This list is provided as a service to those wishing to interview someone or invite someone to speak–besides Elaine Aron, who is often unavailable–on the subject of high sensitivity. (Its scientific name is sensory processing sensitivity; it is not related to Sensory Processing Disorder).
Languages and Specialties: Those below all speak English, but after their name and credentials there may be listed other languages they speak (italicized), meaning they can also discuss sensitivity as it manifests in that culture. Each has their own specialties (a selection of these are highlighted in italics) and some have written books on those specialties (also in italics).
Background: While this is only a selection of those who might speak on the subject of high sensitivity, most of this group has taken a workshop in 2018 with Elaine Aron on the latest research and other relevant topics (e.g., best definition of the trait, its evolutionary history in humans and other animals, its relation to various disorders and to introversion, shyness). A few others listed are active researchers. Because those listed below will be kept current by Elaine, they are your best resource.
Note: HS = highly sensitive and HSP = highly sensitive person.
Bianca P. Acevedo, PhD (B.A. New York University; Ph.D., Stony Brook University) is a Researcher at the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) within the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Director of the Foundation for Healthy Relationships and Lives. She is a social neuroscientist specializing in human attachment processes for 15+ years. She conducts research on the science of love, empathy, highly sensitive people, and mind-body practices. She has worked on differentiating sensitivity from clinical issues such as Autism and Schizophrenia. Bianca also provides consulting to various organizations, including non-for profits, clinics, and other person-oriented practices. Fluent in Spanish and English. Extensive media experience, including NPR, NBC, and the Science Channel. www.biancaacevedo.org
Barbara Allen. Advanced Certificate of Education (UK) in counselling supervision, theory and practice – Southampton University, 1999. Founder and Director, National Centre for High Sensitivity CIC (2010). Besides broad work with HSPs (adults, children, organizations), consults with clinicians on best ways to support HS clients; with employers on retaining and making best use of HS employees. Implications of trait for cultural diversity inclusion; school or career education, work environment provision. www.hspsensitive.com | www.growingunlimited.co.uk
Else Marie Bruhner. Adult Educator. Swedish, French. Gives courses and conferences on the HS trait in general and related research, explaining the trait’s functioning and how it affects our private and professional life. Special interest: HS and giftedness. Hypersensible… Et alors? (in Swedish, Högkänslig … än sen då?) www.hsperson.se.
Scott Clausen, MBA, Adult educator and 25-year corporate leader. Currently serving as Principal for Amazon’s emerging healthcare division. Chief developer of high performing individuals and teams through a temperament management style as viewed through the lens of HSP awareness and validation. Passionate about seeing men and especially HS men in the corporate environment embracing their temperament gifts as a foundational leadership principle.
Tracy Cooper, Ph.D. Dept. Chair, M.A. program, Baker U. The HS Person and Career (e.g., choosing a career, career crisis and transition, challenges and opportunities, the self-employment option). The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person (e.g., how the traits interact, career issues, creativity, boredom, self-care). The Highly Sensitive Male (e.g., redefining masculinity as more inclusive, interacting with less sensitive men, parenting, violence and conflict). Attuned Thinking for the Highly Sensitive Person (in progress; e.g. role of intuitive thinking, symbiosis between creative thinking and critical thinking, self-care for the HS brain. Drtracycooper.com
Candy Crawford, MSW, LCSW. Psychotherapist working exclusively with HSPs. Also leads workshops nationally. Especially works with HSPs on development of self, intimacy, relationships, parenting, and HS children and teens. Prior to her clinical practice she spent over a decade as a social worker championing the rights of diverse children and families. candycrawfordlcsw.com
Ilse Van den Daele, Dutch, French & English, Founder (2004) and Managing Director of the ‘HSP Vlaanderen’ in Belgium and the Netherlands. With a hundred volunteers in Belgium they organize lectures, workshops, HSP talk-cafés, and children’s holiday-camps throughout Flandres. Website www.hspvlaanderen.be includes a list of selected, HS specialized therapists, psychologists and certified coaches. Organizes scientific conferences on HS (2009, 2013, 2019). Van den Daele is also chief-editor of a magazine for HSPs, ‘De Cocon’, with 1,200 subscribers. Has written two books, one on HS children, Mijn kind is hoogsensitief’ (20,000 sold as of summer, 2018), which appears in French, spring 2019. Also Hoogsensitiviteit@work, about HSPs in work environments. Post-graduate training program ‘HSP for professionals’ at VUB. email@example.com | www.hspvlaanderen.be
Tom Falkenstein, MA. Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapist. German. The Highly Sensitive Man (2019) translated from German (Hochsensible Männer, 2017; into Swedish, Den Högkänsliga Mannen and Dutch, Hoogsensitieve mannen in 2018). Experienced therapist (2006). Provides information, consultation, and psychotherapy for HSPs (age 18 and up) in both English and German. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.hsp-eu.com
