Is Giftedness complicating your life, or the life of someone you love?
- Does your high intelligence that’s assumed by many to be a great advantage often seem instead to be a great liability?
- Is your high intelligence combined with other gifted characteristics such as creativity, curiosity, complexity, acute awareness, super-high sensitivity, intensity, and maybe even introversion?
- Do these gifted characteristics set you or your loved ones apart from others in ways that all too often create disconnection, alienation, discouragement or even despair?
- Do you or your loved ones often feel out of sync with the people around you and ask, “What’s wrong with me?”
- Does the word “misfit” ring a bell?
If these things sound familiar, read on . . . .
Do your gifted child or teen sometimes get labeled as oppositional or argumentative because they resist or even speak up against things that to them, don’t seem relevant, ethical or ‘right’ in some other way? Perhaps your child or teen can come up with correct answers quickly at school, but often sees beyond and through the questions that are asked. In other words, they question the questions. Do they also grasp the far-reaching implications of current events or make connections about situations that their teachers don’t even understand? Do you sometimes find yourself wanting to argue for or against certain ideas or practices in your workplace and find that no one else there ‘gets’ the things that are painfully obvious to you?
Does your gifted child’s or teen’s cognitive development far outpace their peers, but their social and emotional development often lag far behind? For example, you could have a five-year-old who can think and process info on a ten-year-old level, but at the same time, she has the emotional development of a three-year-old. This vast discrepancy between cognitive, emotional, social and physical development can easily result in anxiety and depression. This can be true for gifted people of all ages. You or your child may be challenged to find true peers, creating additional obstacles to establishing and maintaining meaningful social connections.
Giftedness also often runs in families, so you may find that the combined sensitivity, intensity and other gifted traits makes for extremely complex and challenging family relationships. Do you sometimes have (too) high expectations for yourself and other family members? Do they have (too) high expectations of you? Does everyone’s sensitivity and intensity sometimes make you all feel like you’re walking on eggshells trying not to offend each other? Do you find this exhausting and frustrating? Does this too often lead to hurt feelings and growing distance or even disconnections in family relationships?
What if you could wave a magic wand, and all of this would go away so you could be just ‘normal,’ like everyone else, and your kids, teens and the rest of your family would also be ‘normal’ for once?Would that solve your dilemmas?Would that be satisfying?Maybe it would be for a day or two, or even a week or a month or two. But what would life be like for you day after week after month of ordinariness? Many gifted people who have tried to dumb themselves down, or take pills to become like everyone else have told me that this is not the solution they had hoped it would be. In fact, this highlights a significant principle: The problem is not that there is something wrong with you or your children, teens or the rest of your gifted family or friends. The problem is that others believe, and even you may think there is something wrong with being gifted, and you don’t know how to accept and love and to be your true gifted Self.
Let me ask it differently this time: What if you could be who you really are─your creative, aware, sensitive, intense, intelligent, maybe introverted and yes, your gifted self─and feel good, really good about it? What if you could live a life that is personally satisfying with good friendships and family relationships and live a life that also fulfills your gifted potential; that is, it uses everything you have to give and fulfills your purpose for being on this planet? What if you could know, beyond a shadow of doubt that all of this is truly possible and within reach for you? You can. Your children can. Your teens can. All of you can be who you were meant to be as a gifted person.
“That’s pie in the sky,” you say. “It’s not going to happen.” But what if it could? I am here to let you know that this is what counseling for gifted children, teens and adults is all about. It’s not to get you to conform to what your boss or your children or teens’ teachers or schools want, but it is to help you become who you really were meant to be in a way that makes your life worth living. This is why I do what I do—because I have a passion for helping CASIGYs thrive, heal, become fully alive, and fulfill your true destiny as the creative, acutely aware, sensitive, intense, gifted person that you are. I know deep in my bones that whatever adversity you are currently facing is NOT an indictment that there is something wrong with you; instead, it is an invitation from Life to become all that you can be. And I am here to help you do just that, if you would like me to.
You may be ready to try counseling, but still have some questions about how treatment for gifted people works…
I’ve already done counseling. Why would this be any different?
Many gifted people have told me that they have been misunderstood and misdiagnosed because their previous therapists did not know much about giftedness, and that having a therapist who understands gifted people makes all the difference in the world. Also, the primary thing that makes a difference between one therapist and another is in the kind and quality of connection we establish with each other.
I have so many problems already. I can’t bear to find out anything else that may be wrong.
Gifted people can experience an acute awareness of their problems and faults, which can be quite painful. Some of this naturally comes from your inherent sensitivity and intensity. In addition, an overwhelming sense of your own problems may be connected to feeling responsible for things over which you have absolutely no control. We will address this in counseling and help you determine to what in your life you actually have the ability to respond, and to what you do not. This can relieve any false sense of responsibility that you may be carrying.
It’s normal, and is a typical part of the process of engaging in counseling to be afraid of what we may encounter and discover along the way. After all, we’re familiar with many fairy tales and myths in which, for example, Pandora’s box is opened and havoc ensues. It can help to remind yourself that the hero or heroine first is called to take their mythic inner journey that requires wandering in the wilderness or in the deep, dark forest and fighting many dragons before the buried treasure can be found. And once it is unearthed, the hero or heroine faces more temptations and trials as he or she brings this treasure back to heal their own life and also bless the lives of those around them. I’ve found that myth is metaphorically descriptive of the experience of those deeply engaged in counseling, and can encourage and strengthen you in your process. This is a ‘tool’ that we may use to help you along your way if it’s useful to you.
I’ve already read so much of what has been written about counseling, mental health and giftedness. What can I learn about mental health in gifted people that I don’t already know?
The issues that humans have acquired have typically developed in the context of relationships. It follows that the most effective way to experience healing, growth and transformation is also within a relationship; in this case, a therapeutic relationship. Reading is primarily a cognitive, conscious process. What I offer in counseling is a safe place (physically and emotionally) to bring all of your emotions, needs, doubts and concerns, and a proven process that will help you to heal your past, transform your pain and become fully alive.
Counseling can also help you relate differently to yourself, learn what being gifted means for you, and what you need in order to thrive as a gifted person. As I mentioned above, the primary thing that makes a difference between one therapist and another is in the kind and quality of connection we establish with each other. That’s why I offer a free 30-minute consultation—so we can meet and find out what kind of connection we can actually begin. If this interests you, just give me a call at 303-987-0346 or click here and we’ll schedule your free 30-minute consult.