COUNSELING FOR GIFTED CHILDREN & ADULTS
Gifted individuals not only think differently, but also feel differently than others. Their advanced intellectual or creative abilities give rise to emotional depth and intensity and lead them to experience life in ways that are qualitatively different than the norm. They may not be aware of these differences and, as a result, may feel out of place without knowing why.
Gifted individuals have an intense need to find meaning in what they and others do, and an intense desire to learn about, and make sense of the world. They may not feel understood for their unusual intensity and may feel frustrated when things don’t make sense. These qualities may mistakenly lead to misdiagnoses by those who are not familiar with the unique characteristics of the gifted.
I have spent over 25 years in environments with gifted individuals and have received special training in the treatment of gifted children and adults. I am committed to offering them quality support and attention for their often misunderstood, unique emotional needs.Contact Dale Stuart
WHY DO GIFTED INDIVIDUALS HAVE DIFFERENT EMOTIONAL NEEDS?
The uniqueness of the gifted leaves them vulnerable to being misunderstood by others and to emotional difficulties of their own. Gifted individuals may feel out of step or out of place intellectually, socially and emotionally. They often prefer unusual, original and creative responses to problems and may not readily accept the status quo. They often do not know why they are different or why they upset other people. They may be exceptionally perceptive without understanding why others don’t catch on as quickly, and may therefore feel entirely alone, with no one to understand them.
In gifted children, asynchronous development may leave them emotionally unequipped to manage their advanced awareness of the world. They may not conform well or fit in with peers and are often subjected to teasing. Their strong sense of self may lead them to appear stubborn, rebellious, unmotivated, inattentive or tactless, and this may cause difficulties for parents who don’t recognize behaviors that are ‘normal’ for gifted children.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GIFTED CHILDREN & ADULTS
- INTELLECTUAL COMPLEXITY: they learn new things rapidly, grasp abstract concepts, enjoy complex problems and may have a sophisticated sense of humor.
- PERFECTIONISTIC: they can envision idealized outcomes and work to high personal standards.
- HEIGHTENED SENSITIVITY: they are perceptive or deeply insightful and can be compassionate towards others.
- EMOTIONAL INTENSITY: they have passionate, intense feelings, feel driven to create, and have vivid and rich imaginations.
- INSATIABLE CURIOSITY: they thirst for knowledge, are fascinated by words and ideas, and search for meaning in life.
Do you any of these characteristics seem to fit for you? You may not have recognized how giftedness is playing a role in your life. I can help you understand how all these pieces might fit together for you.Contact Dale Stuart
EMOTIONAL VULNERABILITY OF GIFTED CHILDREN & ADULTS
- FEELING DIFFERENT, or being seen as ‘weird’ may lead to difficulty fitting in with others and feelings of loneliness, isolation, or poor self-image.
- THE NEED TO MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD may lead to frustration and deep disappointment when things appear irrational and don’t make sense.
- THE TENDENCY TO COMPARE THEMSELVES AND OTHERS to a vision of perfection may lead to critical self-judgment and frustration with others.
- HIGH SENSITIVITY makes them acutely aware of the pain and suffering in the world, and they may feel outraged by moral breaches dismissed by others.
- BOREDOM with lack of intellectual challenge may lead to underachievement.
- EXTREME INTENSITY, need for stimulation, tenacity, or fascination with order may lead to misdiagnoses as behavioral, educational or mental health problems.
Have you felt these things and wondered why? Or wondered if something was wrong with you? I can help you make sense of how things you do or feel might arise from giftedness.Contact Dale Stuart
How I Can Help
COUNSELING GOALS WITH GIFTED INDIVIDUALS
Gifted individuals have powerful resources to support themselves emotionally, but they need help to apply their critical thinking, reasoning ability, willingness to explore, and imagination to their own internal worlds and emotional lives. Parents of gifted children often need guidance in order to help their children develop optimally.
In counseling with me, I can help gifted individuals learn to:
- ACCEPT THEMSELVES and appreciate their strengths and unique talents.
- ACCEPT THE IMPERFECTION they see in themselves, others, and the world.
- APPLY THEIR INTELLECTUAL SKILLS to understand and support themselves emotionally.
- ACCEPT AND VALUE the full range of their intellectual and emotional experiences.
What's The Next Step?
Whether or not you actually consider yourself gifted, if you find yourself fitting most of these characteristics of gifted individuals, or you feel like I’ve described you in the types of problems gifted individuals may face, then there may be many ways in which your giftedness is influencing your life even without your awareness. Wouldn’t you like to become aware of these influences? Wouldn’t you like to get a clearer picture of how your giftedness could be playing a significant role in your feelings and experiences in life?
Call Dr. Stuart at 310-371-3543
If you want to talk to someone who’s intimately familiar with the unique issues you may be facing, then call now to set up an appointment for a consultation. The first session will be our chance to get acquainted, and for you to experience what a difference it can make to talk with someone who can really understand you.
Sessions with me typically last 50 minutes; longer ones are available if you would like. I typically see people at least once per week, more often when needed. We can customize the schedule to meet your personal needs. We can discuss fees during the first session, or over the phone ahead of time.Contact Dale Stuart