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    #247476 - 08/21/20 12:50 PM Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Gifted Adult Therapy: The Wounds of Being 'Too Intense'
    Imi Lo
    Psychology Today
    August 19, 2020

    Have you been told you are too much, too sensitive, or too serious?


    Good article, interesting read, worth the time.

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    #247482 - 08/22/20 12:20 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: indigo]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3685
    Thanks for posting this, indigo. Many here can likely identify.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247485 - 08/23/20 12:53 AM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: indigo]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1648
    Loc: Australia
    Tangential issue: gifted adults parenting gifted children face particular struggles when seeking professional support for their children: who often also don't understand the relevance of giftedness to a child's issues. It's difficult when a parent finds they are often are more well read/researched about their child's issues than the professionals that are supposed to be the "expert" in the situation.

    A dear friend of mine held strongly to the idea that an effective therapist needs to be smarter than you, or think so differently to you that you can't get "past" them. This has always struck me as pretty accurate. I would now further add that it is equally very difficult to trust your children to some who doesn't meet these criteria AND seem to be well versed in the relevance of giftedness to the issues at hand.

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    #247488 - 08/24/20 07:30 AM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: MumOfThree]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Great insight, MumOfThree.
    smile
    It is my understanding that developing a body of professionals well versed in the relevance of giftedness to life issues was a large part of the reasoning and motivation behind the founding of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), back in the 1980s.

    Before his passing, SENG founder James T. Webb co-authored several books for professionals and for parents, including:
    - Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders
    - Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope
    - A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children

    Unfortunately, even after 40 years, there are still relatively few providers which specialize in giftedness:
    - SENG list of providers,
    - Hoagies' list of Psychologists,
    - Hoagies' Gifted Education Page on Counseling the Gifted.

    The Davidson Database provides an article by James T. Webb, PhD, on "Tips for Parents: Selecting the Right Counselor or Therapist for your Gifted Child."

    Hopefully, sustained efforts to raise awareness will continue to increase the number of professionals specializing in gifted.

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    #247491 - 08/24/20 06:04 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: indigo]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1648
    Loc: Australia
    Sadly most of the limited resources that are available are not in my country! But even in the US there are presumably many people for whom professionals on these lists are not accessible either.

    I was about to make a comment about this being one of the issues of being part of a relatively rare population... But "gifted" just isn't that rare. HG, PG are but "gifted" as a group is not much less common than Autism, and that's going with a fairly strict 98% and above definition! It really cannot be explained as a rarity issue.

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    #247492 - 08/24/20 09:17 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: indigo]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3685
    I think it isn't exactly rarity of GT adults that is the issue, but more the rarity of therapists who are GT. Highly capable adults have many options for careers, and the rewards of being a mental health professional are mostly intrinsic. But people have to be able to support themselves and their families, too. Not much (compared to other professions GT adults could enter) of either material or status reward accrues as a social worker or mental health counselor. There is a little more of both for doctoral-level psychologists, but probably not enough to significantly tip the distribution of GT individuals into the profession.

    I don't think the therapist absolutely has to be smarter than the client for a successful therapeutic relationship to develop, but they probably do need to be within shouting distance.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247493 - 08/24/20 11:20 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: indigo]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 40
    And many of them will really not like you if they figure out they aren't.

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    #247495 - 08/25/20 05:32 AM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: indigo]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3685
    ...but in the end, one gets out of the therapeutic relationship what one puts into it. A motivated individual, GT or not, can learn and grow from an honest relationship with a person of any level of intellect. And a therapeutic professional with a genuine interest in facilitating the growth of their client, without using them as a means of meeting their own psychological needs, can be an effective sounding board even for people they may not fully understand.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247496 - 08/25/20 05:54 AM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: aeh]
    cricket3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 672
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    ...but in the end, one gets out of the therapeutic relationship what one puts into it. A motivated individual, GT or not, can learn and grow from an honest relationship with a person of any level of intellect. And a therapeutic professional with a genuine interest in facilitating the growth of their client, without using them as a means of meeting their own psychological needs, can be an effective sounding board even for people they may not fully understand.


    Love this comment!

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    #247498 - 08/25/20 06:35 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: aeh]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 40
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    a therapeutic professional with a genuine interest in facilitating the growth of their client, without using them as a means of meeting their own psychological needs


    That's the biggest issue, I think. A therapist who meets this description is a gem.

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    #247500 - 08/26/20 05:46 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: aeh]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1648
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    ...but in the end, one gets out of the therapeutic relationship what one puts into it. A motivated individual, GT or not, can learn and grow from an honest relationship with a person of any level of intellect. And a therapeutic professional with a genuine interest in facilitating the growth of their client, without using them as a means of meeting their own psychological needs, can be an effective sounding board even for people they may not fully understand.


    I so agree with this sentiment, but also with pinewood that it can be hard to find. This therapist is a gem. I believe I was told once that in a study of effectiveness of therapy the most important things in order of effectiveness were 1) the client (ie what they put in/bring) 2) the relationship with the therapist. Both well ahead of everything else, with mode of therapy well down the list.

