#213 – The Highly Sensitive Person with Ted Zeff

photo of Dr. Ted Zeff


Ted Zeff, Ph.D., is the author of two books on the highly-sensitive person: The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide and a workbook titled, The Highly Sensitive Person’s Companion. He is currently working on a third book: The Highly Sensitive Boy-Helping Your Son Become a Strong, Confident, Emotionally-Healthy Man. He received his doctorate in psychology in 1981 from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. He currently teaches workshops on coping techniques for highly sensitive people. He has taught stress reduction and insomnia management for over fifteen years at various hospitals and medical groups.

Dr. Zeff has recently been giving many radio interviews throughout the United States and Canada at such stations as NPR affiliate KCLU in Santa Barbara, CA., cable talk CRN with Jack Roberts in Los Angeles, WTMD in Baltimore and WZLX in Boston. In addition, he has been interviewed on the popular TV show “Good Morning Bay Area.”

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Jari Vanha-Eskola
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Could you please provide a link to the Finnish psy podcast you mention at the end of you podcast? You did not provide enough information for me to find it with Google or iTunes.

  2. Posted July 19, 2009 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Yes, certainly! Sorry about that! 🙂 Here it is:


  3. John Knight
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    While I like rock climbing, certain kinds of heavy metal, fast cars, and play the drums (really fast stuff too)… I have to block out all visual and auditory stimulus to get to sleep, my mind just gets frazzled and I get very aggressive when people eat with their mouth open, and I cannot be around indiscreet people for long periods of time. I can stand the company of my mother easily enough, but my father always feels a need to announce his presence and draw attention to himself (in ways that would offend my Japanese friends), and I can’t deal with it for long, and have to close the door to my room when he’s around.

    I scored 15 out of 20 for the HSP test, so I guess I qualify (I feel I do anyway)! 😉 But something I noticed about tastes and pursuits I have that seem atypical to the HSP, is that there are certain groups within these areas that buck the trend. For instance, with heavy metal, I only really like groups that seem to be made of introverts and have a sense of dynamics – not just screaming. As far as drumming goes, I actually find rock drumming to be “too noisy”, which seems ironic as I play metal drums a lot. However, of every true metal head I’ve met (not posers with bad boy images), every one of them was polite and sensitive. And with rock climbing, I’ve found that the people who are genuinely successful at the sport, and looked up to, all have a quiet discipline that can be likened to the type of people in spiritual martial art disciplines in the East. The more of a Football play meathead you are, the worse the rock climber….

  4. Dr. John
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I wanted to use some of his new book for my parenting seminar and found the title is

    The Strong, Sensitive Boy


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