Before coming to 1A Wellness, most of the teenagers we work with haven’t figured out that they have a superpower, and that superpower is sensitivity. They feel more feelings than most people their age. In any given moment of the day, they are picking up on more emotional and social information (noticing that someone looked away when you walked in the room, feeling the person’s anxiety next to you) than most teens and as a result, actually feel more. It is like most people hear one radio station at a time, but they hear 15 channels at once. And they need to navigate this onslaught of information in the midst of social media and the regular work of being teenagers and figuring out their place in the world.
So life is harder for them because they experience more. But life is also more rewarding. Teens with this superpower tend to be exceptionally bright, caring, and generally want to do the right thing. The outside world does not understand how much they suffer. They want a therapist to talk to them and not just sit and listen.
They have large internal critics (What is wrong with me? Why did I get that question wrong?) that have come in and essentially are trying to bully them into doing the right thing. At 1A Wellness, demystifying the relationship between emotions and a sensitive temperament is a big part of the process. We help teens better understand and work with their superpower so they can use it for good. Teens that work with us learn to respect their unique way of being in the world, and learn tools to cope with strong emotions. They also learn to filter information all the information that comes at them, and stay safe by setting good boundaries.