Highly Sensitive People

Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our community around the world.

Activity Forums Healing Codependency Direction of Care

  • Direction of Care

    Posted by John on 03/13/2024 at 3:39 pm

    I’d like to get people’s thoughts on this proposed idea. Does it make sense? Do you agree? Do you disagree? This in an idea that has been arising as part of the integrated health model I’m working on. It relates to Ross Rosenberg’s “Continuum of Self” model that he presented in The Human Magnet Syndrome (Chapter 5).

    However, this model goes beyond his work, which did not include the topic of high sensitivity, or highly sensitive physiology as I call it.

    Direction of Care

    Direction of care states that the higher one rates on the scale of sensitivity, the more aptitude for care is present.

    The presence of high sensitivity gives us the following gradient and direction of movement:

    ———>———>———>———>———>———>———>———>———>

    High Sensitivity —— Moderate Sensitivity —— Low Sensitivity

    What does this mean? Well, the following is implicated:

    • Generally speaking, effective care moves from left to right and not from right to left. To use a practical example, a “low sensitivity” therapist would not be able to effectively work with a “high sensitivity” client. However, a “high sensitivity” therapist would be able to work effectively with a client with say, moderate sensitivity.
    • Individuals are most effectively mirrored by others who are near, or above their level of sensitivity. This has implications for child development, education, interpersonal relationships, and treatment models for health.
    • Trauma can arise do to a lack of mirroring. The direction of care principle provides new insight into the root causes of such trauma.

    Comments, ideas, and feedback welcome.

    Celyne replied 3 months, 4 weeks ago 7 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Dermot

    Member
    03/14/2024 at 4:00 pm

    Yes, this makes sense to me, I have had poor experiences of receiving counselling with low sensitivity psychotherapists or working for low sensitivity managers.

    • John

      Moderator
      03/14/2024 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks for the Feedback Dermot. I had previously posted this in the HSP discussion group and @Maddy777 said there that it makes sense to her as well. I’ll repost her comment here:

      “This makes so much sense! Why people with HSP feel abandoned emotionally for example , isn’t because people haven’t been caring for them or about them or listening to them- it’s because of the quality , the depth of all those things is the most important factor.”

      I believe this insight may have significant implications for understanding how humans relate. And as you just pointed out, that includes how they work together.

  • Renee

    Member
    03/15/2024 at 8:21 pm

    I have always felt that there was no one like me as a child. Everyone used to tell me, I was just to sensitive. You cry at everything. It is wonderful that more research is being done about this topic. Everyday is a struggle being an HSP.

    • John

      Moderator
      03/16/2024 at 3:00 pm

      Interestingly, my experience is that crying and neurotransmitters are interrelated. There’s nothing wrong with crying, not at all. It can be one of the most cleansing experiences and enjoyable in that way. The release of crying…

      But there’s another kind of crying. The crying and sadness that comes from consistently not being seen and mirrored. This is a kind of unresolved, perpetual grief. It’s one reason why the direction of care model is significant. There are multiple implications including:

      • Adjustments to attachment theory
      • Practical management of diet, and neurotransmitter support
      • Adjustments to therapeutic models and therapy practice
      • Adjustments to child development theory, including educational models

      It seems pretty huge. Everything I just listed is currently handled primarily by giving people drugs. Probably in a lot of cases, if not most, that is the wrong way to handle what’s happening for people. This direction of care model is part of a larger integrated health model that’s coming out very soon.

      When I learned how to support my metabolism and neurotransmitters, my pain level dropped considerably, and I pretty much stopped experiencing that second kind of crying.

      • Celyne

        Member
        03/23/2024 at 7:51 pm

        I appreciate this so much. I just added on my profile bio the nuances of the experiences I had with pharmaceuticals and depression. It’s literally all related to crying. I wish I had someone help me understand at the time there was a completely logical reason why I felt the way I did, and had someone help me feel better instead of perpetuating the belief something was wrong with me.

