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#6 - Hello World!

We have been eagerly awaiting this for some time. The feature length documentary introducing the trait of high sensitivity and the research, has just had its premiere in San Francisco on the 10th September :) It has been an incredibly uplifting experience to be involved in the Kickstarter project that funded the making of this film. HSPs from many countries around the world have donated money for this with a palpable sense of excitement. Sensitive - The Untold StoryThis was probably one of the first times the wonder of belonging to the HSP "tribe" dawned on me. I was suddenly feeling deeply connected to highly sensitive people from all around the world! The premiere of this documentary also reflected this growing international family, with people buying tickets from over 50 countries to be the first to see this film about us, HSPs, online.

I think I will never forget the wonderfully beaming smile of Dr. Ted Zeff, who is one of the experts interviewed in the documentary, when he was talking at the premiere about his hopes for what this film will mean for highly sensitive people all over the world. I think I resonated so strongly with his elation, because I share his high hopes about what this film can do for us. This film explains the main aspects of sensory processing sensitivity and demonstrates the wide-ranging research that supports the discovery of this natural and innate difference amongst people and animals. They talk about the empowerment it creates when we simply accept this difference and learn to support our sensitivity instead of fighting it and feeling shame and embarrassement about who we are.

One of the strengths of this documentary is that it aims to talk to non-HSPs, as well. The film really brings it home how understanding about us can improve their relationships with their HSP children, partners, friends and colleagues. I think this film will be something that HSPs will share widely with people who are important for them in the hope of deepening understanding and acceptance about us. It is a lot easier to get someone to watch a documentary than read a book about us...

The new documentary about sensitivity is now available for rental or purchase on-line ($4.99 for rental and $9.99 for download purchase). You can get your copy here :) The producers have also confirmed that DVDs will be available soon and they are also working on translating the film into many languages. We will keep you posted about any news regarding public viewings that will happen in the UK that we hear about. Sharing this film, with as many people as possible, will be something that all of you can help with. And the good news is that the film will not just raise awareness about highly sensitive people, but also support further research about HSPs, as profits generated from the film will support the Foundation for the Study of Highly Sensitive Persons. I hope the news about this film will mean as much to you, as it did for me, bringing some spring into your steps and new hopes into your life!

And now here is some good news for you related to the National Centre for Sensitivity, as well. Barbara Allen-Williams has recently organised a training for future HSP Meetup facilitators, who are interested organising Meetups for HSPs in their local area. This training is suitable for people, who have some experience of supporting a small group of people and have a reasonable knowledge about Sensory Processing Sensitivity (the clinical term for high sensitivity). Hopefully this will mean that it will be possible to meet with fellow HSPs in more counties in the UK and talk about how to make the most of being highly sensitive :) Please consider whether you would like to be involved in facilitating HSP Meetups in your area, and let Barbara know about your interest. This could help to organise similar trainings in other areas in the UK, as well.

We are also running currently a crowdfunding campaign on to support the work of the NCHS, so it can expand its' services to HSPs in new areas in the UK and continue raising awareness. Dr. Elain Aron wrote an e-mail supporting our fundraising efforts, which you can read at the crowdfunding page. Please share the link around with anyone, who may be interested in supporting our work.

I hope you'll enjoy what else we have in this newsletter for you and please share this with anyone else, who may find information about HSPs useful.
HSP Meetup at the Friend's Meeting House

HSP Meetups

If you would like information on Sensory Processing Sensitivity and to meet other HSPs, do come along to our gently facilitated Meetups supported by the National Centre for High Sensitivity (NCHS).

Brighton, Sussex

- 21st Nov 1:30-3pm
- 12th Dec 1:30-3pm

Join and RSVP (£10) on

Andover, Hampshire

- 7th Nov 10:30-12:30am

Join and RSVP (£5) on

Reading, Berkshire

- Date TBC 2:30-4pm

Join and RSVP (£5) on

Bristol, Greater Bristol

- Date TBC 6:30-8:30pm

Join and RSVP (£5) on

Exeter, Devon

- January 2016, Date TBC 6:30-8:30pm

Join and RSVP (£10) on

Nottingham area, Nottinghamshire

- March 2016 Date TBC - please RSVP, if interested in this, so we can organise this, if there is sufficient interest.

