Winter/Spring 2007 | Table of Contents


What to Know About the HSP Gathering Retreats 

There is so much to say about how these gatherings - how they have evolved, how each one is different than the other, how for some they are life changing,

It has been a great privilege and honor to watch as this community has grown!  The HSP Gatherings have evolved far beyond my imagination since Elaine and I first originated them, somewhat skeptically and with great HSP process in 2001.   

Many people want to know how the HSP Gatherings originated and how I became involved. I am always happy to share this story with you and usually do so at the Gatherings.  For now there are several things I want to share with you:    

Purpose of the HSP Gathering Retreats 

The purpose of the HSP Gathering Retreats has evolved over time.  I think an excerpt from The Artist's Way (which I affectionately call the 'HSP Way") says it best:

"HSPs like other HSPs. 

HSPs help each other.

 As HSPs, we must find those who believe in us

 and in whom we believe, and band together for

 support, encouragement, and protection."   


The HSP Gathering Retreats also serve to:

  • Value the trait of high sensitivity and its contribution to a saner world;
  • Address the needs of Highly Sensitive People;
  • Help develop and expand a network of supportive communities for HSPs;
  • Advocate for HPS to ensure their right to emotional, psychological, social, and economic well-being;
  • Foster the exchange of wisdom;
  • Pioneer the "HSP movement" locally, nationally, and internationally

Focus on Needs, Not Approval 

Ahhhhhh, what a comforting thought, isn't it?  It means just what it says. For four days, at any HSP Gathering Retreat, you can choose to 'focus on what you need.'  We can all come and go as we desire and all participation is optional.  The freedom to identify your needs, and take personal responsibility for them, is a big part of the HSP Gathering Success. 

So, if you find yourself needing a nap, or a walk, or if you find one of the break out sessions not meeting your needs …. p l e a s e ….. feel free to just get up and "find your joy" so to speak.  No one will judge you.  No one will wonder if you are okay - (Okay, maybe, we are HSPs after all.)  We will all just "know" that you are focusing on what you need to do.  No approval needed.  Now, this is a novel idea whose time has come, wouldn't you agree?  

The HSP Quiet Zones - A Gentle Reminder 

We have designated the sleeping rooms for napping, journaling, puttering, meditating, organizing, writing, and reflecting.  Please do socialize – very quietly in your room, with consent of your roommate, or preferably in the group areas, on walks & at meal times…Thanks 

A Word About Therapy and the HSP Gathering Retreats 

The gatherings are not intended to be therapy, although for many HSPs they are very therapeutic.  If you are in crisis, the gathering is probably not the best place for you this year.  Please be aware if you find yourself becoming emotionally triggered into past therapeutic issues.  As much as we might like to be available during such a time, it is just not possible to be a container for healing while we also take care of ourselves and enjoy the purpose of the gatherings. 

If you find yourself in a deep, therapeutic type of conversation with another HSP, it might be helpful to limit this discussion to 15 minutes.  After that time, please check with each other about the extent of time and support you are able to offer at this time.  

Finally, don't hesitate to call a support person or your therapist if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.   

The Response-Ability Box 

You will always have an opportunity to share your written thoughts, needs, feelings, suggestions, concerns, wishes or desires by placing a written note into The Response-Ability box.  These will be read each evening and be responded to as best as possible. 

Anything else you would like to know ?

Would you like to host an HSP Gathering in near you? 

Please email Jacquelyn at with your questions or concerns. 

We look forward to seeing you at a future HSP Gathering Retreat. 


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