Looking for highly sensitive person books? Well, look no more, because I got you covered. 😉
I think reading HSP books is kind of like going back to school to get the life training you never got but should have. Starting in childhood, most highly sensitive people have been taught to follow lifestyles that are better suited for the less sensitive mainstream, and if you can’t keep up or if you struggle, well too bad.
In the HSP books I recommend below, you will hear voices of reason and wisdom that will help you deepen your understanding of yourself, grow your self compassion, and learn new ways to exist and thrive as a sensitive person. Yesss!
15 Must-Read Highly Sensitive Person Books
elaine aron, ph.d.
the highly sensitive person: how to thrive when the world overwhelms you
If you only read one book on this list, then make it this one! This classic - written by preeminent clinical psychologist and sensitivity researcher Dr. Elaine Aron and originally published in 1996 - will help you deepen your understanding of high sensitivity, reframe negative experiences from your past, and pick up a plethora of recipes for success at work, relationships, and general wellbeing.
The highly sensitive child: helping our children thrive when the world overwhelms them
Parenting a highly sensitive child? Then this one is for you! Another classic from Dr. Aron, The Highly Sensitive Child will help you deepen your understanding of your child and the dynamics of your relationship. Peppered with lots of real-life examples, you will also be introduced to the four keys to raising a joyous highly sensitive child and learn strategies for addressing parenting dilemmas from infancy all the way to young adulthood.
The highly sensitive parent: be brilliant in your role, even when the world overwhelms you
Parenting isn't easy for anyone, but parenting as a highly sensitive person brings its own set of extra challenges. In The Highly Sensitive Parent, Dr. Aron delivers well thought-out advice for coping with the inevitable overstimulation and negative emotions that will arise as a result of engaging in parenting duties and the increased demand for social interaction.
The highly sensitive person in love: understanding and managing relationships when the world overwhelms you
psychotherapy and the highly sensitive person: improving outcomes for that minority of people who are the majority of clients
While this tome by Dr. Aron is primarily intended for psychology practitioners and researchers, I would also recommend it for any highly sensitive people who want to up their capacity to advocate for themselves when seeking professional help or simply maintain their confidence in the face of "helpful" friends or relatives acting as armchair diagnosticians. The appendix distinguishing high sensitivity from various psychological disorders is particularly helpful.
w. thomas boyce, md
the orchid and the dandelion: why some children struggle and how all can thrive
If you want to understand the science behind high sensitivity, then The Orchid And The Dandelion, written by developmental pediatrician W. Thomas Boyce, will deliver. In this fascinating work, Boyce discusses the genetic and environmental factors that make some of us more vulnerable in stressful circumstances but that also help us thrive in stable circumstances.
tracy cooper, ph.d.
thrive! the highly sensitive person and career
thrill! the high sensation seeking highly sensitive person
Do you identify as a highly sensitive high sensation seeker (HSP-HSS)? If yes, don't miss this chance to grow your self-understanding and learn from and about other HSP-HSSs! Similar to Thrive!, Thrill! is based on Dr. Cooper's interviews and survey of HSPs and includes lots of direct quotes.
barry jaeger, ph.d.
making work work for the highly sensitive person: learning to bend, not break, when work overwhelms you
emotional sensitivity and intensity: how to manage intense emotions as a highly sensitive person
So I'm obviously calling all books on this list must-reads, but I would say this one is a MUST-READ. I just really loved it! If you resonate with descriptions of emotionally intense highly sensitive people, then this book will not only make you feel understood like nothing else, but also offer practical guidance for healing old wounds and building emotional resilience.
christiane northrup, md
dodging energy vampires: an empath's guide to evading relationships that drain you and restoring your health and power
Highly sensitive people tend to be highly empathetic, compassionate, and caring. Unfortunately, this often leads to HSPs being taken advantage of and even abused in relationships. In Dodging Energy Vampires, Dr. Northrup describes the dynamics of vampire-empath relationships and provides guidance for leaving toxic people behind.
highly sensitive people in an insensitive world: how to create a happy life
Along with Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person, this is another great general guide on all things high sensitivity. In Highly Sensitive People in An Insensitive World, Ilse Sand addresses HSP-relevant topics like self-esteem, lifestyle needs, relating to others, anger, shame, and mental health problems.
ted zeff, ph.d.
the highly sensitive person's survival guide: essential skills for living well in an overstimulating world
The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide, by Dr. Ted Zeff, delivers exactly what it promises in the title: practical techniques and strategies for thriving as a sensitive person in an overstimulating world. Topics covered include morning and evening routines, coping with time pressure, improving sleep patterns, work stress, and relationship problems.
the strong sensitive boy: help your son become a happy confident man
As a mother of a highly sensitive boy, I felt compelled to include this one! In The Strong Sensitive Boy, Dr. Zeff describes in-depth interviews he conducted of 30 highly sensitive men from five different countries. Based on these interviews and based on his work as a psychologist, he explains why so many highly sensitive boys and men have struggled and how parents, teachers, and family members can help.
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