from Elaine Aron
Dear Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
...or anyone raising a highly sensitive child (HSC),
Welcome. I'm Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and The Highly Sensitive Child, as well as The Highly Sensitive Person Workbook and The Highly Sensitive Person in Love, a book about how sensitivity affects our close relationships. I began researching high sensitivity in 1991 and continue to do research on it now, also calling it Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS, the trait's scientific term). I never planned to write any self-help books, but those who have this trait seem to gain a great deal from knowing about it.
Are you highly sensitive? You can find out by taking the self-test. This test, the result of empirical research on the trait, gives you a good sense of what high sensitivity is, as well. To see if your child is highly sensitive there is another checklist.
If you find you are highly sensitive, or your child is, you need to begin by knowing the following:
So again, welcome to this website. You are definitely not alone. For example, thousands of people have subscribed to the newsletter, Comfort Zone, offered here. If you want to know more about sensitivity, consider the follow ways to become more informed or to let others know more about you:
The original book, The Highly Sensitive Person, is a general introduction and covers every aspect of an HSP's life. (We're proud that it has sold a million copies world wide and has been translated into French, Dutch, Danish, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Korean and both forms of Chinese, and Korean--with very little publicity. It's all been word-of-mouth.)
The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook can be read and used alone, although its chapters parallel those in the first book. It further integrates your trait into your social, emotional, and work life. It helps you take better care of yourself and reframe your past. It also includes instructions for those who want to form a group of HSPs. The Workbook was previewed by HSPs to make it "user friendly," and they found it useful and thought-provoking.
In May 2000 The Highly Sensitive Person in Love was published, a blend of my lifelong research interest in close relationships and in HSPs. It's full of advice on how HSPs and non-HSPs can learn to live with their differences, as well as how a pair of HSPs can gain more from each other.
The Highly Sensitive Child was written in response to all those sensitive adults who say their childhoods were excruciatingly difficult, even when their parents had the best intentions, because no one knew how to raise them. Parents and teachers told them there were "too sensitive" or "too shy" or "too intense." HSCs have a tremendous amount to offer the world. But they do need special handling.
Comfort Zone began in 1996 as a newsletter strictly for HSPs. In the over 150 articles written since then, you will find topics as diverse as sensitive dogs and how to survive unemployment to Jungian psychology and the latest research on HSPs. From 1996 to 2004 it was printed and mailed out four times a year, for a fee. Back issues of these paper newsletters are available in the Store as long as they last. When you go to Comfort Zone you will finds a list of the contents of each issue. Choose the ones with articles that interest you, or order them all as a boxed set.
Since 2004 Comfort Zone has been a free online newsletter announced in your e-mailbox every February, May, August, and November. If you sign up to be on our mailing list (go to the bottom of any page), you will be notified when the next issue is available. Our archive of articles from these online issues keeps growing.
Answers to Your Questions
Questions about sensitivity? Most of the answers are in the Comfort Zone. For example there are articles on high sensitivity and children, noise, animals, dreams, travel, grief, work, autism, ADHD - really just about everything.
You can find answers by using the Google search tool at the top of this page, or the Comfort Zone page, and choose "HSPerson.com."
A 90-minute audio CD recorded in 2007 by Elaine Aron on Understanding the Trait of High Sensitivity. A good introduction for anyone. Has recent research and reinforces the information and positive attitudes gained from the book, but presented freshly.
Another CD, Thoughts on the Highly Sensitive Child, a blend of four different lectures by Dr. Aron. It does not substitute for reading The Highly Sensitive Child, but complements it nicely by providing better ways to think and talk about high sensitivity in children.
A video DVD, The Trait of High Sensitivity, Elaine Aron speaking to a group of about 20 HSPs for an afternoon. Begins with the entire self-test and has interviews with several HSPs. A lively presentation with many questions answered, from what to do about perfectionism and "is sensitivity the same as being psychic?" to "How can I be an HSP and love to drive fast?" Or "How can an HSP be an extravert?" Does not overlap with other books or audios.
The Highly Sensitive Person Unabridged Recorded Book by Elaine Aron and read with great verve by Shakespearean actress Barbara Caruso. A boxed set of 9 CDs (10 hours), each with tracks every 3 minutes for easy bookmarking. Great fun to listen to.
Anything purchased in the HSP store is signed by the author.