Welcome. I am Julie Bjelland, LMFT, HSP Psychotherapist and author of several books for HSPs, including the new book, Brain Training For The Highly Sensitive Person: Techniques To Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions. I specialize in the highly sensitive person and happen to be an HSP myself and mother of highly sensitive children. In addition to working with HSPs in my private practice, I love working with HSPs all over the world through my Online HSP Course and individual Global HSP Life-Coaching.
My mission is to share research, information, and resources to help HSPs live their best and thrive. I love neuroscience and find it fascinating that we can train parts of our brain that can then help us reduce stress, anxiety and that feeling of being overwhelmed that can be common for many HSPs. We share incredible gifts that are needed in the world.
I'm happy you are here.
Below you will find a list of resources for HSPs that I have compiled. I also specialize in anxiety, couples and LGBTQQ so I've also included information that HSPs may find useful within these areas as well. This list will be added to periodically, and I also welcome hearing about good resources for HSPs you know about and would like to see added.
Therapy, Coaching, Consultations
With Julie Bjelland, LMFT (Psychotherapist specializing in HSPs)
- Psychotherapy: in California specializing in the highly sensitive person, anxiety, couples, and LGBTQQ
- HSP Global Life Coaching/Mentoring, individual sessions with HSP Adults and also offering consults with parents of Highly Sensitive Children. Video, Phone, or Email.
- Consultations for mental health professionals
- Supervision to MFT, HSP Associates
Understanding the Trait
About 15 to 20 percent of the population has the innate trait of high sensitivity, also known as sensory processing sensitivity. The brains of HSPs process more information more deeply, which can make us more overwhelmed and sensitive to our surroundings. HSPs often suffer from anxiety and higher stress levels in a world that feels overwhelming, which is likely why up to 50 percent of clients in therapy are HSPs.
As a highly sensitive person, you may be able to feel what other people feel, which can help you to be more empathic and compassionate (some of the gifts of this trait). On the other hand, you can also be more easily overwhelmed and have higher stress levels. You may experience sensory overload with such factors as loud noise, bright lighting, and strong odors.
As an HSP myself, I am passionate about my work as a psychotherapist that specializes in the trait of high sensitivity and consider it a calling to help you thrive and live at your highest potential. I've developed what I call a compassionate and supportive "brain training" program though my BOOKS and COURSE that provides specific tools for HSP's to learn to navigate an overstimulating world.
- Explaining the Trait of the highly sensitive person, also known as sensory processing sensitivity.
- Videos describing the trait of the highly sensitive person.
- Sensitive, The Untold Story is a documentary about this trait that you can rent online. It is great to share with family and friends so they can learn more about the trait.
- Highly Sensitive Client A valuable resource to share with your therapist or other mental health professionals for working with HSPs, compiled by my gifted HSP associate, April Snow.
- HSP Self Tests by Elaine Aron, PhD
Podcast interview about the trait, Julie Bjelland, LMFT was a featured guest on the Women in Depth Podcast with Dr. Lourdes Viado discussing the trait of the highly sensitive person. What you’ll hear in this episode:
- What compelled Julie to write her new book Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person: Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions
- The definition of high sensitivity
- Unique challenges of HSPs and
- The correlation between high sensitivity and health issues
- The importance of self-care for highly sensitive persons
- The neuroscience/research on high sensitivity
- Techniques that HSPs can use to manage their high sensitivity
- Brain Training For the Highly Sensitive Person, Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions by Julie Bjelland, LMFT, HSP Psychotherapist specializing in HSPs. http://www.juliebjelland.com/
Elaine Aron’s website and books: http://hsperson.com/ Aron has a lot of great information for HSPs on her site.
Ted Zeff’s website and books: http://drtedzeff.com/ He specializes in sensitive males and also has a downloadable meditation for HSPs.
HSPs tend to relate a lot to Susan Cain’s book and research: http://www.quietrev.com
Books helpful For Highly sensitive children
- The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child (Positive Reinforcement works well for HSCs)
- The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children (Also not specifically for HSC, but helpful)
- Emotion Coaching: The Heart of Parenting Program, by John and Julie Gottman.
Online Courses For the highly sensitive
- Online Mentored HSP Course *Recommended for HSPs to take, guided by Julie Bjelland, LMFT, a psychotherapist that specializes in Sensory Processing Sensitivity, also known as the Highly Sensitive Person. An 8-week course, Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person, Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions.
- Online Solo HSP Course Recommended for HSPs to take, Solo independent study course with video and written material by Julie Bjelland, LMFT, a psychotherapist that specializes in Sensory Processing Sensitivity, also known as the Highly Sensitive Person. An 8-week course, Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person, Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions.