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S003474501370026X

  • Dermot

    Member
    03/16/2024 at 8:16 am

    Renee,

    I have gradually learnt to stop apologising to anyone for being “too senstive”. It is just part of who I am. I now see it as a gift and special ability, albeit one that leaves me tired, drained and emotionally vulnerable when exposed to negative situations. Not everyone understood why I had to leave my marriage, some people expected me to “just work it out”. I no longer feel that I owe those people any kind of explanation. I simply got tired of being misunderstood and now accept that some people just experience the world through a kind of mental monochrome, compared with the full technicolour range of emotions that highly sensitive people can sense and experience.

  • Frank

    Member
    03/16/2024 at 1:34 pm

    I have followed some of Ross Rosenberg’s work, but have not read Human Magnet Syndrome, so this theory was an eye opener that makes obvious sense. Like those times in life when we thought we were the only one who thought/felt the way we do, and suddenly discovered that millions do. This also begins to explain why, as an HSP, I never felt love/care from my NPD wife. I never understood why until a year ago when I was involuntarily left to reflect upon my marriage from an outside perspective. Yes, this is very helpful, John. Thank you.

  • John

    Member
    03/16/2024 at 3:25 pm

    The whole idea of course makes sense. The business about mirroring is very interesting. I guess we could also use terms like Attunement and empathy as related words. The lack of such creating trauma is intriguing. Certainly, it’s the most ordinary observation that people feel hurt and lonely and not quite validated when interacting with the caregiver or other supposedly supportive person who doesn’t “get” you. And we process painful feelings much better when with a supportive person. So the lack thereof leads to unprocessed, stuck feelings.

  • Dermot

    Member
    03/17/2024 at 7:41 am

    John,

    I tend to agree with what you are saying about the over-use of medication. I am currently on fairly low dosages of medication that would normally be used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I don’t have ADHD and my symptoms of anxiety tend to get triggered only when I sense anxiety from other people or fall into the “empathy trap” (when I start to mirror someone’s feelings of sadness or fear, without being the actual source of those feelings).

    I am gradually reducing the dosages, but I think that prescription medications are a valid short-to-medium-term alternative to “self-medicating” and may allow people to continue functioning in their work and other life situations.

    • John

      Moderator
      03/17/2024 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Dermot, yes of course. Medications may sometimes be useful. I understand what you’re saying.

      However, to take a highly sensitive and/or gifted child and medicate them right out of the gate is a tragedy in my opinion. My guess is that’s happening far too often today.

      In my late 20s and early 30s, I studied holistic medicine under Dr. Barbara Brennan, a former atmospheric physicist for NASA who started a school for subtle energy medicine. I guess ever since then, and as a healer, I’ve become more and more interested in root causes.

      Also, I was given a “medication” for acne at the age of 14. It was in fact a form of chemotherapy which devastated my gut microbiome and left me with severe physical, emotional, and mental suffering for decades. No instructions were provided with the “medication” (Accutane) for care or recovery. My acne was cleared up and my life destroyed, but I didn’t even know what had happened. From that point forward, I grew up believing that being a human being was just excruciatingly painful, and that there was something deeply wrong with me as a person.

      That drug is still sold today and I know a young woman with HSP who was devastated in exactly the same way.

      The Accutane experience left me with a strong distaste for pharmaceuticals, particularly when they’re not actually needed. Even with all that, I can say that sometimes drugs are useful, and yet the industry as a whole is profit driven which involves problematic incentives.

      I have a lot to say on all this which is why I’m working on a book. 🙂

  • Dermot

    Member
    03/18/2024 at 3:43 am

    Yes, I am highly sceptical about the benefits of chemotherapy. I feel that in a few hundred years from now it will seem as barbaric as medieval surgery.

    If I had cancer, I would choose an energy healing approach in preference to chemo. We still don’t fully understand what triggers cancer and I suspect that there may be hidden factors at work.

  • Debbie

    Member
    03/21/2024 at 6:37 am

    I’ve worked in the Head and Neck Cancer for many years and can honestly say that some have benefited from the treatment but for myself, if that’s my fate, I want to do things naturally, no chemicals.

Log in to reply.