What I have learned...
One thing I have learned over the years as a clinical psychologist, advocate and parent is how often gifted people are misunderstood. It’s astonishing, really. Gifted children are frequently overlooked, languish in classrooms that cannot accommodate their learning needs, and are viewed with suspicion by peers who don’t “get” their differences. Many are ostracized or bullied. And sadly, the most adaptable of the bunch may learn to “fit in” by downplaying their abilities or giving up on school completely.
Gifted adults face similar constraints. Often reeling from the stigma and social challenges of childhood, they may lack confidence in their careers or social interactions. They often feel like outliers and struggle to find like-minded peers, sometimes assuming that there is something wrong with them.
Parents of gifted children manage a balancing act of supporting their child’s needs, advocating within the schools (without creating too many conflicts), and educating others who don’t understand. Those without gifted children might think it’s easy to raise a gifted child. Some assume these children are high achievers, pushed by hovering parents. They also don’t understand how gifted children can be incredibly bright, but have social or other learning deficits. Parents of gifted children end up explaining, educating, and, yes, apologizing when there is no need for apology. It can be overwhelming.
Why I do this...
I started this blog to advocate, explore, and raise questions about the social and emotional aspects of giftedness. As a Clinical Psychologist, in practice for over 35 years, I bring my experience as a clinician to my understanding of giftedness. I am also a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. I have worked collaboratively with gifted education supervisors to evaluate gifted programming, and am aware of the constraints and struggles schools face. My experiences as a parent and previously as co-chair of a local gifted advocacy parents group have been humbling and have deepened my understanding of giftedness in my work as a therapist.
How I can work with you...
My psychology practice is in Jenkintown, Pa., just outside of Philadelphia, where I offer:
- Psychotherapy for adults, adolescents and families - both in person and through telepsychology in PsyPact participating states.
- Workshops for schools and parent groups
- Consultation and coaching for parents of gifted children (available in person or via telepsychology)
- Clinical supervision for treatment professionals
Please contact me at 215 884-9260 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and set up a time to meet for psychotherapy, coaching, supervision, or workshop opportunities. Also, please visit my website, www.gailpost.com for more information.
I welcome your feedback, questions, and ideas, as we work together to advocate for the needs of the gifted.