About the HSP Gathering Retreats: History and Pictures

 The History of the HSP Gathering Retreats
There may have been an HSP Gathering near you….
and they may be one near you in the future?

I’ve seen the inspiration, motivation, insight, and confidence that comes from being in a safe environment with other highly sensitive people.  Differential Susceptibility tells us we thrive in positive environments and struggle in negative ones.   Since 2001, the HSP Gathering Retreats have offered this unique in-person experience and now, thanks to social media, there are many more opportunities for HSP to find a sense of community.

Elaine & Jacquelyn
Santa Barbara, California
23rd HSP Gathering, 2011

The HSP Gathering Retreats™ were co-created in 2001 by Jacquelyn and Dr. Elaine Aron. Since that time there have been 36 national or international HSP Gatherings: 3 in British Columbia, Canada; 4 in England; 3 in Colorado; 2 in North Carolina; one in Texas, and the others on the West and East Coasts of the U.S.    There are two mottos at the HSP Gatherings represented in the images below:  Focus on Needs, Not Approval and Trust the Process, even if feeling vulnerable or confused, always asking:  “What is there for me to learn in this moment?” and perhaps, most importantly, “What do I need in this moment?”

You get to practice this at the HSP Gathering Retreats

You get to practice this at the HSP Gathering Retreats

The HSP Gathering Retreats™ allow for the collective creation of a gentle, nurturing space where through education, reflection, inquiry, and sharing we create a sense of self-acceptance and empowerment about who we are as HSPs. Within this compassionate community, comes the opportunity to discover and step into the beauty of your unique HSP self, while we enjoy the splendor of nature, nourishing food, and HSP soul friends.

You get to practice this at the HSP Gathering Retreats

You get to practice this at the HSP Gathering Retreats

Jacquelyn & Elaine Santa Barbara, California 2011

Jacquelyn & Elaine
Santa Barbara, California 2011

Most of us have done much reading about what it means to be an HSP.    However, few have had the opportunity to experience what it is like to BE an HSP within the context of “being with other HSPs.”  This, in itself, is a unique and rewarding learning experience for each of us, and perhaps there is no better place to do this than the HSP Gathering Retreats.  Here you will have a chance to immerse yourself into a group of HSPs for four days in a nature-oriented retreat setting where we will focus on our HSP selves from an individual, holistic, community, and cultural perspective.  This, in itself, is an amazing experiential learning opportunity, and one that hopefully empowers us as we return to our daily routines and lives back home.

The specific content of the information you receive at the Gatherings, although important, is not the main focus … because after all, there are now thousands of websites, articles, courses, and social media pages that answer all kinds of questions such as:  Just What IS an HSP?  How do I know if I am one? ? What is An HSS?  There is information on empaths, coping with stress, anxiety, overstimulation, relationships, depression, work issues, loneliness, and the list goes on.

For detailed information  AND to see pictures from ALL past HSP Gathering Retreats, please go here:  http://www.lifeworkshelp.com/hspgathering.htm  or to Elaine Aron’s newsletter, The Comfort Zone, here:  http://www.hsperson.com/pages/events.htm

Here are a few memories from some of my favorite HSP Gathering Retreats,  but that would be like saying: “I prefer one child over another” and that’s just impossible to do.

In May 2013, the 26th  HSP Gathering Retreat was held near Stockholm, Sweden.  There were 28 HSPs from 15 different countries!  I could easily say this was the best and my favorite of all the HSP Gatherings — but that would be like saying: “I prefer one child over another” and that’s just impossible to do.


The 34th HSP Gathering Retreat, June 2018, Dorset, England

The 34th HSP Gathering Retreat
June 14-18, 2018, – Gaunts House, Dorset. England –  
This was the 2nd HSP Gathering Retreat we held at Gaunts House.

Gaunts House, Wimborne, Dorset, England

Part of the magic of the 34th HSP Gathering was Gaunts House — a 15th Century mansion in the middle of many acres of land.  This was the 2nd HSP Gathering Retreat we held at Gaunts, and will most likely return there at some time in the future.

