Endings, Changes and New Beginnings

Update from Barbara Allen

It’s been a while since I have updated everyone on the National Centre for High Sensitivity. I have been recovering from exhaustion the last couple of years and therefore had to take steps to limit my workload. We had been working for some time on finding funding that might help expand and underpin the work of the National Centre, however, in combination with other stresses, it became too long a haul in the end for me to be able to see it through. So I made the decision in 2019 to close the National Centre and this has now happened. The website will close shortly in the next couple of weeks, its been left up for a while in case people want to copy any information or resources. We have transferred the HSP Support Directory to this blog, you will find it at: https://nchsnews.wordpress.com/hsp-support-directory/

Even though the National Centre is closing, I think the work involved so far has ensured that high sensitivity has a higher profile than it used to. Ildiko Davis has stepped up to continue the Meetup.com site that we used to promote some of our UK HSP events and she is planning to continue to write for you the HSP News (the ex. newsletter of the NCHS). The Growing Unlimited HSP Hampshire Meetup that I run is still continuing and I will add events to the calendar as and when I am able to. I’m currently offering a fortnightly one-hour opportunity for HSPs to commune online. Most events are happening online now as you know. There are also now many HSP colleagues who are offering HSP events and opportunities for growth and development throughout the UK, for which I am grateful, so do continue to google for these events and join in when you get a chance

In the background in recent months, I have been part of a founding group of experienced HSP professionals, the International Consultants on High Sensitivity, (members of this group are listed on Dr Aron’s website as speakers). This has developed out of a group who attended training in the USA with Dr Elaine Aron. Now that I am recovered, I am still practicing as an HSP Mentor, offering 1-1 support and also support to parents of HSCs. I am still training professionals, although I have tried to keep my practice part-time where possible. If you want to contact me, you can find me on my longstanding personal website at www.growingunlimited.co.uk. I am also still involved with various HSPs who are promoting and leading awareness of our trait ‘out there’ in the UK, Europe and USA. Sadly, due to Covid-19, the HSP Weekend Retreat Jacquelyn Strickland and I planned in Colorado, USA had to be cancelled, but we hope that one day we will be able to recommence this plan and also start planning for a joint event in the UK.

If any of you are interested in research and the science behind Sensory Processing Sensitivity, there is a new website called http://www.sensitivityresearch.com where leading researchers and scientists are listing projects and scientific articles and papers. This website has been created by Michael Pluess and his colleagues, a team of people in the UK who have been doing some important research around high sensitivity. If you are a practitioner or a researcher, you can become a member on the site, take a look, I’m sure there will be something of interest for everyone.

Do keep me updated on what you are doing and if you need any input, let me know – I’ve met hundreds of HSPs through my work in recent years and often wonder how you are doing . The best email for contacting me is hspsensitive@icloud.com.

barbara_allen-wI’m currently taking my own advice and staying in, in a little bolt-hole in Cornwall that I obtained as part of my recovery plans. It has been amazing how much difference this has made to my wellbeing and has underlined once again, just how much quiet-time and contact with nature has the power to revive, re-focus and empower. I will leave you with couple of photos of my restful space above and send you all my warmest wishes for the future. In the meantime, I do wish you all the best in pursuing an authentic work and domestic life as highly sensitive people.

Warmest wishes, Barbara

Barbara Allen
Founder, Growing Unlimited Consultancy
& National Centre for High Sensitivity CIC
Article written by Barbara Allen (e-mail: accounts@hspsensitive.com)

HSP therapist research – would you like to participate?

Dear therapist(s),

Would you like to take part in research about the highly sensitive person (HSP)?!

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) undertaking research on the highly sensitive person (HSP), otherwise termed Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS). I am looking for individuals who self-identify as being HSP who are also therapists (e.g. counsellors, psychotherapists) to take part in an interview. I am interested in how being HSP impacts on your work with clients, particularly in terms of empathy and the therapeutic relationship. I identify with being HSP and I am also a qualified counsellor. The research has received ethical approval from the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at CCCU and adheres to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you are interested in taking part and/or would like further information please do get in touch with me elizabeth.roxburgh@canterbury.ac.uk and I can send you a copy of the participant information sheet/answer any queries you may have. Your insights on this fascinating topic would be much appreciated!

Best wishes,

Dr. Elizabeth Roxburgh
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

School of Psychology, Politics, and Sociology
Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
Canterbury Christ Church University