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Books on Sensitivity

  1. Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, Vintage Books Edition, New York, 1995

    Diane Ackerman, in A Natural History of the Senses, takes the reader on a delightful tour of the senses. Each of the five senses has a chapter of articles, anecdotes and curiosities. There are stories about the intricacies and subtleties of the senses that our crude fast paced society seldom appreciates. Stories from different cultures and history fill you with wonder and awe about our natural sensitivity. This book will generate a new level of sensitive understanding about yourself and nature.

  2. David Ambrose, Your Life Manual: Practical Steps to Genuine Happiness, Revolution Mind Publishing, February, 2006, ISBN: 0973936207

    Every single thing we do is intended to make us happier. And yet sometimes we get diverted and do things that actually move us away from this goal. Find out how this happens, and what you can do to get yourself back on track. This book describes useful foundations for happiness and then provides a series of practical, easy steps anyone can follow to reach a new level of happiness.

  3. Elaine Aron PhD, The Highly Sensitive Person, Birch Lane Press, New York, 1996

    The Highly Sensitive Person is written by Elaine Aron, an HSP who truly understands sensitivity. The book includes absolute gems of experiences as well as rigorous information about statistical studies, psychological theories and brain chemicals. The author defines sensitivity as a greater than normal receptivity to stimulation of the nervous system. There are details on appreciating why this special gift can so easily be over-stimulating.

  4. Elaine Aron PhD, The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook, Broadway Books, New York, 1999

    This book contains self-tests to determine whether you're an HSP, and if so, which kind: introverted, extroverted, sensation seeking, and other plausible categories. Some HSPs yearn for "earlids" to shut out sound, for instance. There are plenty of blanks to fill in as you analyze your childhood, health concerns, work history, and psychic wounds, with plenty of guidance on how to do it--sample entries as intriguing as someone else's diary.

  5. Elaine Aron PhD, The Highly Sensitive Person in Love, Broadway Books/Random House, New York, 2000

    The Highly Sensitive Person in Love serves as a scientific and experiential testimony to the fact that highly sensitive persons and those who love them need not be prisoners but beneficiaries of their temperaments. Most couples need help discovering how two people who may see reality differently can share a common vision. The result - for those willing to invest - can be a relationship of mature strength and lasting beauty. Prepared by: Wayne A. Holst 05/2000

  6. Alan Axelrod, 201 Ways To Deal With Difficult People, McGraw-Hill, 1997

    What I liked best about this book is that it doesn't ask the reader to descend to the level of the "difficult person" that they are dealing with. But it does help you identify them, and identify what they are trying to do to you, before things go too far. Sensitive people need to recognize their anxiety as early as possible so as to either defend themselves or walk away with dignity. I recommend 201 Ways To Deal With Difficult People to all of us sensitive souls that are usually more than a little shocked at abrasive or aggressive people. I use it every day! Recommended by Susan-Jillian Smith.

  7. Louis B. Bisch, M.D.,Ph.D., Be Glad You're Neurotic, McGraw-Hill, Revised Edition, Paperback ISBN: 0070053901, 1946

    The author argues that neurosis or neurotic tendencies are signs of superiority. He also makes suggestions on how to deal with neurotic "symptoms". Recommended by Steve Nichols

  8. Isabel Briggs Myers. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type Davies-Black Publishing; Reprint edition (May 25, 1995)

    The classic work on the 16 major personality types as identified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This book gives an overview of the history and theory behind the widely used Myers-Briggs personality type inventory, and briefly but thoroughly summarizes the characteristics of each personality type as well as the "groups" of related types. This is straight from the horse's mouth: Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, developed the inventory based on Jung's theory of psychological types, and tested it extensively before it became widely used. Suggested by Steve Nichols.

  9. Marcy Calhoun, Are You Really Too Sensitive?, Blue Dolphin Publishing, Nevada City, CA, 1987

    In Are You Really Too Sensitive? Marcy Calhoun defines ultra-sensitivity as the ability to sense things that others cannot sense. Our "communication center" is the place where all these sensations come to us from the body, mind, emotions and spirit. This book has interesting descriptions of visual, knowing and feeling types of sensitive people. Lots of suggestions and exercises on how to work with the information coming into your communication center and on how to turn overwhelm into a unique gift.