Join and RSVP (£10) on

Read more about  our meetups and join our on-line communities at the links above, where you can also RSVP and pay in advance, if you'd like to attend. Looking forward to meeting you!

HSP Events

RSVP and see further details about the events at the links below.

Professionals CPD - Understanding Sensitive Clients
24th Oct, Andover, Hampshire
Link to details

HSPs Cosy Supper
13th Nov, Andover, Hampshire
Link to details

A day of community for Highly Sensitive Men
28th Nov, Andover, Hampshire
Link to details

HSP Christmas Mingle
19th Dec, Andover, Hampshire
Link to details

Professionals CPD - Sensory Processing Sensitivity
Date TBC, Devon
Link to details

From Shame to Empowerment
Date TBC, Andover, Hampshire
Link to details

HSP Workbook Discussions
Date to be Confirmed, Hampshire
Link to details

Events further ahead are listed at the NCHS website.
HSP Meetup at the Friend's Meeting House

Highly Sensitive or Hypersensitive?

This thought provoking article by Shawn T. Smith dispels a myth that being a HSP and being "hypersensitive" or "overly emotional" are the same thing. It is important to understand that although HSPs have a more intense emotional life, emotional fragility is not part of our nature. It is more to do with our experiences about nurture - or rather, the lack of it. It is true that HSPs with difficult childhoods and life experiences would be more likely to develop heightened emotional sensitivity or "hypersensitivity". This can be however healed over time by reframing our experiences and learning to cope better with our emotionality. If this is something relevant to you, the articles below about Emotional Regulation and Overcoming Negative Perceptions might be also valuable to you.

Emotional Regulation

Coping with intense emotions is one of those topics that interests most people, and is especially relevant to HSPs. We tend to feel everything more strongly than the average non-HSP, which can be a source of much embarrassment and shame if we don't learn to accept this aspect of our sensitivity and to cope with it's ups and downs better. Dr. Elaine Aron shares valuable insights about this in her article, and gives much needed advice that we can all learn from.

Overcoming our Negative Perceptions

We should "not attribute to malice what can merely be attributed to ignorance"  quotes Peter Messerschmidt in his insightful article. The process of looking back at descriptive words spoken about us (like "too quiet" and "too deep") and reframing them by adding context can be a very healing and worthwhile exercise for HSPs. If you are interested in doing something similar for yourself, Elaine Aron also offers a number of reframing exercises - in the "Workbook" companion to The Highly Sensitive Person - to help us understand past events better. You can even join a monthly discussion about working your way through this workbook, if you would be interested in that.

New Book for HSPs

Dr. Tracy M. Cooper has written a helpful new book about careers and HSPs based on his research in this field. As the workplace can be often much source of unhappiness for highly sensitive people, it is really worth considering what makes a difference to most of us. You can reflect on your options based on realistic assessments of pros and cons about a range of career possibilities in this book, including working from home and self-employment. Reading about what other HSPs say about their worklife may also assist you to envisage careers that could be a good fit for you. There is also a helpful chapter writing about High Sensation Seeking HSPs, which can be an eye opener, if you are the kind of HSP who craves novelty and adventure.

In the UK Media

It feels always great to report about the word getting around about high sensitivity. The Telegraph has recently published on-line an article, which aims to raise awareness about HSPs and to talk about some of the key issues that can help people realise that they may have this trait. The article also predicts that awareness about HSPs may significantly increase following the premiere of the new documentary from the USA, Sensitive - The Untold Story.

Subscribe to our HSP News

If you would like to continue to receive free updates about HSP related articles and events, please subscribe here to this newsletter. I hope the few simple steps this requires will be well worth it for you. We take your privacy very seriously and will not share your details with anyone. Also, updates will be about two-monthly, to save time for both of us :)

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding our newsletter, HSP events / meetups, or the work of the National Centre for High Sensitivity (NCHS) feel free to contact our team below. Click on the name to send us an e-mail.

Barbara Allen - Williams
Founder & Director of NCHS
HSP Meetup Facilitator in Hampshire & Other Counties
NCHS Workshop Facilitator / Trainer
(top photo on right)

Ildiko Davis
NCHS Newsletter Editor
HSP Meetup Facilitator in Sussex
(bottom photo on right )
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