Alane Freund, MS, LMFT. Psychotherapist specializing in HS children/teens and their families, also HS partners and individuals. EAGALA equine assisted psychotherapy and workshops, for individuals and groups. HSPs & Horses Weekend Workshops co-created with Elaine Aron. HSP Empowerment series. Gives workshops nationally, particularly for those parenting or working with HS children. email@example.com | heartandmindequine.com
Jadzia Jagiellowicz, Ph.D. French. Researcher. HSP Coach. Completed her PhD on high sensitivity under the supervision of Drs. Elaine and Art Aron and continues that research: Studies of brain, attention and emotion, medical/biological aspects, interaction between sensitivity and parenting, and intellectual giftedness and HSP. Experienced international speaker (e.g. World Congress on Positive Psychology, Society for Neuroscience, the American Psychological Association). Science-based workshops for educators and employers. www.highlysensitivesociety.com
Lian Kirksæther, Norwegian. Coach (certified, ICF, DNC), lecturer, and author specializing in HSPs. Heads the organization Høysensitiv Norge; has authored numerous articles on HS; co-authored the book Sensitiv og Sterk , which is a best seller in Norway; and created the online course of the same name. She has also helped organize conferences about HSPs and work, based in part on her experience, collaboration with Norwegian Unemployment Agency (NAV Arbeid) and as a teacher and leader. www.liank.no / firstname.lastname@example.org
Francesca Lionetti, Ph.D. Psychologist and psychotherapist. Italian. Experienced in academic research on SPS (sensory processing sensitivity, the academic term for HS). Works with Michael Pluess, Elaine Aron, and Arthur Aron on the identification and validation of measures for the assessment of sensitivity. Studies HS in children, in interaction with parenting, and in the school context. email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Elena Lupo, Ph.D. Psychologist and Psychotherapist. Italian. Body Oriented approach (Biosistemica). HS men, women, children. Coping strategies. Psychosomatic issues. Parenting or teaching HS children. Il Tesoro dei bambini sensibili, 2017. Leads workshops about having boundaries using body oriented approach. www.personealtamentesensibili.it Email for the Italian HSP project: email@example.com
Alice E. Shannon, LMFT. Psychotherapist. Extensive experience in the nuances of HSP/HS children, plus all other aspects of temperament. Specializes in helping parents and school staff respond effectively to temperament-based behavior problems and concerns. Does distance temperament consults with parents globally. Worked in SF Bay Area Kaiser Hospitals and with Preventive Ounce, offering temperament-related services (significantly reducing medical costs for those seen). Trainings on temperament for agencies (e.g., Head Start). Articles widely published. AliceShannon.com
Jacquelyn Strickland, licensed professional counselor (1993). Exclusively with HSPs (2002). Also background in social work, women’s studies and cultural diversity. Co-founded international HSP Gathering Retreats™ with Elaine Aron (2001—35 Gatherings thus far). Speaking, consulting, mentoring, coaching, retreats, focused on the empowerment for the HSP. Certified administrator Myers Briggs. Extraverted HSPs. HSPs and Empowerment (in progress). www.lifeworkshelp.com
Teresa Tillmann, M.Sc. German. Psychologist, researcher and cognitive behavioral psychotherapist for children and adolescents, in training. Working on PhD, topic is HS teachers and in a clinical context with a focus on specific characteristics of HSPs that promote wellbeing. Visiting researcher with Elaine and Arthur Aron, working on various research projects. Translated and validated a shortened German version of the HSP-scale for adolescents. Gives talks and workshops , scientific and non-scientific. Spokesperson for the scientific research for German HS association. Aims to make research findings more accessible through this webpage: https://www.sensitivitaet.info/).
Ted Zeff, Ph.D. Psychology. The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide, The Highly Sensitive Person’s Companion, The Strong Sensitive Boy, The Power of Sensitivity and Raise an Emotionally Healthy Boy. Experienced international speaker on coping strategies for HS people, especially boys and men, and HS children generally. drtedzeff.com
- Interviewed in Psychology Today, NBC TV and PBS radio.
- Veiw The Huffington Post (1.2 million likes: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html)
- Videos: coping strategies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0q729cJNzg
- NBC TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raN8mvJA_Xo
- For sensitive men: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn6pTpJytgU,
Karina Zegers de Beijl, Coach, member ICF. Spanish, Dutch. Pioneered HS in Spain (2006). Founder Asociación Personas Altamente Sensibles de Espana, APASE (2012). Experienced speaker (interviews, conferences, etc.) about HS in general and in children. Ik ben hooggevoelig, en jij? La alta sensibilidad, vivir desde el corazón, La alta sensibilidad. www.PersonasAltamenteSensibles.com
Annet de Zwart, Life Coach, ACC, ELI-MP. Dutch. Coaches HS adults and teens/young adults to help them have “a more successful and satisfying life.” annetdezwartlifecoaching.nl (Dutch) and highsensitivecoaching.com (English).