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LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapy for Identified Highly Sensitive People and Empaths in Agoura Hills, Los Angeles


It can be so intense to feel both internal and external worlds so deeply.

Because it makes you much more perceptive, your loved ones experience being very understood by you, you have things that you are uniquely amazing at, and you often catch what others around you miss. When sensitivity is channeled well, it can almost feel like a superpower.



But there are downsides. 

Your sensitivity is a beautiful thing and it contributes to your strengths.


  • Taking in all this information all the time means you are much more prone to being overwhelmed and overstimulated. 

  • You might find yourself feeling like you are holding it together all the time, and you often reach breaking points where all this emotion pours out. 

  • There are days when your internal battery is almost out and fighting to finish everything in the day feels so hard.

  • Because you notice intricacies, you might notice yourself being extremely picky when it comes to sensory or social experiences to try to get comfortable. 

  • And just constantly being in chaotic environments or seeing all that’s happening in the world just takes such a toll on your mental health.


Relationships with your loved ones can feel more tense, you are prone to a sense of burnout in everyday life, and your school and work tasks can seem like a larger mountain than they need to be. You might be reaching for distraction or self medication to not feel like such a jumbled mess of sensitivity. 

When your sensitive nervous system is not being taken care of and you start to notice experiences like these, it starts to effect everything else in your life. 

How HSP and Empath Affirmative Therapy Can Help

Let’s cut to the chase- the goal here is not to get rid of your sensitivity. It’s an amazing trait, and a trait that needs unique attention and care. We can help you get to a place that feels more like “sensitivity is a superpower” and less “why am I a jumbled sensitive mess all the time”. 


Together we can dive in to exactly how your HSP and/or Empath trait is bringing you hardship. We’ll dive into specific triggers that cause overwhelm and distress, and explore if there are any adjustments that can be made in your life that help you work WITH your sensitivity instead of AGAINST it. For triggering circumstances in your life that cannot be changed, we can come up with strategies to help take care of your sensitivity while navigating those situations.

After doing this work, you may start to notice…

  • The adjustments you made in your life help you feel more emotionally balanced

  • You’re better at anticipating what’s going to overstimulate or overwhelm you so you can plan accordingly

  • Some new boundaries in your life have brought a lot of relief

  • You are appreciating your sensitivity instead of judging yourself for having it

Let’s dive in together to see what your sensitivity needs to flourish.

book a free consultation →

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between Highly Sensitive People and Empaths?

Empaths and Highly Sensitive People are distinct from one another but have a very important trait in common: heightened sensitivity. This heightened sensitivity can be an absolutely beautiful experience, but also contribute to overwhelm, overstimulation, depression, among other mental health struggles. 

Let’s start with empaths. Empaths are individuals that have heightened sensitivity to the emotional states of others. This can feel like taking on the emotional experience of loved ones, the room that the individual is currently in, or even the state of the world when engaging with the media. While empaths can use this emotional sensitivity to do amazing things like deeply understanding the people around them and get inspired to go into helping professions, a huge struggle for empaths can be setting emotional boundaries with the people and world around them. When empaths are exposed to traumatic events including domestic violence, global issues like the pandemic, or social justice issues they feel connected to, the amount of pain that the empath is vicariously experiencing can be extremely burdensome to their nervous system.
 
Highly Sensitive People, aka HSPs, have heightened sensitivity to sensory input from all 5 senses. This can be a positive thing to experience sensory experiences in depth, but it can also lead to intense overwhelm and overstimulation when the sensory experience is not pleasant. Highly sensitive people can be experienced as highly perceptive and detail oriented in interacting with the world around them, and also having very particular sensory experiences that they gravitate to or avoid. 


While the empath and HSP experiences are distinct from one another, it is totally possible for a person to identify with both of them. 

How do I know if I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?

If you think you may be an HSP, here is a quiz from the researcher who coined the term:

https://hsperson.com/test/

This is not a test in the “pass / fail” sense. If you relate to anything on this questionnaire, we are happy to support you on your journey of self exploration and healing.


What’s the difference between Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) and Autism?

There is definitely some controversial takes with this topic in the neurodiversity community! In discussing HSPs, there is sometimes discourse about the overlap with Autism, since Autism also can include sensory difficulties. Some Autism advocates go as far to say that HSPs are just Autistic people who refuse to use the Autism label. While it’s true that HSPs and Autistic individuals can share some traits, the HSP trait and Autism are different mental health experiences.

A simple way to sum it up is that Autism can include a wide range of various differences in how one experiences sensory information and how one relates the the world on a social level. Autistic people and HSPs are likely to overlap with the sensory experiences, but not necessarily overlap with the other facets of Autism, such as different social experiences.

With that said, it’s totally possible that a person may first identify with the HSP experience, and later realize that they actually do meet criteria for a full Autism diagnosis.

Regardless of labels, the spectrum of neurodiversity is so vast and we’d love to explore your specific, unique experiences with you!

Is it possible for Highly Sensitive People and Empaths to become less sensitive?

In a healthy scenario, no. These traits are pretty ingrained into who a person is. There are ways to mask sensitivity through things like escapism, self medication, or a person’s nervous system numbing or through dissociation. 

What can change however, is reducing the amount of distress that comes with heightened sensitivity. Therapy goals can include to making adjustments to someone’s life to better suit this sensitivity, and/or to develop some coping strategies (ie: stress management) on how to make overstimulating situations more manageable. Working to fulfill these goals can help reduce the tougher side effects of sensitivity (such as outbursts of emotional when too overstimulated), and allow a person to channel their sensitivity into areas of strength.