If you are an empath or highly sensitive person (HSP), you have a unique set of challenges to face.
Choosing a mental health provider that is well-versed in how to support HSPs is imperative to help you manage your empathic abilities, and control the overwhelming emotions that come with them.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the three best counseling services for highly sensitive people, so you can master your empathic gift.
Quick summary table
Best empath therapist near me
As an empath or a highly sensitive person, your therapist must understand how to support you as an HSP. Many professional counselors are not able to provide sufficient support and treatment for empaths and HSPs because they do not understand just how deeply their client’s sensitivity affects every aspect of their life.
If your searches for an empath therapist near me are coming up empty, we’ve got some good news for you – online platforms are changing the ways empaths and HSPs receive mental health support and services.
BetterHelp is one of the world’s leading online counseling services. They provide a wide range of counseling options for empaths and highly sensitive persons.
With BetterHelp, you get weekly sessions with a licensed professional counselor, either by phone or video calls. You also have the option of unlimited messaging with your empath therapist through BetterHelp’s live chat platform.
Here are some of the reasons it’s worth checking out BetterHelp as an empath.
It’s easy to find the best empath therapist
Struggling to find a good therapist is a common problem in traditional therapy, especially for empaths or highly sensitive persons.
If you are working with a therapist who doesn’t fully understand what it’s like to live as an HSP, you won’t be able to benefit as deeply from your sessions and you may even end up feeling worse at the end of the counseling.
The issue with traditional therapy is switching providers involves a lot of leg work. It’s quite a hassle to get involved with a mental health provider, only to have to start all over again, spending hours of your time scouring therapist directories on the web.
BetterHelp makes it easy to find an empath therapist that understands your HSP needs. You can choose from a massive range of therapists, each with the experience needed to help you as a highly sensitive person.
And what’s more, BetterHelp makes it easier to switch therapists on their online platform. You can simply login to BetterHelp and choose to switch counselor at any time you like.
You can get ongoing support, with live chat messaging
In a traditional therapy setting, sometimes your counselor will want to restrict their treatment to within each weekly meeting. This means that if you walk out of your session and immediately think of a question or concern for your counselor, you have to wait until next time to bring it up.
Fortunately, BetterHelp has a live chat feature, giving you the option to continue talking with your empath therapist in between sessions. You can send messages at any time you like, ensuring you don’t forget anything you’d like to ask about, and your counselor will respond as soon as possible.
Therapy-integrated online journal
Journaling is a great way to work through your emotions and self-reflect. For empaths in particular, this can be very helpful in developing a deeper understanding of your behavior and emotional health over time.
BetterHelp offers a journaling feature directly through the platform, helping you track your treatment progress and record your thoughts and feelings on a daily or weekly basis.
You can keep your journaling to yourself, but there is also the option of making your notes visible to your empath therapist. If you’d like to keep a journal, your therapist may choose to utilize this feature even further and give you journal prompts as part of your therapy, helping you keep a consistent record.
Regular empath groupinars
BetterHelp offers live group educational sessions every day via webinar. These workshops are available for BetterHelp members, and cover a wide range of very useful topics for empaths – such as understanding your own behavior, dealing with guilt, and setting boundaries.
Every groupinar is free to sign up for through your BetterHelp membership, and you can attend as many of them as you want. Many of the therapists running the sessions will provide free downloads and resources for attendees, allowing you to further your understanding of each session’s topic.
Online-therapy.com is a comprehensive online therapy website with a focus on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), including for highly sensitive persons and empaths.
CBT is a type of talk therapy that focuses on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to cope with difficult situations. Online-therapy.com offers CBT from certified therapists as well as a complete online therapy toolbox. This toolbox offers worksheets, live chat options, activity plans, and a special self-care course designed to be used alongside their online counseling services.
There are two different areas where this platform stands out for HSPs:
Self-care course to help you on a day-to-day basis
Online-therapy.com’s self-care course can be taken in conjunction with online therapy sessions from their counselors. The course is self-directed, and is supported by the latest research into Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. It’s comprised of eight sections and covers topics such as emotional health, anxiety, and problematic behaviors.
Each section comes with a worksheet that you fill out, which will help to deepen your understanding of issues such as sensitivity and self-critical thoughts. Your therapist will go over your worksheet with you each week, helping to analyze your behavior as a part of the treatment process.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy sessions for highly sensitive people
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can be an effective highly sensitive person treatment, as it’s often very helpful for managing anxiety and stress.
By identifying and challenging negative thinking patterns, CBT can help empaths and highly sensitive people better understand how they perceive their environment and those around them.
But while CBT can be helpful for empaths or HSPs, it is only effective if your empath therapist is well-versed in how best to support the mental health of a highly sensitive person. When you choose a therapist on this website (or anywhere else), ensure that they have experience in dealing with empaths and those with similar potential issues.
