002: Empowering Highly Sensitive People to Embody their Authentic Gifts with Jules De Vitto

Jules De Vitto

Jules De Vitto has a BSc in Psychology, MA in Education and MSc in Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness and Spirituality. She is an accredited and certified Transpersonal Coach, Authentic-Self-Empowerment Facilitator, as well as an experienced educator. She works on the Alef Trust Faculty as part of the 1-year certificate in Transpersonal Coaching Psychology.
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Jules is the founder of the Highly Sensitive Human Academy – a central hub that offers courses, coaching, articles and a podcast for Highly Sensitive People. She helps those who identify with the traits of high sensitivity to navigate emotional overwhelm, step into their authentic power and align with their true purpose in life.
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​Jules De Vitto published the book, ‘Resilience: Navigating Loss in a Time of Crisis’ which provides practical resources to cultivate greater resilience and find greater meaning and purpose through times of crisis. She has also published her research in the peer-reviewed journal Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology.

πŸ’ Key Takeaways

  • How we can understand high sensitivity from an integrative and transpersonal perspective.
  • The HSH Integrative Model (that I teach) for empowering HSP and helping them to thrive.
  • Why an ability to embrace the trait of sensitivity (in ourselves and those we work with) is so important for our individual and collective wellbeing.

πŸ“š Resources Mentioned

3-Month Professional Training: Coaching Highly Sensitive People with Jules De Vitto.

πŸ–‡ Where You Can Find Jules

πŸ“– Transcript

Rose: Hey, it’s Rose and welcome to another episode of The Sensitive CEO Show and in today’s episode, it’s my pleasure to welcome Jules De Vitto. Jules is the founder of the highly sensitive human academy, a central hub that offers courses, coaching articles, and a podcast for highly sensitive people. Jules helps those who identify with the traits of high sensitivity to navigate emotional overwhelm, to step into their authentic power and to align with their true purpose in life. Welcome Jules. Wonderful to have you here today.

Jules: Oh, thank you so much for having me. I’m really looking forward to this conversation.

Rose: I am too.

There’s so much, I’m looking forward to asking you. but before we dive into your, topic today, I would love for you to introduce yourself a little bit more to everyone listening and tell us a bit about you and your background, please.

Jules: Yeah. Brilliant. So, yeah. Thank you again for having me. So I, I work as a transpersonal orientated coach and a trainer as well.

So I coach and also train other coaches to work with highly sensitive people. So I’ll just share a bit about what transpersonal coaching is, because I know many people haven’t heard of transpersonal before, and then I’ll share how I got into this work as well. Brilliant. So trans yeah. So transpersonal coaching comes from the field of transpersonal psychology.

So it’s really based on this perspective that we’re more than an individual body in mind and there’s something that goes, goes beyond that. And so it encompasses. the spiritual dimension as well. So I often describe transpersonal coaching as a more holistic integrative way of working. So. Yeah, it’s more holistic.

It integrates the spiritual. And in terms of how I got into this work, I would say I’ve always been highly sensitive. I didn’t know the label though. When I was younger, I hadn’t heard of it until my mid twenties. And then, yeah, it was around this time that I went through quite a significant period of burnout.

It was a very transformative time for me. And it was also very challenging. So this was what spiraled me into going on to study transpersonal psychology and coaching. And it was when I started to coach. That I recognize that so many of my clients were coming to me because they were highly sensitive and empathetic and very intuitive.

Jules: And I noticed there was this resonance there and that highly sensitive people were coming to me because I could really understand and relate to the experience and what it’s like to be highly sensitive. And yeah, I know just how important this is. When going to a coach or a therapist or counselor, I think it’s really important that they have an understanding and appreciation of, of this lived experience of what it’s like to be highly sensitive.

This really is what led me on, on to the work I do today. So really helping highly sensitive people to manage their struggles, but also step into their innate gifts and strengths. And also as I mentioned, offering courses for other coaches, so that we know how to be effective mentors and coaches for highly sensitive people.

