Featured Articles

  • Where do you get perfectionism: From the inside out or the outside in?

    Where do you get perfectionism: From the inside out or the outside in?

    By Lisa Erickson, MS, LMHC I’ve been thinking about varieties of perfectionism since having a discussion with a gifted trauma survivor. It became clear that some of their perfectionism was an expression of giftedness and some was related to family of origin issues. Same outcome, different sources. Does the source of perfectionism matter? I think […]

  • You think you're so smart. You're too verbal...too sensitive

    You think you’re so smart. You’re too verbal…too sensitive

    A number of movies include gifted and talented characters, and depict a variety of characteristics related to exceptional people that are positive – but these qualities also can generate not so positive reactions from others, such as “You think you’re so smart,” or, “You’re too verbal… too bossy… too nerdy… too sensitive.” And, of course, we may still […]

  • The genius brain: Psychiatrist Darold Treffert on savants and hidden potential

    The genius brain: Psychiatrist Darold Treffert on savants and hidden potential

    In his article Is There A Little Rain Man In Each Of Us?, Darold Treffert, MD asks if it is possible “to tap and use those still existent, but less frequently used, capacities and circuits, with some of their savant-like characteristics, in those of us more wedded to left brain capacity and higher level memory?” […]

  • Living Up to the "Gifted" Label - Or Not

    Living Up to the “Gifted” Label – Or Not

    “I don’t think I’m even close to fulfilling my potential.” Actor Kerry Washington goes on to say, “And I think also that, unlike a pianist or a flutist, an actor has an instrument that is constantly changing.” Washington earned a Presidential Arts Scholarship to attend George Washington University and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi […]

  • Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious

    Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious

    “I still have pretty much the same fears I had as a kid. I’m not sure I’d want to give them up; a lot of these insecurities fuel the movies I make.” Steven Spielberg There can be many flavors of insecurity, self-criticism, stress and anxiety related to being gifted, talented and creative. Some experiences, such […]

  • Is uncommon intelligence or intensity a gift?

    Is uncommon intelligence or intensity a gift?

    Willem Kuipers is author of the book Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon: Extra Intelligent, Intense, and Effective. Read the Foreword by Linda Silverman (and see link to the author’s site) in the post The Gift of Being Uncommon. In a section of the book – Is it a Gift to be Uncommon? – he […]


  • More Articles

  • Exceptional abilities: Energy healing & psychic ability

    Exceptional abilities: Energy healing & psychic ability

    Adam Dreamhealer is considered a gifted distant energy healer and author. From a news story [Adam the Healer - Nineteen-Year-Old Says His Touch Can Cure Diseases, ABCNews ABC.com July 13, 2006] : Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and the Mind/Body Center says it does not surprise him that people improve or are even […]

  • Using Your Multipotentiality to Grow Your Confidence

    Using Your Multipotentiality to Grow Your Confidence

    By Emilie Wapnick The other day, someone mentioned that throughout their life, they’ve used their multipotentialite pursuits as a way of growing their confidence. In other words, by diving into new things and acquiring new skills, they’ve learned to believe in themselves more as a person. I’ve never thought about it that way, but it […]

  • Entitled to Be Exceptional

    Entitled to Be Exceptional

    Suppressing ourselves to fit in Being exceptional, unusually skillful, smart, creative or otherwise more capable than the norm, may include a judgment both by others and ourselves as being an ‘outsider.’ Gifted and talented people can experience a self-defeating aversion to expressing talents that might separate them from other people. Girls and women may be […]

  • Exceptional abilities - Isaac Newton: obsessed and solitary

    Exceptional abilities – Isaac Newton: obsessed and solitary

    “He was an unusual sort, obsessive, but gripped by the power and the beauty of sheer computation. I think that was a driving force behind what he did. “Once Newton (1642-1727) was onto something, he was gripped by it and he worked at it and worked at it and worked at it until he could […]

  • Being a perfectionist, being anxious

    Being a perfectionist, being anxious

    “Anxiety keeps me humble.” AIDS researcher Anthony Fauci, MD notes that pursuing excellence in your life and work is not without emotional challenges: “One of the by-products of being a perfectionist and constantly trying to improve myself are sobering feelings of low-grade anxiety and a nagging sense of inadequacy… This anxiety keeps me humble.” Perfectionism […]

  • Wrestling with our intuition

    Wrestling with our intuition

    “I feel there are two people inside me – me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.” – Kim Basinger Many other artists talk about using intuitive guidance in their work and lives. But it can be a challenge […]

  • On Being Gifted and Talented

    On Being Gifted and Talented

    By Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHCA What is giftedness? What is talent? There seem to be infinitely variable definitions for these two words. Let’s start with the idea of intelligence. Most research suggests that the higher an individual’s intelligence, the greater the degree of cognitive, emotional, and spiritual complexity there will be in that person’s encounter […]

  • Brainpower and The Smart Gap

    Brainpower and The Smart Gap

    It may be natural to feel frustrated at not being able to solve a math problem or some other challenge when we are growing up and still learning, but how do you feel about your abilities and your self, your identity, when you confront a deep gap between what you would like to accomplish, and […]

  • Beyond the Chaos or Void in my Life?

    Beyond the Chaos or Void in my Life?

    By Edith Johnston I have lots of ideas.  I am intelligent and inquisitive with lots of interests.  Yet, I am insecure and everything seems incongruent as I move through life. Does this sound like something you experience? Being a multi-talented individual, or said another way, a smart person, can lead to this kind of experience.  […]

  • Narcissism: Having a God complex

    Narcissism: Having a God complex

    “If it weren’t for me, there wouldn’t be any Paramount Studios.” Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in the movie Sunset Blvd For some people with exceptional abilities, the realization that they are, in fact, more capable in many ways than ordinary people can lead to a distorted self-concept, a deep sense they really are better […]

  • Dr. Deborah L. Ruf on raising gifted kids for positive relationships

    Dr. Deborah L. Ruf on raising gifted kids for positive relationships

    .. Photo: Clarence So of Diamond Ranch High in Pomona cheers on classmates at a regional decathlon at USC. Another decathlon was held at UCLA. From article: In L.A. County, a battle of the brains, by Esmeralda Bermudez and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times February 8, 2009. “A day of decathlons, spelling bees and science […]

  • Intellectual Giftedness at War with Itself:  All I Want Is a Good Night’s Sleep…

    Intellectual Giftedness at War with Itself: All I Want Is a Good Night’s Sleep…

    By Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHCA One of the frequent sources of anxiety mentioned by clients in my specialty psychotherapy practice of working with intellectually gifted individuals is the fear of obliteration of consciousness at death. To them, Being and Nothingness is not just a thick book by Jean Paul Sartre. As a concept, it presents […]

  • Gifted, Sensitive, In Need Of Meaning: Existential Depression

    Gifted, Sensitive, In Need Of Meaning: Existential Depression

    Psychologists including James T. Webb and Eric Maisel note highly sensitive, creative and gifted, high ability people can be particularly vulnerable to existential depression. Writer Peter Messerschmidt addresses this topic in his post Of Giftedness, ADD, Depression, and being an HSP, and writes, “Existential Depression.. generally doesn’t affect many people, except in a very fleeting and […]

  • J.K. Rowling: an ordinary and extraordinary childhood

    J.K. Rowling: an ordinary and extraordinary childhood

    “I was shy. I was a mixture of insecurities and very bossy.” J.K. Rowling added that she was “Very bossy to my sister but quite quiet with strangers. Very bookish. Terrible at school. “That whole thing about Harry being able to fly so well is probably total wish fulfillment.” Rowling also said she was, “never […]