  10. Children First: A Parent's Guide to Corporate Predators

    Excellent primer on protecting your children from harmful corporate influences. Researched by Linda Coco and associates, with an introduction by Ralph Nader (1996). Available for $12.00 from Children First, PO Box 19312, Washington, DC 20036, or call 202-387-8030

  11. Kathleen DesMaisons and Candace Pert, Potatoes not Prozac, Simon & Schuster, 1999

    According to addiction expert DesMaisons, many people, including those who are depressed, are "sugar sensitive." Eating sweets, breads, pasta or alcohol gives them a temporary emotional boost. The best way to keep the brain chemicals in the right balance and keep blood-sugar levels steady, she says, is through the dietary plan she describes in Potatoes Not Prozac. Her rules are fairly simple--eat three meals a day, eat proteins with every meal, and eat more complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and, yes, potatoes.

  12. Patricia Evans, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Adams Media Corporation, Avon, MA, Paperback 1996
    Survivors of Verbal Abuse Speak Out, Adams Media Corporation, Avon, MA, Paperback 1993
    Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You, Adams Media Corporation, Avon, MA, Paperback 2002

    Sensitives need to read these books because they will shave years and years of abuse and hurt off of our lives in this area. You can find out more about this on her website Recommended by Margaret Paine.

  13. Jenna Forrest, Help Is On Its Way: A True Story, BookSurge Publishing (April 24, 2007), ISBN-13: 978-0979229817.

    Jenna Forrest writes about growing up highly sensitive. She vividly explores her childhood through wide-open eyes. The sights and smells of the world of a child are so real and tangible you feel like you're really living in Jenna's skin. This commanding narrative leaves you hanging onto every word. She just let's the world unfold and allows us an intimate peek into her childhood.

  14. Janet Goodrich. Help Your Child to Perfect Eyesight Without Glasses, Celestial Arts, ISBN: 0890878706, 1999

    Jam-packed with practical and fun ideas, this book is exactly what you need to make a total difference in your child's vision. It is a joy to correct eyesight and prevent future problems. Vision games are fun and each has a companion song to reinforce good visual habits. Families can share quality time, or confident kids can follow through independently. A good book to start with. There are many others available.

  15. Cliff Harwin, Making Sense of Your High Sensitivity, The Highly Sensitive Person Publishing Company 2007, ISBN 978-0-9793477-0-2

    Cliff Harwin shares his personal life experiences from childhood, the school years, the work world, health issues and his relationships. He illustrates how you can take the steps forward to move out of the "safe zone" into an exciting life of possibilities. There are exercises at the end of each chapter and resource lists at the end. This self-published book is available directly from the author

    The HSP

  16. Barbara Hateley and Warren H. Schmidt, A Peacock in the Land of Penguins: A Tale of Diversity and Discovery, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, 1997, ISBN 1-57675-010-8

    A book that I feel would really help highly sensitive persons in the work place. This is a modern day fable about Perry the Peacock who faces the perils and possibilities of being different in an organiztion. Recommended by Steve Nichols.

  17. Sharon Heller, Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World, 2002

    Sensory defensiveness (SD) symptoms include flinching from touch; overly acute senses of smell; fear of escalators; irritation at certain lights; and eating disorders. While these symptoms are often present from birth, for many other people they can be triggered by some traumatic event. Recommended by Kevin Kortan.

  18. Barrie Jaeger, Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person, McGraw-Hill Trade, 2004, ISBN: 007140810X

    Work Purpose Coach Barrie Jaeger provides HSP readers with useful tips on how to monitor oneself, relax and set boundaries to avoid getting overwhelmed; how to face down office bullies; and, using carefully scripted model monologues, how to inform coworkers and supervisors of one's needs as an HSP (talk about "fatigue" rather than "depression," for example). Her goal is to help HSPs ascend from Drudgery, through the "purgatory" of Craft, to their true Calling.

