The Essence of Giftedness

Giftedness encompasses more than IQ’s of 130 or higher.Gifted children, gifted adolescents and gifted adults have unusual intellectual and intuitive abilities that allow them to interact with people and the physical environment in sensitive and creative ways.

When a gifted individual’s endowed traits – extra sensitivities, intense curiosity and drive to master; razor sharp cognitive abilities and uncanny intuition develop in synchrony, their accomplishments and ambitions well exceeds their years.

When these same traits ,however conflict internally with one another or conflict with the demands of school, family and peers, gifted growth can be blocked making remarkable personal assets seem like unwanted disabilities.

Personality Characteristics of Gifted Children, Gifted Adolescents and Gifted Adults

  • An intense drive to explore, understand and master the environment. This drive can feel like a powerful physiological force that is difficult to describe and hard to control or direct
  • Intense motivation to explore “big” ideas and “big problems” in detail and in depth.
  • A capacity for learning that is immediate and effortless:
    • Their unusual capacity to combine razor sharp logical and uncanny intuition makes them bored and impatient with conventional teaching and standard educational settings
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Common Conflicts of Gifted Children, Gifted Adolescents and Gifted Adults

  1. Superior abilities and sensitivities are frequently experienced as both powerful assets and annoying disabilities.
  2. Desires for friendship and intimacy conflict with needs for privacy.
  3. Leaps of creative insight can often seem less reliable that knowledge gained from logical cognitive processes.
  4. Feeling grateful for supportive parents and mentors conflicts with feelings of resentment for the prolonged dependency required to develop expertise.
  5. Feeling proud of a superior endowment but feeling ashamed and frightened of envy and retaliation.
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Therapy for the Gifted Child

From the very beginning, gifted children pose unique problems for themselves and for their parents, both of whom often feel that “being gifted is no gift!”How can parents provide enough love, support, and resources for developing giftedness without creating an entitled, arrogant child? These are painful and unanticipated choices for parents. The special personality styles, dramatic physical symptoms, and intense emotional reactions presented by a gifted…
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Therapy for the Gifted Adolescent and Gifted Adult

Gifted adolescents and gifted young adults often develop anxiety, existential depression,mood swings similar to the symptoms of bipolar disorder and the cognitive problems of ADHD or learning disabilities – the twice exceptional syndrome. These problems can develop not because of neurobiological deficits or because their conflicts with peers,teachers,inadequate curriculum or parents but because of unresolved emotional conflicts about their “inner experience “ of giftedness. The most troublesome conflicts are caused by guilt about possessing an exceptional endowment that permits spectacular precocious accomplishments ,grand visions and outsized ambitions or by insecurity because of the drive to function independently yet the need for intimate relationships on which they can depend. A special therapeutic approach that employs CBT techniques and and understanding of the deeper psychodynamics of giftedness is described below…

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Underachievement in Gifted Adolescents and Gifted Young Adults

Although gifted adolescents and gifted young adults can become underachievers because of conflicts with their peers,teachers and parents, they also can become underachievers because of unresolved emotional conflicts about their ”inner experience” of giftedness. Chief among these unresolved emotional conflicts about an exceptional endowment that allows for effortless accomplishments well beyond expectations for people their age…
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Common Problems of Gifted Children, Gifted Adolescents and Gifted Adults

  • Underachievement
  • Learning disabilities
    • Reading disabilities: dyslexia
    • Writing disabilities: dysgraphia
    • Math disabilities: dyscalculia
  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination
  • Low motivation
  • Existential depression
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Our Diagnostic, Assessment and Therapeutic Approach

Our assessments have two components:
Psycho Dynamic

  • The Cognitive Behavioral Component
  • Identifies the conscious cognitive aspect of problems such as
    Self destructive behavior
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Gifted Individuals with Learning Disabilities (Twice Exceptionality): A Psychodynamic Approach

A psychodynamic approach is an alternative method for the assessment and treatment of learning disabilities and gifted/learning disability syndromes when educational and neuropsychological methods fall short. 

It is a comprehensive method that fills the gap left by these two, yet allows for an integrated interpretation of their findings.

A psychodynamic assessment considers the possibility that environmental and emotional factors may be primary causes of learning disabilities and gifted learning disability syndromes.

Psychoeducational and neuropsychological assessments of learning disabilities and gifted learning disability syndromes are based on controversial assumptions that are ultimately pessimistic.

A Psychodynamic approach is based on assumptions that are optimistic

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