Hello, and welcome.
This is a place for people who are emotional sensitive and intense.
We live in a culture that does not fully understand or embrace this unique trait; intense and passionate individuals are told that they are ‘too much', ‘too sensitive’, 'too overbearing', 'too dramatic', or ‘too emotional’. Many find themselves being misunderstood, plagued by shame or self- judgement, and not being able to reach their full potential.
My goal is to help you answer these questions:
Is there something wrong with me?
How does being emotionally intense explain my life?
How do I fulfil my potential?
DO YOU FEEL AND LIVE MORE INTENSELY THAN OTHERS?
Emotional Intensity can be expressed and experienced in different ways, for a full description, see here.
You feel a constant stream of both positive and negative feelings — pain, despair, fear, excitement, love, happiness.
Sometimes, feelings can become so powerful and compelling that you feel out of control.
On the flip side, you can be flooded by joy, be deeply moved by art, beauty, and have bursts of creative insights.
You are naturally excitable and passionate— even if you don’t show it on the outside.
In social situation, you 'absorb' other people's emotions, and can be overwhelmed by stimuli, noises, or social nuances.
Your psychological distress are sometimes expressed in the body —migraine headaches, allergies, asthma, and panic attacks.
You form strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things, or finding separation difficult since a young age.
You may be shockingly accurate in noting the unspoken social nuances and relational dynamics. Even this overwhelms you, you cannot ‘un-see’ things, and you cannot stand inauthentic people and situations.
You have an innate urge to push the boundaries of conformity, even when it makes life difficult for you sometimes.
Being acutely aware of the suffering, hypocrisies and complexities of life, you may constantly feel older than others around you, like an ‘old soul’ that has somehow lost his/her roots.
You are highly driven, and can be 'perfectionistic', which can be expressed as chronic anxiety and restlessness.
You have incessant internal dialogue and obsessive thoughts.
You live with an existential angst, a sense of urgency, an impulse to move forward, and a constant need to learn and explore.
You experience existential depression over the meaninglessness of life, death, and loneliness.
You have been diagnosed/ mis-diagnosed with mental illnesses such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or ADHD.
CHALLENGES FACED BY THE EMOTIONALLY INTENSE
The focus of our work is on helping you resolve the following negative patterns that seem to happen again and again in your life:
Extreme and unpredictable mood swings, feeling like you are always on the verge of losing control.
Shame, sensitivity to criticism and rejection, over-reacting in some situations.
Perfectionism, burn-out or bore-out at work, chronically restless, unable to relax or to take in pleasure.
Impulsive and self- sabotaging behaviours that are not aligned with who you want to be.
Feeling oppressed by the dominant values, not able to have a voice or a place in the world.
Not fitting into mainstream society or culture, being or feeling isolated and alienated.
Taking on other people's emotions; Becoming overly responsible for things that happen between you.
Feeling under-stimulated or over-stressed in relationships and friendships.
Being drawn to the same type of partner/ relationship over and over, even when your needs are not met.
Unable to say no, feeling guilty even when you have done nothing wrong.
The fear of 'coming out' with your intensity, with the fear of being annihilated if you ‘stick your head out.’
Feeling numb and empty most of the time, except when the emotions erupt suddenly and uncontrollably.
Existential guilt and despair, feeling hopeless and powerless in the face of uncertainties in life.
Not able to trust anyone, feeling like you have to control everything.
Losing touch with your intuition, and disconnected from spirituality.
Writer/ Artist's block; Feeling stuck and unable to reach your full potential.
being labelled with bpd
Emotional Intensity can look like a mental illness, one of the most common labels given to emotionally intense people is Borderline Personality Disorder. Despite being referred to as a ‘personality disorder’, BPD is not a personality defect, but a set of coping patterns that reflects some of your deep unmet needs. The condition is often misunderstood and heavily and stigmatised. For one, the myth that BPD is ‘untreatable’ is an old, inaccurate and very dangerous myth within the mental health industry. In fact, mounting evidence is suggesting the opposite is true.
Some of the traits of BPD are:
Fearing abandonment and rejection
Having series of intense and unstable relationships
Not having a strong sense of self-identity, not knowing 'Who I am'
Impulsive behaviours that are self damaging e.g. spending, substance abuse, sex, reckless driving, binge eating
Recurrent suicidal thoughts and behaviour
Severe mood swings
Chronic feelings of emptiness
Sudden and uncontrollable rage
Feeling dissociated from reality during times of stress
What makes this work different?
1. Expertise in emotional regulation, intensity, sensitivity and giftedness
Different from general counselling, we will focus on helping you make sense of the experience of feeling and living with intensity. More specifically, the life themes of: emotional regulation, owning your intensity, living authentically, and releasing your suppressed creative potential. Our work will be synthesised from well-researched models:
Schema, Mentalization, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness-based therapies (MBSR, MBCT), Archetypes, Psychosynthesis, Stoic Philosophy, Sandplay, Jungian Symbol work, Buddhist Psychology, MBTI and The Enneagram system.
2. Non- pathologising and holistic way of working
I am not against medication or psychiatry, but the traditional medical system tends to pathologise the most natural human expressions such as grieve the loss of connection, anxiety in a time of rapid change, or anger for injustice in the world.
Intensity, as a natural human expression, is not a pathology in itself. It is important that you honour and celebrate your unique gifts in order to live a life with vibrancy and authenticity. When you can present yourself to the world as who you truly are, you will naturally move towards liberation and self fulfillment.