  19. Jean-Claude Koven Going Deeper: How to make sense of your life when your life makes no sense, Prism House Press, Cathedral City, California. August 2004, ISBN 0-9723954-5-8

    For strangers in a strange land, this book offers a no-holds-barred look at the myths and twisted realities that lock the human race, and those who came to serve them, into an illusion. It does this with plots and characters as enchanting as they are wise and wildly original. The author's pithy tongue-in-cheek tale prods and awakens the dormant memories hidden deep within each of us.

  20. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic, Harperperennial Library, 1992

    The spirited child--often called "difficult" or "strong-willed"--can easily overwhelm parents, leaving them feeling frustrated and inadequate. Spirited kids are, in fact, simply "more"--by temperament, they are more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and uncomfortable with change than the average child. Through vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint, Raising Your Spirited Child offers parents emotional support and proven strategies for handling their spirited child.

  21. Peter Levine with Ann Frederick, Waking the Tiger - Healing Trauma, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 1997

    The authors in Waking the Tiger look at animals to discover, that although they are often in life threatening situations, they are not traumatized. Humans on the other hand can be traumatized by relatively ordinary experiences. Both animals and humans experience physical freeze in traumatic situations. The animals recover quickly. Overwhelming life events will continue to happen to humans. By becoming more aware of their body felt symptoms they need not remain traumatized. The book contains exercises to help you focus on your body sensations to heal from trauma.

  22. Jean Liedloff, The Continuum Concept, Perseus Books, Reprint edition (January 1986)

    Though not written as a child-rearing manual, The Continuum Concept has earned a reputation as an excellent resource for parents and parents-to-be who intuitively feel that the parenting "techniques" of the modern era are inherently misguided. It has also been helpful to many adults - parents and non-parents alike - who hope to recover the natural state of happiness lost as a result of the modern child-rearing practices of their well-meaning parents.

  23. Robert Lindner, Prescription for Rebellion, Holt, Reinhardt and Winston Inc., Paperback ISBN: 0837180163, 1952

    Robert Lindner was a psychoanalyst who argued that the therapeutic goal of "adjustment" is a dreadful mistake. Recommended by Steve Nichols

  24. Carol McClelland, The Seasons of Change, Conari Press, Berkeley, California, 1998

    The Seasons of Change is subtitled 'Using Nature's Wisdom to Grow Through Life's Inevitable Ups and Downs.' Carol McClelland uses natures constantly cycling seasons of birth, maturing, dying and rebirth as a model for working with our own transformations. This book was recommended by Barrie Jaeger. Barrie wrote: she writes about "having a 'nest' spot to go to when you need to be quiet and alone with your experiences. Good HSP stuff."

  25. Robert S. Mendelsohn, How to Raise a Healthy Child : In Spite of Your Doctor, Ballantine Books(Mm), 1990

    This book was written for parents who are seeking advice on how to raise healthy children, parents who are eager to give their kids a good start in life without entrusting all of the medical decisions to their pediatricians. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, renowned pediatrician and author advises parents on home treatment and diagnosis of colds and flus, childhood illnesses, vision and hearing problems, allergies, and more. PLUS, a complete section on picking the right doctor for your child, step-by-step instructions for knowing when to call a doctor, and much more.

  26. Kyra Mesich, The Sensitive Person's Survival Guide: An Alternative Health Answer to Emotional Sensitivity and Depression, Ansuz Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2001 ISBN # 0-9674767-9-8.

    Many highly sensitive people experience the pain of others in a profound way. Sensitivities are blessings and The Sensitive Person's Survival Guide attempts to help victims of their sensitivities to discover the causes behind negative experiences in order to find healing and positive purpose as empathetically attuned individuals. Reviewed by Wayne A. Holst 11/2000

  27. Adrienne Miller, Andrew Goldblatt, The Hamlet Syndrome : Overthinkers Who Underachieve, William Morrow and Co, ISBN: 0688078516; (March 1989)

    Miller and Goldblatt have beautifully captured the essence of a very specific band of outsiders. They are able to sympathize with their subjects while also gently criticizing them. This is an excellent, but little-known book about sensitivity. It is given as one of four personal characteristics that predispose persons to drop out of the race. There are numerous real-life examples given. Recommended by Steve Nichols.