The following courses are not HSP specific, but you may find helpful:
- Rick Hanson's online course will teach you methods to overcome the brain's negativity bias using the science of neuroplasticity
- Tara Brach's 6-week online course, Conscious Loving cultivating a genuine intimacy with your inner life and the capacity to regard others with increasing acceptance, forgiveness and love.
- Kristin Neff's online course for developing Self Compassion.
Julie Bjelland, LMFT Social Media:
- HSP Facebook Group, offers resources for HSPs. I invite you to "Like" it to stay connected.
- Professionals Working With HSPs a group of professionals discussing their work and research with the Highly Sensitive Person.
- HSP Blog, RSS Sign up to Julie's Blog for HSPs
- HSP YouTube "Subscribe" to Julie's Channel
- HSP Twitter "Follow" Julie
- HSP Linkedin
Other Recommended Social Media
- I love this meditation/mindfulness app. You would be surprised how ten minutes a day can be very centering, grounding and calming, which are all things important for HSPs! The first ten are free so you can try it: https://www.headspace.com/
- Insight Timer, many of my clients and students love this free app-you can pick how long you want to meditate and there are many different meditation teachers.
- Some of my HSP course participants really enjoyed yoga with Adriene, and she offers some great free yoga on YouTube. She makes the practice feel doable and fun with some of her sweet and gentle playfulness. Here's a link to enjoy: 30 Days of Yoga
Increasing Self Compassion
- Pema Chodron’s work is excellent to learn more loving kindness and self-acceptance, particularly her book Unconditional Confidence http://pemachodronfoundation.org/
- Kristin Neff specializes in self compassion: http://self-compassion.org/
- Many HSPs have challenges sleeping. I recommend trying these Mack earplugs to reduce the amount of times you wake up in the night.
- Weighted blankets affect proprioceptor input that can help our brain release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which can create a sense of calm. Many companies make them now. I happened to get mine from SensaCalm.
- Do the same five things before bed every night. Try a bath with lavender oil, lighting a soothing candle, reading something non-stimulating, turning off the lights and listening to meditation. Our brain begins to recognize sleep is coming by about the 3rd step. Also, if we warm up our body with a bath before sleeping, the process of cooling the body after can initiate better sleep as well.
- HSP Friendly Careers This is a compilation of careers HSPs reported as fulfilling from a poll from my HSP Facebook page.
Improving Connections and Reducing Shame/Blame/Guilt
- I recommend a lot of Brene Brown’s work, particularly the book she narrates called “The Power of Vulnerability." You can see a free YouTube video here as well.
Neuroplasticity (Rewiring the brain)
- Online Course: HSP Brain Training: Tools to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions
- These Gratitude Journals can help you build up the part of your brain that feels calm, peaceful, and positive.
- Rick Hanson is a best selling author and has some very interesting teachings incorporating neuroplasticity with a spiritual twist: http://www.rickhanson.net/
- http://www.wisebrain.org/ (psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice).
Blending Psychology and Spirituality
- Tara Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. https://www.tarabrach.com/
- Build closeness and increase your connection in your relationship through these Appreciation Journals
- For couples and communication, I recommend The Gottman Method that I use when working with couples. It is an excellent positive-based method, and the communication training is based on over 40 years of researching couples!
- The Five Love Languages, I recommend couples take this free, quick quiz online to discover what your love languages are so you know how to fill up your partners love tank.
- Wired for Love book How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
- Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find - and Keep - Love by Amir Levine
Lourdes Viado, PhD, MFT who is also an HSP, offers podcast interviews you may enjoy that explore women's lives in depth. Listen to Julie's interview about the trait of high sensitivity.
- Julie Bjelland, LMFT offers LGBTQ friendly services.
- Gaylesta: The Psychotherapist Association for Gender and Sexual Diversity, a non-profit organization focused on LGBTQ mental health.
- Our Family Coalition "advances equity* for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families with children through support, education, and advocacy."
Lesbian/Queer Women: Dating and Love
- The Conscious Girlfriend website and book uses a conscious, sensitive approach, and offers great tools for lesbian and queer women for dating and keeping relationships strong.
Transgender and Gender Non-conforming
- Dara Hoffman-Fox is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a gender therapist who offers some great resources and support for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
- New book, You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery, by Dara Hoffman-Fox LPC and gender therapist: http://discoveryourgenderidentity.com
I want this page to be the best it can be so please Contact me to let me know of any broken links or errors to be corrected. Thanks!