Buzz Kit

Helping your Thrill Seeking and High Sensation Seeking Clients

Program Description

Is it ADHD, PTSD, antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or just a high sensation seeking (HSS) personality that is creating challenges for your client? This training will equip you with knowledge and application strategies that you can use immediately in your practice. Sensation seeking is a trait we all have in varying levels. It includes the search for complex and new experiences. People with HSS personalities crave exotic and intense experiences, even when physical or social risks are involved. There are four types of sensation seeking: thrill-seeking, disinhibition, boredom susceptibility, and experience-seeking. Drug addictions, gambling, dangerous driving, and relationship dissatisfaction have all been linked to overly high sensation seeking tendencies (high scores in all four domains). In addition, HSS can interact with mental health conditions and impact mood, finances, and relationships. For many with HSS personalities, being unable to participate in the desired HSS activities can create symptoms of depression. Individuals who have limited financial resources may turn to inexpensive but unhealthy forms of HSS activities such as drug use, sexual promiscuity, stealing, fast driving, etc. Other HSS personalities may find it difficult to be empathetic in a relationship with someone who is uncomfortable or distressed by their behavior (“chill-seeker”); the HSS individual simply does not understand why their partner or family member is frightened by their behavior.

You will be introduced to assessment tools to identify HSS traits in your clients and discuss the related psychology and neuroscience. Direction will be provided on empowering and nonjudgmental ways to discuss high sensation seeking with your client.  Techniques for grounding, healthy activities and ways to help HSS personalities improve empathy for those in their lives will be presented. 

 Program Objectives

  1. Explain the biological and environmental contributions to high sensation seeking as well as the current research;
  2. Describe the components of the HSS personality;
  3. Use an assessment tool to identify HSS traits;
  4. Analyze some common habits and hobbies of high sensation seeking clients;
  5. Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy sensation seeking (problematic for the client or their employer and/or family);
  6. Distinguish HSS from other traits and diagnoses (ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder, etc.);
  7. Identify select tools for meditation/mindfulness and other healthy activities to meet the needs of HSS clients.


Content Outline

What is sensation seeking

The Sensation Seeking Scale

Neurobiology of sensation seeking

High sensation seeking vs other conditions (PTSD, ADHD, antisocial personality disorder)

Identifying problematic sensation seeking

Personality traits, behaviors, and attitudes of high sensation seeking clients

Potential Problem areas of high sensation seeking clients

    Addictions [i.e. gambling, sex, substance use]

    Relationships [i.e emotional intelligence] Using the BSSS with couples

    Work, habits, and behaviors

Intervention strategies with high sensation seeking clients

    Discussing sensation seeking with clients

    Promoting healthy activities

    Using Meditation to build empathy in high sensation seeking clients

    Tips for high sensation seeking clients

Super power or super problem (wrap up)


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