  28. Laurie Morgan, The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth, Writers Club Press; (January 2003), ISBN: 0595265464

    Beginning with the triumphant birth story that sparked a thousand grateful emails, and ending with the sweet tale of an extraordinarily normal birth, Laurie Morgan's The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth has fast become an underground "thinking parent's guide" to better childbirth.
    Morgan is warm, inspiring and oozing with common sense as she exposes simple truths about pregnancy and childbirth, from the surprisingly bright side of personal responsibility, to common stumbling blocks along the path to a joyful birth experience.

  29. Joseph Nowinski, The Tender Heart, Conquering Your Insecurity, A Fireside Book, Simon and Schuster, 2001

    This book is a first on the subject of sensitive people and insecurity. Joseph Nowinski asserts that there is difference between being sensitive and being insecure. Sensitivity is a disposition to be celebrated. Insecurity is accumulated through our experience. Changing our sensitive temperaments is like attempting to force a left-handed person to use the right; but our insecurities can be unlearned.
    Wayne A. Holst

  30. Diane Goullard Parlante, Beyond Words, Getting to the Heart of Communication in One or More Languages for the 21st Century, Authors House Publisher, 2004, 494 pages, ISBN 1403319758

    This two-part book explains the nuts and bolts of translating and interpreting. Throughout the book, the author reveals insights and personal life lessons learned from blending a physical, mental and spiritual approach to communicating. Behind the facade, words and silences can heal; they can wound. Diane says, "As a HSP, I have used my sensitivity to help others through the book."

  31. Janet Poland, The Sensitive Child, St. Martin's Paperbacks, New York, 1995

    In The Sensitive Child by Janet Poland the sensitive child is defined as having heightened reactions, being capable of responding to fainter stimuli and having more pronounced fear responses than others. Four main themes in the book are low sensory threshold (easily overwhelmed by physical stimuli), social sensitivity (uncomfortable around people), emotional sensitivity (picking up every nuance of feelings in others) and sensitivity to change (not liking fast-paced novelty). There is a great chapter on seventeen well-meaning mistakes that parents make.

  32. Anneli Rufus, Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto, Marlowe and Company, ISBN: 1569245134, February 2003

    Self-reliant, each loner swims alone through a social world - a world of teams, troops and groups - that scorns and misunderstands those who stand apart. Everywhere from newspapers to playgrounds, loners are accused of being crazy, cold, stuck-up, standoffish, selfish, sad, bad, secretive and lonely - and, of course, serial killers. Loners, however, know better than anyone how to entertain themselves - and how to contemplate and to create. They have a knack for imagination, concentration, inner discipline, and invention - a talent for not being bored. Recommended by Jennifer Layton

  33. Amy Scholten, Your Sensitivity is a Gift! A Guide to Self-esteem for People with High Sensitivity

    This small booklet, written and illustrated by the author, is full of useful suggestions for managing your sensitivity. The gifts of highly sensitive people are often squelched by their own self-doubt. This easy-to-read, humorously illustrated guide, will teach you simple habits for building self-esteem and reaching your potential as a highly sensitive person. Order directly from

    Inner Medicine Publishing

  34. Rachel Scoltock, Loving your Sensitive Self: A Guide to Managing and Protecting your Energy, 2010

    Loving your Sensitive Self A uniquely insightful guide to uncover your psychic, intuitive and healing gifts, connect with angels and discover the secrets with in your aura.
    In "Loving Your Sensitive Self" Rachel Scoltock teaches you practical and esoteric methods to strengthen and manage your energy field so that you no longer have to suffer low energy, overwhelming emotion and draining situations. Learn what it is to be sensitive, why sensitivity is so important at this time and how to manage senstitivity so that you can feel clear, balanced and energised at all times. Order directly from

