Gifted, Talented, and Creative Problems

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It’s well known among researchers of the gifted, talented, and creative that these individuals exhibit greater intensity and increased levels of emotional, imaginational, intellectual, sensual, and psychomotor excitability and that this is a normal pattern of development. It is because these gifted children and adults have a finely tuned psychological structure and an organized awareness that they experience all of life differently and more Intensely than those around them.

These characteristics, however, are frequently perceived by psychotherapists and others as evidence of a mental disturbance, because most of the population lacks accurate information about
the special characteristics of gifted individuals, couples and families. Most people don’t know that what is considered normal for the gifted is most often labeled as neurosis in the general population and as a result, the gifted are personally and emotionally vulnerable to a variety of unique relationship difficulties at home, work, school and in the community.

Since the gifted function with relatively high levels of intensity and sensitivity, when they seek therapy they are frequently misdiagnosed, because therapists receive no specialized training in the identification and treatment of persons who have advanced and complex patterns of development.

Therapeutic assessment of gifted persons with asynchronous development, heightened levels of awareness, energy and emotional response, and an intense level of inner turmoil often results in their developmental transition being mislabeled as a personality or attention disorder.

Histrionic, dysthymic, cyclothymic, borderline, narcissistic, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) are a few of the diagnostic labels mistakenly used to describe normative stages of positive disintegration. The results of this type of misdiagnosis can range from benign neglect to misguided counseling strategies that invalidate and attempt to ‘normalize’ the complex inner process of the gifted. When misdiagnosed gifted clients are prescribed medication to suppress the “symptoms of giftedness” there is the danger that the wonderful inner fury of the gifted process will be neutralized, thus minimizing the potential for a life of accomplishment and fulfillment.

As a result, those who have the most to offer society are the least likely to get their therapeutic needs met.

For the gifted, inner conflict is a developmental rather than a degenerative sign, because it drives the gifted person forward to replace current ways of thinking and being with those of higher level development. This type of positive disintegration is characterized by an intensified inner tension between what one is and what one could be. This dynamic tension is what fuels the creative person’s complex inner life and provides the impetus for growth and development. Any therapist who works with a gifted population must be familiar with these internal processes, which are utilized to develop advanced potential – otherwise, the therapist risks inflicting further psychological damage.

When working with the gifted, a therapist must address the following interpersonal issues: the internal stress of being gifted; the emotional trauma of rapid development; the effects of introversion, intensity, perfectionism and extraordinary sensitivity on self and others; the recognition of the symptoms of insufficient mental engagement; the importance of interacting with other gifted persons, and channeling and focusing an abundance of physical, sensual, intellectual and emotional energy.

Unique interpersonal challenges that gifted individuals, couples and families encounter during their life span include learning to interact in the mainstream world; manage expectations and pressures to fit the norm; defuse unconscious hostility, resentment, antagonism and sabotage directed at them because they are perceived as intellectually, creatively or personally advantaged; set appropriate boundaries for the utilization of their abilities; collaborate with others, and manage the daily dilemmas of giftedness involving relatives, bosses, co-workers, neighbors, counselors, teachers and other members of the community.

Traits of Highly Creative People:

• sensitive
• not motivated by money
• sense of destiny
• adaptable
• tolerant of ambiguity
• observant
• perceive world differently
• see possibilities
• question asker
• can synthesize correctly, often intuitively
• able to fantasize
• flexible
• fluent
• imaginative
• intuitive
• original
• ingenious
• energetic
• sense of humor
• self-actualizing
• self-disciplined
• self-knowledgeable
• specific interests
• divergent thinker
• curious
• open-ended
• independent
• severely critical
• non-conforming
• confident
• risk taker
• persistent

Ways and Problems in Which Giftedness Complicates Things:

• Tolerance for ambiguity & complexity leads to difficulty making decisions, difficulty with career path.

• Intensity: too needy, too sensitive, too friendly, too excited, too driven, too disorganized, too fast, too competitive, too arrogant, work too hard anti-procrastination disease.

• Desire for high stimulus situations: mischief, smug, bored, know-it-all; or procrastination, risk taking, need to make life difficult in order to feel like a hero.

• Thinking too much, can’t turn it off, obsessional style.

• Not having goals or never being satisfied; perfectionism; confusing exhaustion for accomplishment.

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7 thoughts on “Gifted, Talented, and Creative Problems”

  1. I fulfil all the criteria in the list you attached to your article. I test as exceptionally gifted and, until the age of 17, when I was a freshman in university, I believed that, because of certain of these characteristics, and the mergence of several of them, while problem solving or watching a film, and immediately and accurately solving the denouement after watching it for several seconds or minutes, I knew the ending, I believed that I had paranormal abilities. I have since earned three graduate degrees and currently earn a living as a clinical and forensic psychologigist.

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  2. I also wish to add that being exceptionally gifted has always been an extreme challenge for me in social situations and has resulted in feelings of alienation by others, who are unable to perceive what seems to me to be the obviousness of everything. This is a very lonely experience.

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  3. PLEASE READ!!! Well this is my gift for you to give to all the highly gifted this is mine, yours and all the highly gifted in this world. I am very happy I found you guys its my honor and pleasure to represent and present you with who I am and now my friends of The house of god gives you it’s story of truth, how it began of us and how very you are in the heart of Jesus Christ and god himself by the power vested I’m my and the power or piety out father who art in heaven hallow be thy name I herby anointed you as my chosen ones of Jesus Christ I solemnly swear by the power of god himself that this story is for you from him you will find out who I am but first proof then we begin the new world order of unity one nation the prophecy begins and you are all part of it. The antichrist has emerged and we have not much time so we must work together So let’s begin my name is steven I am an ENFJ I am the chosen one I am human just like you so here’s out story so far I’m still writing like I have been since July here’s the beginning pardon my punctuation you are more welcome to fix it but do not change the words just punctuation.

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