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    #247501 - 08/26/20 07:38 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: MumOfThree]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 40
    Yep. That's this paper.

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    #247540 - 09/06/20 08:07 AM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: aeh]
    raphael Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/20
    Posts: 17
    For those who might be interested into deeper enquiry: My first therapist advised me on reading "the Drama of the Gifted Child" by Alice Miller, which goes a bit more in depth about the psychodynamic processes leading to unhealthy feelings of either depression or grandiosity in gifted adults who have grown up in emotionally dysfunctional constellations.

    I personally resonated a lot with the book.

    Originally Posted By: aeh
    ...but in the end, one gets out of the therapeutic relationship what one puts into it. A motivated individual, GT or not, can learn and grow from an honest relationship with a person of any level of intellect.


    I would confirm this from personal experience, even if may take some time to find some common ground between the GT individual and the therapist. e.g. I ended up writing e-mails to my therapist as I had given up hope on finding a productive way to communicate verbally with her. Some creativity and resilience may be required.

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    #247542 - 09/06/20 02:49 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: raphael]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    WOW, thanks for mentioning this book, raphael. I see it is highly rated as 4.5 stars with a 20 year history and large number of reviews... 891! Here's a link: The Drama of the Gifted Child, Alice Miller (1997).

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    #247543 - 09/06/20 03:44 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: indigo]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3685
    40 year history, actually!

    Miller's 1979 book was a foundational book in both the SENG field and the field of childhood trauma. It was also on the bookshelf in my childhood home, as my mother bought and read it when it was first published in English. Although I don't agree with everything she says, I am also happy to see it mentioned here, and also to know that there are newer editions (which may, perhaps, address some of the reservations). I am sorry to admit that I kind of assumed that everyone had already heard of it...
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247544 - 09/07/20 01:09 AM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: aeh]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    I'm a fan of Amazon's Look-Inside feature, and often use it to skim a book's table of contents.
    Using Amazon's Look-Inside feature to peruse the copyright page I see:
    Quote:
    Revised edition copyright 1997
    This edition is what the 891 reviews in 20 years is based on... giving the high rating of 4.5 stars

    Further information reveals the earlier work which aeh mentioned:
    Quote:
    Originally published in German... Copyright 1979...
    First published in the United States as Prisoners of Childhood...Copyright 1981

    Unfortunately, the back cover shares that this book is not about being gifted intellectually, which I found somewhat misleading and also disappointing:
    Quote:
    When I used the word 'gifted' in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way.
    Click to reveal..
    I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb ... Without this 'gift' offered us by nature, we would not have survived.


    I have now spent more time reading the reviews, including the one-star reviews, and recommend that others do so prior to purchasing just based on title and ratings. While it may still be a good, helpful, or even great book, possibly another title may be more apt.

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    #247551 - 09/08/20 01:23 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: aeh]
    raphael Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/20
    Posts: 17
    That is indeed a strange way of defining the "gift" and also not how I would have interpreted it. In my memory, the book was focusing on emotionally very sensitive children, which I would see as one of the characteristics of giftedness. But then the mechanism she is describing might be relevant for every child.

    Originally Posted By: aeh

    Miller's 1979 book was a foundational book in both the SENG field

    Just curious: what is the SENG field? A quick Google enquiry didn't provide any answer.

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    #247552 - 09/08/20 01:26 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: raphael]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3685
    Social-Emotional Needs of the Gifted
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247555 - 09/08/20 02:33 PM Re: Article - PsychologyToday - "Intense" Gifted Adult [Re: raphael]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Originally Posted By: raphael
    ...the book was focusing on emotionally very sensitive children, which I would see as one of the characteristics of giftedness.
    Yes, this is indeed a characteristic of many gifted kids. Back in the day, lists of behavioral characteristics (such as those compiled at #3 of this roundup) were often used to identify those likely to be gifted, either at an age when they were considered too young for tests to be reliable and/or when schools did not routinely assess or screen all pupils with standardized test instruments (now typically beginning in 3rd grade).

    Originally Posted By: raphael
    the mechanism she is describing might be relevant for every child.
    Good observation. The educational field has moved away from a focus on serving the unique needs of gifted pupils... to focus on inclusion, collectivism, "all children are gifted," and may be applying concepts more broadly to all children.

    Originally Posted By: raphael
    ... the SENG field?
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Social-Emotional Needs of the Gifted
    Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted, SENG website links:
    - About: https://www.sengifted.org/about
    - Resources/Library: https://www.sengifted.org/senglibrary
    - Founding: https://www.sengifted.org/post/seng-s-25th-anniversary-conference-reflections-on-seng-s-history

    The founder, Dr. James T. Webb, has authored several books about intellectually gifted children. Several of his thoughts to parents about raising & guiding gifted kids may resonate with you.

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