My first trip abroad was to England in April 2006 to Croydon Hall in Somerset, England for the 9th HSP Gathering Retreat.   My informal interview with Elaine Aron was a highlight, as was Croydon Hall … a charming, residential retreat center.

So, so many memories …. for which I will be eternally grateful !!

For pictures of all the 36th previous HSP Gathering Retreats go here:





6 Responses to About the HSP Gathering Retreats: History and Pictures

  1. Jasmin Guisao says:

    So, after all these years it is now that I realize that I am an HSP, or at least I believe I am. And despite therapy and pushing people away, I need to resolve this within myself. Is there medication, supplementation that can suppress this sensitivity within me. I am tired of crying, feeling depressed, and limiting myself of my highest potential.

    • Jacquelyn says:

      Dear Jasmin,
      First, welcome to the world of highly sensitive people ! I’m so glad you found us ! There is much to know about this inherited trait in order to discover personal coping mechanisms that work best for each individual. I am glad you have started this learning process. Elaine Aron’s website: http://www.hsperson.com is a comprehensive resource which offers us so much education. Also, here is a short 6 minute video which may help explain our complex trait while also knowing there are thousands of variables which influence the ways in which each HSP manifests their trait in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puvPwLmf4gw
      Secondly, it is important to know that HSPs, just like the other 80% who are not HSP, can be subject to experiencing low energy, lack of motivation, and feelings of depression, isolation, or crying spells. And we HSPs are not the only ones who may be frustrated with limits imposed on us by external factors. What are these external factors? Is this true depression? Dysthymia? Lack of self care? Lack of adequate nutrition? It is different for each of us.
      There are no supplements or medication which can “cure” our SPS trait, because it is not a diagnosis, so there is nothing to cure. As shared before, there is only information which, when discovered and applied to our daily lives, can make living as a highly sensitive people easier and more enjoyable. Not an easy thing to do, but definitely possible and definitely worth the work and journey.
      There are many sources of information may help everyone, HSPs and the other 80%, live with more energy, clearer thinking and optimism. The book, The Edge Effect, by Eric Braverman, is on my night stand . Here is a link to his assessment which helps assess if you may be low on serotonin, dopamine or other chemical imbalances in the brain. http://www.healthilluminationproducts.com/page/neurotransmitters
      I hope this is helpful.
      With HSP connection,

  2. jana gallagher says:

    so its a bit disheartning that im in the u.s. and unable to go because finding out whats wrong with me is so exciting

    • Jacquelyn says:

      Your next opportunity to join in a HSP Gathering Retreat will June 1-4, 2017 … in beautiful Santa Barbara, Californnia !
      I hope you can start saving and planning your time off…. Sincerely, Jacquelyn

  3. How do I find out when/where the next gathering is, and what may I do to get invited?

    I discovered HSP and my own HSP-ness about 3 months ago. I am working through the Brain Training book by Julie B with good results and finding that I am more sensitive than I had admitted to myself during the self test. I am very excited to find my tribe and believe that I am likely an extroverted HSP, so gathering, yay!

    Thank you for doing this important work!


    • Jacquelyn says:

      Dear Nanette,
      Welcome to the world of highly sensitive people. It is indeed a wonderful world once we acquire our own unique HSP Road Map and begin to discover and implement
      our own “HSP Owner’s Manual.”
      Here is my researched article on the sensitive extrovert: Introversion, Extroversion & the Highly Sensitive Person:

      The 36th HSP Gathering Retreat is now scheduled for September 25-29 at The Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island, Clinton, Washington. There is no invitation, just complete the
      registration form and submit payment before the deadline … There is a discount if you register early … Watch this newsletter where I will be posting the registration information before
      the end of the year.
      Thanks for reaching out ! It would be lovely to have you the 36th HSP Gathering Retreat next September !

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