Because true healing and come from lasting changes on all aspects- physical, emotional and behavioural, our work should be integrative and holistic. Instead of having a fixed, rigid modal, we will find out what works best for you.
3. Addressing the problems at their roots
Personal developmental work is not a plaster- a temporary fix, but more like good nutrition. Drip by drip, it builds you up from the inside, and allow you to grow resilient in the face of the challenges life offers.
By addressing the core memories that generate the presenting symptoms, we make deep and lasting shifts that dispel your struggles at their roots. This is more than just an intellectual/ cognitive process, but involve changes on a physiological, emotional and energetic level.
An eggshell looks tough on the outside, but is delicate and soft on the inside. It is extremely sturdy and resilient, and the breaking of it signifies the birth of a new life. Emotional intensity is what makes you unique and powerful. Many individuals who live intensely have a lot to offer, and deserve a vibrant, meaningful life.
I look forward to being on this journey with you.
For a more detailed explanation of what we may achieve, please refer to the Roadmap.
WHO SPEAKS YOUR LANGUAGE?
Human beings are tribal creatures. However, being exceptionally emotionally sensitive and intense may mean that you live on the margin of society. It can be challenging to find ‘your people’ if you live in a remote area, but even in big cities such as London and New York, you may still feel like an outsider looking in.
Your tribe exists, even it is harder to find it, and “your people” may be dotted around the world, cutting through time and space. You may have to look beyond your immediate surrounding.
With the internet, we can now find refuge in a virtual communal space through online research, art, music, and writing. After years of searching for answers, you might have found solace in reading other people’s stories as an introvert, an empath, or their struggles with chronic physical and emotional pain. Knowing that there are others like you— even when they are a thousand miles away- is a real blessing. Rather than being limited geographically, you now have the option to have a connection with someone you can genuinely relate to.
AS FEATURED IN
- The Daily Mail, UK: An Interview about the book Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity, Feb 2018
- Psychologies UK: Sensitivity is my Superpower, Nov 2017
- The Telegraph UK: Borderline Personality Disorder: 'I couldn't deal with the rollercoaster in my head', Feb 2015
- Marie Claire UK: 'How to Toughen Up', Issue March 2016
- Empath’s Alchemy Podcast: If It Ain’t Broke…, May 2019
- Talk Radio Europe Live Interview, about the value of sensitivity in today's world. March 2018
- Rewire.org: Are You Catching Other People’s Feelings?, Nov 2018
- Happiful Magazine: Emptiness and Borderline Personality Disorder, April 2017
- The Ambient; On smart light and how colour affects our mood, Feb 2018
- Refinery29: How Do You Know Which Therapy Is Best For You?, Jan 2017
- The Debrief Magazine: The realities of dating when you are struggling with your mental health, May 2016
- Study Breaks: Being Too Much: How Do You Deal With Emotional Intensity?, Oct 2018
- The Native Society: Thought Leader Interview, Nov 2018
- Mind Mastery Lab: How to Overcome the Fear of Failure, Dec 2018
- Foreword for the Art for Mindfulness Colouring book series, Harper Collins 2016.
- On Being Intense and Parenting, with Ashleigh Boyd
- Video Interview on The Naive Society
- On Gifted Women and Impostor Syndrome with Twinky Tus
- On Invisible Childhood Wounds, with Twinky Tus
LETTERS TO THE EMOTIONALLY INTENSE
I offer an exclusive newsletter, providing you with regular doses of guidance and inspirations.
By signing up, you will receive:
- Psychological insights and latest research about Emotional Intensity
- The art and science on how to live life fully
- Practical advice to help you manage emotional storms and conflicts
- Small things you can do NOW to better your life
from misfits to triumph
Up until now, you have not yet grappled with the value of your qualities. You did not get why you feel angsty, impatient, restless and depressed with issues that other people find acceptable. The truth is,
You are a fast-moving machine in a world that does not keep up.
You are the truth seeker in groups that are complacent about hypocrisy.
Your thoughts are critical and challenging when others opt for a comfortable life.
You are a passionate lover in a culture plagued with fear and separations.
In our society, individuals who feel things deeply were pathologised, institutionalised, or were encouraged to numb out their vitality through drugs. Emotionally intense people are being held back by their internalised shame, past baggage, and existential guilt.
Sensitive and intense people are sick, weak, or ‘too fragile for the world’. It is critical that we do not collapse into the trap of pathology. Rather than shrinking and hiding and taking a smaller and smaller slice of life, by learning to ground, build resilience we can harness our strengths.
In fact, emotionally intense people are like canaries in the coal mine. In the old days, miners sent canaries into unknown pits. If the canaries stopped singing, they knew the mine was toxic, and they would stay away. When there are woes in the world, the sensitive souls are amongst the first to take the hit. Your sadness, anxiety, rage are not wrong; They are warning signs of the world’s pain.
Your sensitivity and intensity are the doorways to your fullest potential, and you are not serving the world by playing small.
If I were to sum up my message in three sentences, they would be:
One, there is nothing wrong with you.
Two; not only that, you are in a unique position to do something, create something, stand up for something.
And three; your sensitivity and intensity are not your hindrances, but DOORWAYS to your fullest potential.
Once you have embraced your sensitivity, intensity and giftedness, you will realise that all along it is leading you to your own freedom and peace. You will realise that you have no other choice than to yield to what has been given to you. You will experience unspeakable peace by surrendering to what seems true to you. You can finally stop fighting, stop trying to pretend to be who you are not, or to suppress and hide your sensitive and intense nature.
I look forward to going on this journey with you.