Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Unapologetically Sensitive

We explore how sensitivity weaves itself into our lives; the richness that it adds, and the strengths we have BECAUSE of our sensitivity--and some of the challenges it poses as well. You may learn to live a bolder, brighter life.

May 12, 2020


Is What I’m Experiencing Right Now Normal?


Laura Reagan, LCSW-C


We’re all going through something traumatic; This doesn’t mean we are all traumatized.  Laura Reagan, host of Therapy Chat Podcast, and a trauma therapist, talks about our innate threat response system; what it looks like, and what types of movement can be helpful based on our trauma response.  We talk about attachment ruptures, wanting to feel safe, messages we may have received about our bodies, and self-compassion.  Laura talks about indicators to assess if we need to seek help.


  • We are all going through something traumatic
  • That doesn’t mean we’re all traumatized
  • Humans are animals, and we have an innate threat response system
    • Fight
    • Flight
    • Freeze
    • Submit
    • Attach Cry
    • If we’re feeling angry, we’re probably in fight
    • If we want to escape, we’re probably in flight
    • If we’re experiencing agitation, anxiety, feeling stuck, we’re probably in freeze
    • If we’re pushing through and carrying on, we’re in submit
    • If we are wanting help, then we may be in attach cry
  • We may be wanting to numb by using substances, the internet, comfort eating
  • Some people who have recovered from eating disorders, or other disorders may be concerned that they are relapsing due to shifts in behaviors
  • If we’ve gained weight, we need to have self-compassion. We may be worrying about having a new problem if we’ve gained extra weight
  • Our moods may be up and down, calm, accepting, freaking out, jumping out of our skin, sadness, loss, irritability, lack of focus, lethargy
  • We may feel a need to compare our situation to others, which can negate our experience
  • We may be missing our connection with friends, family members, parents
  • Those people who have loved ones in hospitals, care facilities, nursing homes, may be experiencing loss and grief since they can’t visit them
  • We may be experiencing attachment ruptures
  • Our attachment narrative may come up
  • We want to feel that we’re going to be safe
  • We can do that for each other
  • We can allow conversations about how we’re really doing
  • Loving and gentle movement is really important
  • If we’re stuck/frozen, we may need to curl up with a cozy blanket and cocoon for now. When we’re ready, we can do stretching, or exercises that are low to the ground
  • If we’re agitated, anxious, irritable, we can do jumping jacks, kick boxing, jump rope, running
  • Dancing is a great way to calm the body
  • We may be experiencing more self-criticism—sometimes this is how we distract from the pain
  • Many of us got the message that our bodies are right, and that they need to be different
  • We may use food if we have attachment injuries
  • Self-compassion is SO important
  • Carl Rogers said, “The curious paradox is that, when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.”
  • You might have a trauma history and not be aware of it
    • Having a mother who was depressed
    • Witnessing domestic violence, pushing, shoving, hitting
    • You might be having a hard time coping now because past trauma is being activated
  • Unresolved grief may be activated
  • There are many support groups for grief, eating disorders, substance abuse, partial hospitalization programs, therapy, coaching
  • Indicators you may want to seek help
    • Difficulty with sleep—falling asleep, staying asleep, nightmares
    • If you have an eating disorder, old behaviors may start surfacing
    • If you have a history of substance abuse—having the urge to use again. There are online 12-step programs
    • Depressive symptoms
      • feeling sad, and not being able to shake it off
      • not getting out of bed for a few days
      • can’t work
      • not able to engage in your primary relationships with your partner or children
      • feeling suicidal—call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
    • You may need help short-term to help with functioning
    • If you feel like you shouldn’t ask for help, or you shouldn’t need help
    • Often trauma hits after the traumatic experience is over
    • PTSD—recurrent depression, depressing thoughts, intrusive thoughts, dreams
    • The sooner you address PTSD, the better the outcome


Laura Reagan, LCSW-C is an integrative trauma therapist and owner of the Baltimore Annapolis Center for Integrative Healing in Severna Park, Maryland. She uses mindfulness, expressive arts and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy in her work with adults who have experienced childhood trauma. She offers clinical supervision in Maryland and clinical consultation online and in person. Her practice website is: Laura is also the host of Therapy Chat podcast, which focuses on trauma, attachment, relationships, self compassion, perfectionism, mindfulness and complementary and alternative approaches to psychotherapy. Therapy Chat can be heard anywhere podcasts are found and at


Patricia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Coach.  She knows what it’s like to feel like an outcast, misfit, truthteller and black sheep.  Learning about the trait of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), helped Patricia rewrite her history with a deeper understanding, appreciation and a sense of self-compassion.  She created the podcast Unapologetically Sensitive to help other HSPs know that they aren’t alone, and that being an HSP has amazing gifts, and some challenges.  Patricia works online globally working individually with people, and she teaches Online Courses for HSPs that focus on understanding what it means to be an HSP, self-care, self-compassion, boundaries, perfectionism, mindfulness, communication, and creating a lifestyle that honors us


Laura’s links



Instagram: @lauralcswc and @therapychatpod




Heather Tuba Trauma Informed Support for Parnters of Survivors--

Kristen Neff--

Patricia’s links

HSP Online Course--

To write a review in itunes:

  1. click on this link
  2. select “listen on Apple Podcasts”
  3. chose “open in itunes”
  4. choose “ratings and reviews”
  5. click to rate the number of starts
  6. click “write a review”



Closed/Private Facebook group Unapologetically Sensitive--

Closed/Private Facebook group for therapists and healers--




Show hashtag--#unapologeticallysensitive

Music-- Gravel Dance by Andy Robinson