Top critical review
Writing style is annoying, but information is good
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2014
First, the good parts: Dr. Aaron seems to make an effort at being quite clear about highly sensitive traits and their effects. She quantifies/collects traits together somewhat differently than your standard classifications like introversion. This book is not about justifying the way she classifies these traits. Rather, she is clarifying how a highly sensitive client might present differently than a nonsensitive in the therapeutic setting. Not only that, but she also describes the traits of a well-adjusted highly sensitive person, in order to contrast with the issues faced by highly sensitive person who seeks out therapy.
Ironically, one of the best areas of this book is the appendices. I will second what another reviewer said: Read the appendices first. The information provided there is refreshingly straightforward, particularly when compared with the writing/editing problems in the rest of the book.
I was very interested in this topic, which is why I continued reading even through the chapter organization thoroughly annoyed me. After every subsection, there is a "Bottom Line:" paragraph which summarizes what Dr. Aron just took the last several paragraphs to explain. These summaries are next to useless, since they don't include any of the details or client profiles that the full explanations contain. If it was really possible to summarize Dr. Aron's information into single paragraphs, this would be a brochure, not a book. Do yourself a favor and skip the "Bottom Line" paragraphs.
Also, some of the info for therapists seems like it's for those just starting out or who really don't know how to conduct treatment with a highly sensitive client. I'm thinking specifically of the sample "conversations" between therapist and client which apply some principle that Dr. Aron just explained. These "conversations" are nothing more than a plain script of a spoken exchange. I'm not sure any therapist with experience would find them helpful, particularly since real interactions with clients also include body language, tone of voice, etc, not just the words themselves.
I'm tempted to blame an editor for requiring the "Bottom Line" paragraphs and the sample conversations. Most of Dr. Aron's information is presented decently enough apart from those items. But they bothered me enough to make this a 3-star rating rather than a 4.