Rose: I love that you teach other coaches because it’s so important, as you said, that we understand our clients and as highly sensitive people, I’m sure before you knew you were highly sensitive, you worked with other coaches who weren’t and it can be quite different. So I think as you pointed out, it’s very important that we understand our clients in that way.

Jules: Yeah, absolutely. Because I know how important it is that we feel understood and we feel heard and seen. And I think if someone hasn’t heard of the trait or doesn’t know, well, it means unfortunately there can often be this misunderstanding about sensitivity and that yeah. That leads to us not feeling really understood.

Rose: And we can so often get pushed into doing things that aren’t really aligned with our soul.

Jules: Exactly.

Rose: So Jules, what are some of the common struggles of HSP that you’ve identified in your work?

Jules: That’s a really good question. And again, I think this is why it’s so important. We, we really understand where highly sensitive people are coming from.

So some of the common struggles, well, the first thing is I have noticed just how important it is for us to connect with. A meaning and, and meaning and purpose in life. So we really have this longing for having meaning and having a purpose. And if we don’t have that, then there’s this real disconnect and we can feel really, you know, you just mentioned the soul.

We feel disconnected from our soul, from our sense of self, from our yeah. Purpose in life. And it’s so important. We find this. And then the other thing is we can really struggle with setting boundaries because we are so empathetic and intuitive. We find it hard to often say no to things. We can find it hard to set energetic boundaries, and this can be really exhausting over time.

We get very easily overwhelmed, so again, because we’re so attuned to our environment, Our nervous system can get overwhelmed really, really quickly. Yeah. We do have a tendency to overthink and, and think a lot because we have this depth of processing and I’ve also noticed that many highly sensitive people have quite a strong inner critic.

So we often are striving towards perfectionism and this can sometimes, I mean, this can be an advantage in many ways, but it can be a hindrance when yeah. This, this in a critic, is working really hard ons or against us. And I think, yeah, just the final thing I mentioned already, a struggle is we can often just feel misunderstood or feel that we’re different somehow, or we don’t quite fit in.

Rose: Yeah. That’s so that’s so common. All of those struggles, aren’t they. And how do you help people with those sorts of struggles that are so common with, you know, from the perspective of the trans personal psychology that you work with?

Jules: Yeah, that, yeah. Again, a really good question. How do I help people with those struggles? Basically from a transpersonal perspective, I’m really integrating the spiritual dimension, as I mentioned, and also is integrated in the sense that we’re working on all levels of our beings. So. You know, I really help people to connect with their sole purpose, to look at what’s going on in, in the mind, the body and our emotions.

And then also looking at what goes beyond that. So, There obviously are things like, I just mentioned learning how to set healthy boundaries, learning how to cultivate. self-compassion that’s a big one and something I feel very passionate about, also looking at our childhood experiences and reframing our beliefs around what it means to be sensitive.

And then in terms of this more transpersonal dimension, I’m looking at, we’re looking at cultivating mindfulness practices and connecting with our spiritual understanding. So for everyone, this can mean something different. We all have different belief systems. We all, you know, some of us have religious beliefs.

So I always say it doesn’t matter what. Spiritual beliefs are about connecting with something sacred or something more than ourselves and finding a way to have that connection. It might be through ritual. It might be through just knowing that we can do that and we can connect to something on a daily basis, you know, for some highly sensitive people, it’s as simple as going out into nature and being out in nature because for us, that’s so important to feel connected, to feel at peace.

Rose: I love how you bring the spiritual side in and, and especially that it’s not, it doesn’t depend on people’s religions or spiritual beliefs, everyone, you know, there’s so many different views, uh, points of view out there that, um, yeah, I think it’s beautiful and it sounds so gentle. It sounds like such a gentle way of coaching as well and helping people.

Jules: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a good way of putting it. Yeah. It’s a very gentle, intuitive process as well. It’s really about whoever needs a support, finding what works for them, you know, often coaching can be very goal orientated and of course goals are important but to know what we really need and want, we have to be able to feel connected to the soul and to feel connected to something more than our, our ego. And that’s really the fundamental part of the coaching I do starting from that point before we can move forward.

Rose: Beautiful. And why, why do HSPs usually seek out coaching jobs?

