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Coaching for the Sensitive Person

The world doesn’t always make space for people who are sensitive:


“What’s the big deal?”
“Get over it.”
“Why are you crying?”
“Hurry up.”
“Stop being so sensitive.”

Welcome, we are Emily Rubin and Heather Shaughnessy-Cato. We identify as sensitive and are practitioners with specialties in self-compassion, mindfulness, well-being, and embodiment. 

We are here to work with fellow sensitives to become skillful and empowered in navigating the challenges, embracing the strengths, and honing the tremendous gifts that come with being a sensitive person.

As sensitive people, it is quite common to feel overwhelmed or different, and to struggle with:

Defining Sensitive

What do we mean by sensitive? A sensitive person is someone who is thought to have an increased or deeper central nervous system sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli.

You feel deeply, process deeply, and are attuned to the subtleties in your environment. This is a superpower. And it can present challenges in a world that doesn’t value, make space for, or understand these abilities. 

What causes sensitivity?

Dr. Elaine Aron, a psychologist who has studied sensitivity since 1991, coined the term “Highly Sensitive Person” which is now scientifically known as “Sensory- Processing Sensitivity “. Her research has shown that 15-20% of human beings carry this trait and it is considered normal, not a disorder. Interestingly, biologists have found it in over 100 species from birds and fish to cats, dogs, horses and even fruit flies. It stems from a mix of genetic and environmental influences and is about equally distributed across gender.

In her research, Elaine Aron has identified four primary components of being highly sensitive.

Being a highly sensitive person might look like:

A different kind of coaching

When we hear “coaching” we often think of someone pushing us forward, giving advice, with to-do’s and expectations. What we offer is much more client-centered. We focus on your agenda, engage in deep listening, and co-create the process with you. We are here to help you find your own answers, and to make changes in a way that feels good and sustainable for you.

How can coaching sessions help?

Take dedicated time and space just for you to be seen and heard, and engage with a range of healing practices to:

What do coaching sessions look like?

It’s natural to feel some nervousness in engaging in a process to deepen awareness and healing. So if you feel that way, know you are not alone.

To give you an idea of what to expect in coaching sessions, we are including a description here. We recommend scheduling a free consultation with either of us to be able to ask questions and to feel more deeply into what the process might look like for you.

In coaching sessions, we:

What does this look like in practice?

In each session we ask you what you’d like to focus on that day. This might include: space to talk through a challenge and surface new insights, or incorporating a mindfulness or compassion exercise. It may include taking time to explore a feeling with more compassion or as you think about something, translate insight into action for practical steps to explore in the coming week. These are examples of possibilities. We are most anchored to what you need in each session, in service of your long term goals, and how we can help or support you.

This process is designed to:

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato

  • MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher
  • Certified Well-Being, Wellness and Health, and Yoga Coach
  • Designing Your Life Coach and Facilitator
  • Certificate in Mindfulness / Contemplative Psychotherapy
  • Certified Yoga Teacher, 200 hr

Emily Rubin

  • Mindful Self-Compassion Trained Teacher
  • Internal Family Systems Trained
  • Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator
  • Somatic Experiencing® Trained
  • AmSAT Certified Alexander Technique Teacher

Getting Started – Schedule a free consultation

Reach out with this form to schedule a 30-minute consultation with Emily or Heather. Then if you’d like to proceed in working together, we can schedule your first appointment.

Coaching sessions can be virtual via Zoom, or some in-person sessions are available in Brunswick, ME (with Heather).

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