  35. Bonnie Snyder, Angel Violetís Magic Wings: A Storybook To Help Caregivers and Children, ISBN-10: 0615925057, 2013

    Angel Violetís Magic Wings story is an easy way for children (4-8 years old and especially the highly sensitive/intuitive children) to learn how to feel safe and shift from feeling yucky to ďsparklingĒ again. Itís a tool for children and caregivers to manage the stresses and challenges of everyday living so they can understand themselves and others better. Instead of making things right or wrong, Angel Violetís Magic Wings wisely guides children to trust their heart and to take time to notice what makes them feel yucky or happy.

  36. Richard A Swenson, The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live Within Your Limits, Navpress, 1998

    The Overload Syndrome talks mainly about how people get caught up in the rat race these days and how we were never meant to live like this, about burnout, etc. It's a spiritual book, also. There are a few pages in which he writes about the "Highly Productive Person" and then the "Highly Sensitive Person" and how being "overloaded" affects the HSP. Recommended by Terri Been.

  37. Terrence Webster-Doyle, Why is Everybody Always Picking on Me? A Guide to Handling Bullies, Weatherhill Publishing or from

    Lively color illustrations, exciting stories, and practical tips and role-playing exercises help give children the tools to avoid being victimized.
    Cope with the "Schoolyard Bully"!
    Stop bullies by using the "School of No Sword"!
    Gain the confidence to win without fighting!
    This book is also for adults searching for constructive ways to help young people peacefully confront hostile agression.

  38. Colin Wilson, The Outsider, Indigo, London, 1997

    The Outsiders was first published in 1956. It became an instant best seller. Through examples from the works and lives of artists up to his time Colin Wilson defined a type of person he called The Outsider. The thoughts, feelings and characteristics of The Outsiders are just as relevant today as they were in the fifties. He defines the outsider as a person that "sees too deep but can't help it", a person that instinctively feels he doesnt fit in, becomes troubled by that, and sets out on a personal journey of discovering himself and his position in everything else.

  39. Ted Zeff, The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide, Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA, ISBN 1-57224-396-1, 2004

    This holistically oriented book, written in a very readable style, has suggestions for everything from your diet to your soul's wellbeing. There are plenty of references to find more information or help, both in print and on the Internet. The book's title says it all.

  40. Ted Zeff, The Power of Sensitivity, Success Stories by Highly Sensitive People Thriving in a Non-sensitive World, Prana Publishing, ISBN-10: 0966074548, ISBN-13: 978-0966074543 Dec 9, 2014

    Dr. Ted Zeff has compiled 44 uplifting success stories that have been submitted from sensitive people from 10 different countries. Highly Sensitive People throughout the world have shared their triumphs and happiness living with the trait of high sensitivity, which will help the international HSP community to learn new ways to manage their trait and thrive in our non-sensitive world.

  41. Ted Zeff, The Strong, Sensitive Boy, Help Your Son Become a Happy, Confident Man, Prana Publishing, ISBN-10: 0966074521, ISBN-13: 978-0966074529, May 3, 2010

    Our sensitive boys tend to be creative, kind, and gentle, appreciating beauty and feeling love deeply. Therefore, it's particularly challenging for sensitive boys to grow up in a culture where boys are taught to act tough, aggressive, and unemotiona.


  1. "The Porcupines", newsletter for those with allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), environmental illness (IE), or electromagnetic field sensitivities (ES). Julie Husted, 422 Kimberly Road, Barrington, IL 60010-2222, USA. Subscription $15. per year.

  2. "Comfort Zone: The HSP Newsletter", by Elaine Aron PhD, PO Box 460564, San Francisco, CA 94146-0564 USA. Published quarterly. Subscription $30. per year.


  1. Dream Network, A Journal Exporing Dreams and Myth, PO Box 1026, Moab, UT 84532 USA. On the web:

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