Jules: Yeah, so as I said already, often I find they often come for coaching when they get to a point of just feeling so frustrated by the overwhelm, by the burnout, by feeling misunderstood, not being really seen or heard by others. they can often feel that they’re communicating their experience to others, but people just don’t really get the experience and that can feel very frustrating for highly sensitive people. And it’s really interesting actually, because statistics show that around half of the clients who go for coaching or therapy or other healing modalities are likely to be highly sensitive.

So it’s a really high number of people who are highly sensitive that are seeking out this support. And I have also found that we tend to, because of our sensitivity, we have experienced a lot of trauma in the past if we’ve had difficult childhood experiences, so that can manifest as anxiety burnout, overwhelm depression, things like that. That’s not always the case, but like I said, if we’ve had difficult childhood experiences or difficult experiences in the past, then that can lead to those kinds of struggles.

Rose: And I would love for you to share Jules your highly sensitive human integrative model and what that actually encompasses.

Jules: So this is the model that I use in my, in my coaching. And also it’s what I offer in my three month coach training. So for those who want to learn how to work with highly sensitive people. So as I mentioned already, it’s really about understanding. Our experiences on all levels. So on the soul, on the level of body, mind, and emotions, and then understanding our relationship and our connection to others.
And so in the model, there’s, there’s eight domains, eight areas, which I believe are the tools, all of the tools that we need to cultivate and com cultivate our strengths and combat our struggles. So. I have mentioned a few already, but the first one is mindfulness and using that to manage emotional overwhelm and then learning how to set healthy boundaries.

So that’s because we do struggle with those boundaries, yeah. Setting healthy boundaries. The third domain is all about, reframing our identity and letting go of those limiting beliefs. We have. And then the fourth one is, cultivating compassion and that’s to work with this inner critic that we can have for the perfectionism we tend to struggle with.

And then the next one is authentic communication. So this area is all about how we learn to express our feelings and needs authentically. Because again, we can tend to. Struggle with that. We tend to put the feelings and needs of others before ourselves. That’s one of our traits. Yeah. And the next one is working to integrate our parts.

And that includes the inner child part that can be wounded. That includes the parts which have broken off because of our trauma or our difficulties in the past. So, yeah, integrating parts means really just working towards wholeness and working towards the more integrated level of our being. and then the next one, as I’ve already spoken about, is helping people to connect with this meaning and purpose and living in alignment with our values.

So that’s all about, yeah. Connecting and being in alignment with our true self, finding out what is really important to us.

And what drives us. And then the final part of this model is more of the spiritual dimension that I’ve spoken about, which is when we’re stuck in anxiety or overthinking or overwhelmed, we can actually enter into more expansive and altered states of awareness to really help with that overwhelm and that anxiety.
So in this area, we learned to step beyond our ego and connect with something greater than ourselves and this universal consciousness that I think, yeah, like I said earlier, no matter what our belief system, we can all relate to that experience of knowing there’s something more than ourselves. So this connection is really powerful for our, our transformation and our healing.

Rose: Iit’s quite nurturing, isn’t it to know that we are taken care of and that there is a higher self and a higher purpose. It’s a lovely feeling.

Jules: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s yeah, really about trusting and surrendering into that and knowing, you know, knowing that we are supported. By something greater than, whether we want to call it a higher power or this universal consciousness that I mentioned, mm-hmm, often we can find it difficult to trust and surrender when we have been through challenges in life.

So, yeah, it’s really about reconnecting with that, that know, knowing that in inner knowing.

Rose: Beautiful. And you mentioned that you have a three month coaching program and you use this framework to help coaches, coach HSPs, other HSPs. Can you share a bit about that? I’m so intrigued about your program.

Jules: Absolutely. So it is coming up in September this year. I’m really excited about it. It’s all taking place online and in the program there are 12 modules that we work through together, and these modules are covering this integrative model I’ve briefly spoken about. So we’re going into it in much, much more depth and looking at each of these domains and looking at the tools that we can use to really support highly sensitive people.

