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Are you in Burnout? 10 Important Questions and Answers

Gifted Adults

I’ve been thinking about what makes gifted adults unique to work with in my private practice. Ten common characteristics make them stand out from the crowd. Gifted adults come to therapy ready and able to do challenging cognitive work. This makes sense because their resilience to adversity is based on their high IQ and intellectual […] Continue Reading

In this short video, Doreen Woolley discusses giftedness and how it affects all members of the family. Many adults only recognize their own giftedness when raising a gifted child, having never understood their own giftedness growing up. Woolley presents a series of informative slides that describe how family dynamics can be improved when the characteristics of […] Continue Reading

Gifted adults are often surprised to learn that it is normal for them to be highly sensitive to sounds, texture, the visual environment, and medications, and that they share these characteristics with other gifted adults. They frequently say they never suspected that these sensitivities are typical for gifted adults. When I ask my gifted clients if […] Continue Reading

This 15-minute documentary, filmed at a school for gifted children, discusses what giftedness is and what it isn't. Gifted educator, Dr. James Delisle, and other staff members speak directly about the mixed blessing of being gifted. The video is helpful for those struggling with how to describe giftedness as it applies to either themselves or […] Continue Reading

Gifted adults have trouble finding friends and romantic partners who have similar depth, complexity, sensitivity, and interests because these individuals are hard to find.  Being gifted puts you in the top 2.5% of the population based on intelligence test scores. This means that only 1 in 40 people are gifted, so you may have to […] Continue Reading

Gifted adults often set high standards that they expect themselves and those around them to reach. These standards are referred to as “perfectionism” by psychologists, and can cause problems in relationships both at home and at work, as well as for the gifted adults themselves. I have seen these high standards at play for some of my clients. […] Continue Reading

I work with a large number of gifted adults in my private practice as a psychologist. One of the common themes that emerges out of our work together is the wide range of interests and abilities they possess, which can make selecting a first career, and subsequent careers, challenging because narrowing down the field to […] Continue Reading

Gifted adults are more likely to experience “existential depression.” This often begins during childhood for gifted individuals and is usually linked to thoughts surrounding death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness. Read more about the Characteristics of gifted adults. Questions gifted adults can ask over their life-span, that contribute to existential depression, might include: Why does society put such […] Continue Reading

Characteristics of adult giftedness include tenacity, self-discipline and the ability to focus for extended periods of time. Some gifted adults demonstrate these characteristics by earning demanding university degrees and holding job titles that are the envy of others. Others found themselves bored at school and couldn’t, or chose not to, pursue higher education. Still others took promising jobs […] Continue Reading

I sometimes talk about how far gifted individuals are from the norm when I meet with my gifted clients. I will share that “giftedness,” which is at the high end of the intelligence spectrum, is as far from the norm as is “Intellectual Developmental Disorder,” which is at the low end of the intelligence spectrum. […] Continue Reading

Gifted adults frequently present reasons why they couldn’t possibly be gifted after I tell them that they are. They realize they are ‘different,’ but don’t recognize that the ways they are different are typical for the gifted. I have listed several examples of the kind of arguments my clients present to explain that they could […] Continue Reading

Teachers are responsible for teaching children with a wide range of intellectual abilities in the classroom. Teachers therefore generally direct their efforts towards reaching children with average abilities, with the expectation that gifted children will not need special attention. Gifted children are not always well received in the classroom because they may question the teacher […] Continue Reading

By definition, a gifted child’s intellectual development is advanced in one or more areas.  This means a gifted child requires special attention in the classroom in order to develop optimally at his or her own pace. The term “asynchronous development” accurately describes a gifted child’s development. Gifted children are qualitatively different from their peers. They […] Continue Reading

High academic achievement in a school classroom setting is the most common way to identify gifted children.  However, there are gifted children who are not high achievers, and these children often get overlooked. Giftedness, by definition, means that an individual’s intellectual abilities are in the top 2.5% to 3% of the population when measured by […] Continue Reading

Intellectual giftedness is most often discovered in childhood because children are constantly in environments where their developmental advancement is being assessed and their educational progress is being monitored. “Giftedness,” when assessed by a psychologist, means that an individual’s intellectual abilities are  in the top 2.5% or 3.0% of the population when measured using a standard […] Continue Reading

Gifted children possess several social and emotional characteristics that are sometimes mistaken for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by professionals who may not fully understand what it means to be "gifted." A misdiagnosis of ADHD can often be tied to situational factors. For example, consider a gifted child that spends a great deal of their regular […] Continue Reading

Dr. Barbara Kerr, a Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Kansas, is the author of Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women, and Giftedness. Her book explores why gifted and talented girls so often fail to realize their full potential as adults. Gifted women often contact me because they want to better understand themselves. I recommend Dr. […] Continue Reading

Little has been published on the subject of giftedness in the workplace and burnout, but I have seen evidence in my practice that adult giftedness and burnout may be linked. The characteristics of giftedness set gifted adults apart from others. Without proper support and understanding, many gifted adults may not achieve their full potential. For example, they may not pursue […] Continue Reading

In the workplace, gifted adults can be perceived as “intimidating” or “threatening” by their colleagues.  Gifted adults may report being under-stimulated at work, and unable to comprehend why their ideas that would lead to greater efficiencies or profits for their companies are not acted upon. They may also experience conflicts with co-workers that they do […] Continue Reading

Gifted adults typically possess a number of characteristics that set them apart from others in our society. Giftedness is often identified early in a child’s life. It is defined by having an IQ in the top 2-3% of the population, as measured by a psychologist. Giftedness does not disappear after the ag of 18 and […] Continue Reading

I frequently recommend three books to help my clients (1) realize they are gifted, which is something they often knew as children but lost after leaving high school, (2) begin to better understand and accept themselves as gifted adults, (3) begin to frame their difficulties at work and in relationships from a giftedness perspective, and (4) conclude they might be […] Continue Reading

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Are you in Burnout? 10 Important Questions and Answers