The Highly Sensitive Person – CPD for Professionals

sensitiveboy-smallWould you like to be able to help more of those minority of people who could be the majority of your clients? It is not widely known that almost half of therapy clients have sensory processing sensitivity according to Dr Elaine N Aron. The NCHS is often running a CPD training for therapists, coaches, educators, social workers, health care professionals and others who work with highly sensitive clients. We will look at what sensory processing sensitivity is, how we can identify a client with this trait and ways of working that are effective and appropriate for this client group. All information is based on the seminal work of Dr Elaine Aron, renowned research psychologist and Jungian analyst.  Professionals attending this course can get a free entry to the HSP support directory on the NCHS website and also referrals from the NCHS, as many HSPs approach us to link them to professionals aware of the highly sensitive trait. You can find out more about this training (quality checked by the National Counselling Society) at our last CPD held for professionals. Please also consider forwarding details on this training to any professional or organisation that would benefit from understanding more about highly sensitive people.  ildiko_davisThis training day can be presented at your own venue, in most parts of the country, if there are at least 10 people attending. We would especially like to arrange this CPD in London, since this is where we receive most enquiries from clients looking for appropriate counsellors and other professionals. Please enquire more about this from Barbara Allen – Williams.

Written by Ildiko Davis (e-mail: ildiko.davis@yahoo.co.uk)
Advertisements

Time to Bounce Back

I hope the coming holidays will bring some much needed time for you to rest, recharge and bounce back with renewed energies and motivation in the coming year. This may be a good time to start contemplating ways to shape your lives to fit better your sensitive nature, and continue on your path of becoming a more authentic and empowered highly sensitive person. The world perhaps never needed more sensitive souls, who are willing to demonstrate more meaningful ways to live, than what is in the mainstream culture. And this can be especially important at this festive time of the year, which can easily overwhelm us all by its increasing demands.

Peter Messerschmidt’s recent article about overwhelm reminded me how important it is to recognise that our overwhelm is not just to do with us personally (ie. our highly sensitive nature), but our world itself seems to become more and more overwhelming. Ironically, in this age of information we seem to get more lost about where to find information that is trustworthy and meaningful, and how to limit it to a digestible amount. Technological advances also seem to create more frustrations and sap away more of our time then ever, instead of making our lives easier. The world of politics appears to be in a turmoil, producing some unexpected events in 2016 that shocked a lot of caring sensitive people. This raises some big questions for all HSPs regarding how to protect our sensitivity from external issues like these, without completely isolating ourselves from the world.

justletgoIt can be helpful to remind ourselves that our biology, such as our highly sensitive nervous system, has not been able to change as fast as the external world has been changing around us. This means that adapting to our rapidly transforming environment is becoming increasingly challenging. But perhaps this is not such a bad thing. A Krishnamurti quote comes to mind about this:“It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” At times the main issue is not how to get to somewhere, but to know where is worth going to. Keeping our priorities right can be our saviour, whenever we have to find ways to cope with too much. Bearing in mind what are our essential needs, and what are just desires influenced by the messages received from the outside world, can be what saves us from wasting our limited time and energy on things that ultimately won’t matter. Learning more about the basic facts about your highly sensitive trait can help you to see what are essential needs for you as an HSP, and give you ideas about how to create a life that fits your sensitive nature better.

Most people – but HSPs especially – can also benefit from dedicating some time to inner contemplation  – away from the noise of the world. This can bring you much needed clarity about what matters to you the most and steps you can take right now towards those goals. You may have noticed that the HSP newsletter I have been editing has been more sporadic than usual in the past year. The main reason for this was that my own contemplation about ways forward lead me to decide to go for a long sabbatical abroad, which has been a mighty undertaking. As probably many of you, I have been finding that modern life has been making increasingly severe demands on my time and energies and felt that a drastic re-balancing was needed to get out of what felt like constant fire-fighting mode, and start honouring truly my sensitive nature. So, I am writing this issue from outside of the UK, in more peaceful surroundings, where I have been recharging slowly for some time now. Giving myself ‘time-out’ is not just about resting however – it is also time for looking at the big picture instead of getting lost in the daily grind. It is about actively reflecting on my life and anything that I could change to make it better for me. I know that going on a long sabbatical is not a solution that can work for most of you. I am hoping however, that writing about this can motivate you to direct your energies towards pondering on what is truly essential for you and what are the things that you can let go or at least park for a while. Any bit of extra time you can give yourself for this will pay you back multi-fold, more than you ever thought possible.

