Educational consultation is similar to "personal coaching." It helps provide a new framework for understanding yourself or your child, tools for managing roadblocks, and guidelines for future directions. Whatever your concern, meeting with a psychologist for coaching can help ease your mind, provide support, and offer a fresh perspective. Meetings are available in person, or via phone or videoconferencing. The following are some frequently asked questions:

Why do people seek coaching or educational consultation?

If you are the parent of a gifted or high ability child, you probably have tried a variety of options: meetings with teachers, discussions with family and friends, books, internet searches, testing, and perhaps even counseling. Now you may be looking for some straightforward advice to help with decisions related to your gifted child's academic choices and emotional well-being. Or you just might need to sort out and prioritize goals for your child. 

Parents of gifted children also find themselves in the role of advocate, where they battle school policy or find themselves repeatedly explaining their child's behavior to puzzled neighbors and friends who don't understand asynchronous development or lags in social maturity. This can become exhausting and isolating, and you just might need some support as you navigate this challenging role. 

Schools frequently lack an understanding of a gifted child's unique needs related to the college search. Most overworked guidance counselors don't have the time to research colleges offering the best academic and social/emotional fit for your child. More importantly, gifted students and their families often are left in the dark when it comes to critical tests and other opportunities that occur during high school which could dramatically affect college admissions or even financial aid options. As a parent, you may benefit from coaching support to help your child navigate this path and remain alert before options are closed.

Families seeking coaching often have questions about their child's social, emotional and academic development. Common questions include:

  • child development - what is "normal" for gifted children
  • understanding asynchronous development and overexcitabilities
  • managing family dynamics when children are gifted
  • setting educational goals
  • decision-making about testing, acceleration or types of schooling
  • managing roadblocks within the schools
  • developing an advocacy plan
  • college planning goals for gifted students

Education consultation/coaching provides support, guidance and advice when tackling these challenging concerns.

Musical Giftedness

I also work with families of musically talented children, where questions may arise related to ambivalence, procrastination, burn-out, multipotentiality, and perfectionism. Parents often question when - and how much - encouragement to offer. Musically gifted children typically receive little guidance within their schools that can help them sort out future career paths. Many struggle with decisions related to career goals, choosing college vs. conservatory, or whether to major in music at all. 

Why see a psychologist for coaching?

Personal and executive coaching have been around for a while, and people from a range of backgrounds have worked in this field. But it is surprising to note that there are no state governing boards granting licensure or credentialing for coaching, or that oversee the quality of training programs, enforce rules and laws, or ensure that coaches adhere to a code of ethics. (See Gebhardt for more.) 

On the other hand, Psychologists (like most licensed mental health professionals) go through extensive training in the study of behavior, motivation and personality dynamics. Psychologists participate in five or more years of post-graduate education and several years of post-doctoral supervision. Their training emphasizes interpersonal listening skills, methods for providing support and guidance, and the importance of healthy boundaries in the therapeutic relationship that encourage the client's ultimate independence. They adhere to a code of ethics enforced by state and national licensing and professional boards, maintain confidentiality, and respect clients' differences and values.

In short, psychologists' expertise informs their work when in the role of a coach or consultant. 

What happens during a coaching or consultation session?

During our initial meeting, I will quickly gather information about your most pressing concerns, along with relevant history related to you or your child. Although some people feel nervous at first, once the conversation starts, it gets easier to share information. I will ask about your goals for the consultation, and see if we can develop a plan for achieving them. We will focus on your specific concerns and I will try to help you come up with the best solution to the problem.

Coaching/consultation is not psychotherapy, which focuses on alleviating symptoms, understanding the underlying dynamics that create these symptoms, and changing problem behaviors. Instead, coaching/consultation uses strategic planning, values clarification, brainstorming, and goal-setting to reach identified goals. The relationship between the consultant and client is more direct, relaxed and challenging than between therapist and client, and not intended to offer therapeutic support.

Here is what I won't do:
I won't criticize your parenting or what you have already tried.
I won't focus on myself - this is YOUR time and not a place for me to go into detail about my personal experiences.
I won't tell you what to do - I will offer ideas and strategies, and suggest reasons for any roadblocks in your way. It is up to you to decide what works best for you and your family.
I won't offer guidance solely based on my personal experiences. Unlike some gifted coaching and consultation services, I do not claim having expertise due to being gifted or because I raised a gifted child. Rather, my qualifications are based on over 30 years as a Clinical Psychologist, along with experience as a parent advocate in the schools.


What will it cost?

When coaching is conducted by phone or videoconferencing, I charge a reduced rate - less than my in-person psychotherapy fee. My fee for the initial consultation is $170.00 per hour, and any follow-up visits are $150.00 per hour or $75.00 per 1/2 hour. 

How do I get started?  

Just give me a call at 215 884-9260 or e-mail me at 

I will need to speak with you to see if my services are the right approach for you. Once we have spoken briefly by phone (typically about five minutes) and have agreed to meet, I will ask that you:
  • complete a consent form (which can be accessed on my website here), and
  • submit payment by credit card at least one day in advance. Information about paying by credit card or Pay Pal online can be found here

For more information, please contact me at or 215 884-9260. Or you can visit my website at

(Note: Educational consultation or coaching is not the best option when a psychoeducational evaluation or psychotherapy is needed. If you contact me and it seems clear that a consultation would not serve your needs, I will refer you to the appropriate services.)

Thank you. I look forward to working with you.


Gail Post, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist