2. Understanding the Trait

Resources・Understanding the Trait・Julie Bjelland, LMFT

About 20% 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% 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 – these are 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 who 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 through my books and online course which provide specific tools for HSP's to learn to navigate an overstimulating world.

Understanding the HSP Brain

Explaining the Trait


Rick Hanson interviews Julie about the trait of high sensitivity for his wonderful Foundations of Well Being Program


Further Resources

  1. New Book! The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person, How To Harness Your Sensitivity In A Chaotic World. Learn all about your trait and how to live in alignment with honoring your needs so you can thrive and access all your gifts!

  2. Julie's HSP Blog discusses many aspects of the trait. Read through past posts too and subscribe to stay up to get support and HSP tips in your weekly email.

  3. If you are an HSP with a lot of anxiety or often feel overwhelmed you will benefit from taking the online course created especially for the highly sensitive person. Julie supports you through 8-weeks and gives you tools that transform your life. Want to learn more? Book a Call with me and let’s talk and see if my 8-week brain-training program with HSP coaching is a good fit for you. If not, I’ll point you in a direction that is right for you. My mission is to help empower and transform the lives of HSPs!  Your best self and full life is needed in the world.

  4. Podcasts and Videos where Julie is interviewed about the trait.

  5. Videos from Julie’s Youtube channel describing the trait of the highly sensitive person. Be sure to subscribe to be notified of new ones.

  6. Explaining the trait of the highly sensitive person to someone else.

  7. Blog Post Hazards of Misdiagnosis for the Highly Sensitive Person is helpful to share with your mental health providers as well as your doctors and other HSPs.

  8. What does sensory overload feel like for an HSP?

Self Tests for HSPs

Participate in HSP Surveys to Advance Research 

  1. What is your HSP score on the above HSP Adult self-test?

  2. How do you Relieve Anxiety or high stress as an HSP?

  3. What does Sensory Overload feel like as an HSP?

  4. What Career Choices work better for HSPs?

  5. What Self-Care helps you as an HSP?

  6. What Challenges have you faced as an HSP?

  7. What are your favorite Alone Time activities?

  8. Do you have any Travel Tips to share with other HSPs?

  9. What helps you Sleep?

  10. What are some Daily Routines that help you stay balanced?

  11. Are you the parent of a Highly Sensitive Infant?

  12. Do you suffer from any Allergies or Chronic Conditions?

Julie Bjelland