And the training is also about really understanding what high sensitivity is because there’s so many myths and misconceptions around sensitivity. So we spend time really understanding sensitivity from this more holistic perspective, because I found that so much of the research that’s been carried out on sensitivity is looking at it from the brain and looking at the neurology of high sensitivity, which is really important. And I think this research is incredible but I’ve noticed that at some point it stops there and there’s not so much conversation or research in terms of yeah. The spiritual dimension of being a highly sensitive person or looking at it from a more holistic way and really understanding the lived experience of sensitivity. So we spend a lot of time exploring that dimension.

And then also part of the, the course is really helping people to, step into their unique message and what their story is, what they want to share and put out into the world, uh, in terms of being a coach for highly sensitive people. So I think that we all have. unique gifts, even though we’re sensitive, we’re all different.

So we all have something that we want to share and, and offer to the world. We have our own story. So not only is the training about learning, how to coach other highly sensitive people. It’s about finding out who we are as coaches and what are unique. Identity is. And I think the other piece of this is being part of a community as well.

So I’ve noticed through my years of coaching, how, just how important it is to be part of a community and connect with. Other coaches who are doing similar work. So learning how we, how we can actually support each other and be on this journey together. So yeah, it’s really my goal that on the course, we become a community and we continue.

Supporting each other with the work that we’re offering.

Rose: That sounds fantastic. Jules. And I can imagine how exciting it must be for you to be running your first cohort in this course and this training?

Jules: Yeah, absolutely. It is. And I’ve done other, you know, workshops and courses in the past, but this is the first one I’m offering in terms of working with other coaches.

So again, this really came about because I noticed there was really a need for this. Like I said, community, and also a need to really understand what high sensitivity is and because I’m so passionate about transpersonal, psychology and coaching, I really, really wanted to bring this perspective and this way of working with people into the field of high sensitivity as well.

Rose: And you, you also have an education background, so it’s such a good fit for you to be doing this.

Jules: Yeah, absolutely. Istudied my master’s in transpersonal psychology, and I also do work on a transpersonal coaching certificate program. I’m one of the tutors on that course.

So the three month training I’m offering is drawing on a lot of the perspectives you learn. If you are transpersonal and HSP as well. So it’s really integrating these two worlds of transpersonal coaching and then high sensitivity as well.

Rose: Brilliant. Well, I’ll be popping a link for that in the show notes, because I’m sure some of the people listening will be really interested in finding out more about that.

Jules: Brilliant. Yeah. Thank you so much. Yeah. I really, you know, want to let as many people know as possible about the training, because I think it’s such a great opportunity, like I said, to work together and, and connect in this, in this work that we do.

Rose: Well, it’s been such a pleasure talking with you today, but before we wrap up Jules, I have one question that I ask all of my guests. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

Jules: Really good question. So as a highly sensitive person, I find there can be many different reasons for feeling overwhelmed or, and focused. So I found one of the most powerful things to do in those moments is to really connect with what I’m feeling and, and what I need. So I’ll take a moment. To connect with my body.

Notice what is present in the physical body, noticing what sensations are there and simply asking myself what I’m feeling and. Breathing into those feelings. So allowing space for them to be there and asking myself what is needed, and that might be offering myself some self-compassion. It might be needing to remove myself from a situation or to set a boundary.

So it’s really. About checking in and, and learning to discern what is needed, what I need. And I think this is such a powerful tool for all of us who are highly sensitive because. Yeah, unfortunately, because we’re sensitive, we can sometimes actually disconnect on the body cuz it can feel too much. So it’s really about learning how to come back into communication with our body, with our intuition mm-hmm and you know, often.

Jules: Yeah, just working with the parts of us that can feel wounded sometimes. So I sometimes notice my inner child getting overwhelmed. So I might just, you know, connect with her and visualize her and offer her what she needs, whether that’s a hug or just to take some rest. so I find that it’s really powerful process as well to connect with my inner child as much as possible.

Rose: I love that. That’s so beautiful, Jules. Well, thank you again. It’s just so lovely to talk with you today and all the very best for your upcoming course. And I look forward to hearing more about it.

Jules: Thank you so much. It’s been really lovely talking today.

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