on a scale of high to low sensitivity). Thinking of being sensitive in a more neutral framework can be a helpful way to be more self-supportive.


Copyright August 2008, Jennifer K. Avery

For more articles like this one, see Jenna's Articles or her E-zine Archives online.

This article may be published on your website or in your e-zine as long as the copyright notice and this complete note are included:

Jenna Avery, the Life Coach for Sensitive Souls, offers an original coaching program designed to guide highly sensitive souls to a deep sense of inner rightness, so they are inspired to step forward and shine. You're invited to visit her website at to take her free online assessment, "Is Your Sensitivity Working For You?"

Spotlight on the Sensitive Professionals Network

The Sensitive Professionals Network provides a place where sensitive professionals can promote their services. It creates a place for sensitive people everywhere to find suitable and understanding professionals in a range of fields. Find out more here.

This fall we are planning a class on "Building a Business the Highly Sensitive Way." The class will be free for SPN members and available to non-members for a fee.


The Art of
Sensitive Living
August 2008

Web Site Resources

The Embrace Your
Essential Self

Online Assessment: Is Your Sensitivity Working For You?

Coaching Services

Discussion Board


Five-Star Products for Sensitive Souls


Recommended Reads


Calendar of Events

Centering for
Sensitive Souls

The Sensitive
Professionals Network


Notes: From time to time, I provide links or make recommendations about books and services I find useful. In some cases I earn commissions on these recommendations, such as from and Centerpointe; more often I do not.

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