What is an empath?
An empath is someone who feels and takes on another person’s feelings. This is different from the emotion of empathy, which is something all humans can feel. Approximately 15% of the general population are empaths.
Empathy is understanding another person’s experiences by putting yourself in their shoes and seeing the world from their perspective.
Most people experience empathy on a daily basis. You might empathize with a mother carrying her screaming toddler out of a grocery store. Maybe you’ll empathize with your mail carrier walking around on a hot day, or someone on the news whose house has just burnt down. Many of us feel some type of empathy on a day-to-day basis. But the ability to empathize with other human beings is not the same thing as being an empath.
Empaths are highly sensitive, and can feel their emotions much more deeply than the average person. Their sensitivity allows them to closely identify with the world around them, and this changes the way they interact with people, places, and situations.
Being an extremely empathic person may help you bond more closely with others around you, and can help to increase your awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
While being an empath is often considered a gift, those with this trait tend to struggle with the sense of overwhelm that this high level of sensitivity brings to their life.
What is the difference between an empath and a highly sensitive person (HSP)?
There are many similarities between highly sensitive people and empaths. Both are highly sensitive to light, sounds, and smells, and are easily overstimulated and overwhelmed by their surroundings.
If you are an empath or highly sensitive person, you may find that you avoid large crowds and chaotic environments. After being out in public, you may seek out alone time to decompress and recharge.
But while both highly sensitive people and empaths are incredibly sensitive to the energies around them, an empath will absorb the energy and take it on as their own. This can wreak havoc on their lives and pose many challenges to their physical and mental health.
How do I know if I’m an empath or a highly sensitive person?
Many different traits define an empath or HSP. Due to their highly sensitive natures, these individuals can connect with people at a very deep level and tend to choose careers that focus on helping others.
Empaths and HSPs also struggle with sensitivity to their surroundings and the people in it. They thrive in environments where they have the freedom to take frequent stimulus breaks.
Here are some of the most common traits of highly sensitive and highly empathic people.
Sensitive to their surroundings
Different environments evoke different types of emotions and carry different moods, attitudes, and energy levels. This is especially true if you are an empath or HSP.
A quiet, candlelit yoga class will provide a much deeper sense of relaxation and peace for you than it might for someone who is not an empath. On the other hand, a crowded concert or other environments with loud noises may create stress, fear, and concern within you to the point where you need frequent breaks. You may choose to avoid chaotic environments and places you are likely to hear loud noises altogether as an empath.
Empaths and HSPs are typically fantastic listeners, and will often take the time to listen to people’s problems and understand their struggles.
As an empath, you tend to not just listen to a person’s story but actually experience it as well, like an emotional sponge. You can stand on the inside looking out and can feel how the other person perceives a given situation. This is an incredibly useful way to connect with people, but highly empathic people run into trouble when they put too much emphasis on how others are feeling over their own emotions.
Empaths get their feelings hurt very easily – sometimes the tiniest thing can trigger the biggest reactions.
This is because highly sensitive people and empaths feel things very deeply. They are incredibly conscious of how they make others feel and in turn, are highly sensitive to any perceived slights or negativity that others express.
How can I begin to manage being an empath?
In addition to seeking out an empath therapist, there are a couple of things you can begin doing now to manage being an empath.
Create boundaries for yourself and your time
Creating boundaries for you and your time is essential to your well-being as an HSP or empath.
Learning to say “no” is a hurdle that many empaths struggle to overcome. Statements like, “I can only give ten hours a week” or “I need some time to myself right now” are important for HSPs to master.
Establishing and maintaining boundaries is essential, otherwise you will likely overdo it and expel all your time and energy on others, leaving nothing for yourself.
Learn to love alone time
Rest and solitude are essential components of an empath’s life. It’s very easy to get swept away by everything going on around you, which is why it is so necessary to consciously carve out alone time.
A little bit of space away from the madness helps HSPs reset and readjust, so they can move forward with a clear head.
Living as an empath can sometimes feel like an emotional burden. The heightened sensitivity and the extreme highs and lows can often feel exhausting and frustrating.
But with a qualified empath therapist, you can begin to see how your empathic trait is a gift instead of a curse and use it to create a richer and more fulfilling life.
Still unsure how to get help with your mental health as an empath? Leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
About the author
I am a freelance writer, mental health advocate, and certified meditation teacher with extensive experience in mental and emotional health. After earning my master’s degree in educational psychology, I went on to practice crisis counseling and behavioral therapy.
As a writer, my aim is to utilize my personal and professional experience in mental health to create content that helps readers feel understood and supported. I have been a contributor for The Mighty, Yahoo!, and have ghostwritten for a variety of personal development and wellness websites.
When I’m not writing, you can find me exercising, reading, or playing with my dogs, Doug and Ozzy.