Therapy For Sensory Processing Sensitive Individuals
This is not a diagnosis, it this is a personality type type of personality and about 20% of the population would fits into this personality description.
According to Dr. Elaine Aron you may be sensory processing sensitive if you:
- Are you easily overwhelmed by such things like as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
- Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
- Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
- Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
- Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
- Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
- Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
When you were a child, would have been described by did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?
What to know about SPSIs
Your personality trait is normal. It is found in 15 to 20% of the population–too many to be a disorder, but not enough to be well understood by the majority.
It is innate. In fact, biologists have found it in over 100 species (and probably there are many more) from fruit flies, birds, and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. This personality trait reflects a certain type of survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of Sensory Processing Sensitive Individuals (SPSIs) actually work a little differently than others.
You are more aware than others of subtleties. This is mainly because your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. So even if you wear glasses, for example, you see more than others by noticing more.
You are also more easily overwhelmed. If you notice everything, you are naturally going to be overstimulated when things are too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time.
This personality trait is not a new discovery, but it has been misunderstood. Because SPSIs prefer to look before entering new situations, they are often called “shy.” But shyness is learned, not innate. In fact, 30% of SPSIs are extroverts, although the trait is often mislabeled as introversion. It has also been called inhibitedness, fearfulness, or neuroticism. Some SPSIs behave in these ways, but it is not innate to do so and not the basic trait.
Sensitivity is valued differently in different cultures. In cultures where it is not valued, SPSIs tend to have low self-esteem. They are told “don’t be so sensitive” which can lead to them so that they feeling abnormal.
Rest assured you are definitely not alone.
How to determine if your Child is Sensory Processing Sensitive Individual:
Ask yourself – does my child:
- startle easily
- complain about scratchy clothing, seams in socks, or labels against his/her skin.
- doesn’t usually enjoy big surprises
- learns better from a gentle correction than strong punishment
- seems to read my mind
- uses big words for his/her age
- notices the slightest unusual odor
- has a clever sense of humor
- seems very intuitive
- is hard to get to sleep after an exciting day
- doesn’t do well with big changes
- wants to change clothes if wet or sandy
- asks lots of questions
- is a perfectionist
- notices the distress of others
- prefers quiet play
- asks deep, thought-provoking questions
- is very sensitive to pain
- is bothered by noisy places
- notices subtleties (something that’s been moved, a change in a person’s appearance, etc.)
- consider if it is safe before climbing high
- performs best when strangers aren’t present
- feels things deeply.
If you answered true to 13 or more of the questions, your child is probably highly sensitive. But no psychological test is so accurate that you should base how you treat your child on it. If only one or two questions are true of your child, but they are extremely true, you might also be justified in calling your child highly sensitive.
The contents of the self-tests it contains are not meant to diagnose or exclude the diagnosis of any condition.
For individuals who those that fit the SPS is description, when they need or want to access therapy, working with a therapist who is familiar with sensory processing sensitivity can be key to having a positive therapy experience.
As mentioned on SPSIerson site – Liane Wood is a Recommended Practitioner you can should consider consulting when it comes to workdealing with Sensory Processing Sensitive personality traits Individuals in Therapy.
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