In my own quest to create time to focus on what is essential, I had to let go some commitments that were dear to me – such as organising HSP Meetups in Brighton – which was not easy. Luckily some lovely HSPs stepped in to continue to organise some HSP events locally, and also the National Centre for High Sensitivity in the UK is organising HSP Parlours now that highly sensitive people can attend on-line. ildiko_davis(If you are interested in attending this, it happens via an application called ZOOM , which is very similar to Skype and you can read more about using it here.) Never forget that it is not just solitude that can help sensitive people to bounce back, but also meaningful contact with kindred spirits, who understand and care. I hope this new way to talk about your sensitive trait with other HSPs will allow more of you to benefit from learning from each other on your journey and encourage you to accept and embrace your sensitivity more. I  also hope that 2017 will be a year when many highly sensitive people will find their own unique ways to overcome overwhelm and start living the kind of life that works for us.

Article written by Ildiko Davis (e-mail: ildiko.davis@yahoo.co.uk)

Introduction to Floating

HSP Pathways

 

HSP Pathways – May 2016

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

Carl Rogers

Living in a world dominated by sensory overload and ‘busyness’, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time necessary to enable our bodies and minds to return to their natural state of relaxation, particularly following a busy or stressful day, event or time in our lives.

I began to explore the world of ‘Floating’ after my physical and mental health began to suffer from working in a stressful job and studying and I remembered having read something in one of Elaine Aron’s newsletters ( http://www.hsperson.com/pages/2Nov10.htm ) about floatation tanks being helpful for HSP’s and stress and decided to investigate further.

Two and a half years and five or six floats later, I can say with absolute conviction that the one-hour experience of being able to ‘let go’ within the floatation tank is like having an intensive spa break. It enables the deep feeling of relaxation you feel after a power nap, loosened muscles felt after a lengthy massage and a mind free to wander without being tied up in knots that you feel after an extended break away. All this, within the privacy of your own suite and without the stress or discomfort that can sometimes be experienced when having a massage.

FloatingThe facility I went to in Kent
(Cornmill Health Centre) provided comprehensive written information about floating and on my first visit the helpful staff talked me through what to expect. I had my own private suite with a shower and although the float lasts an hour you can have the suite for 90 minutes. The float costs £25 (cheaper if you book in blocks of 5) and you have control over how much, if any, light you wish to keep within the floatation experience. I have experimented with different settings and find that it varies according to how I’m feeling on each occasion as to whether I want to have the space completely dark or with some gentle background light on.

To start with, I found it difficult to relax, however with each float I had, my body and mind became more accustomed to what to expect and now on entering the water and lying back, my body begins to relax much quicker and the ‘mental traffic’ fades away. As the water is highly salted your body is fully supported and you do not actively need to do anything to remain afloat. The water itself is shallow (approx. 25cm) and you can use a neck pillow for additional comfort if you prefer.

The facility I visit provides what I would call more of a ‘personalised floatation pool’ which is tall enough to stand up in and although I’m nearly 6 feet tall there is enough space lying flat to do an extended star stretch and just about reach the all 4 corners of the pool! I have not tried what might be called flotation pods or tanks you have to climb into and lie flat as I enjoy the space of the flotation pool and the opportunity to move around. However, there does not appear to be an industry standard, so it would be worth checking out what facilities exist within your local area if you are thinking of trying it out. Some flotation ‘pods’ may not be suitable for people who dislike being in confined spaces.

Experiencing floating has provided me with an addition to my ‘HSP self-care toolkit’ and although I do not have the opportunity to go on a regular basis, I find that going as and when I feel in need of some more intensive relaxation provides the opportunity for some valuable ‘me’ time and the chance to literally let the stress and tension from daily life melt away.

Article written by Liz Fraser (e-mail: HSPpathways@outlook.com)