Featured Articles

  • Striving For Excellence and Being a Perfectionist

    Striving For Excellence and Being a Perfectionist

    Mia Wasikowska earned acclaim for her intense performance in the HBO series “In Treatment.” She played the title role in the Tim Burton movie “Alice in Wonderland,” and noted that at age 20 she was still fairly new to acting, and comments why she left dancing: “I was at dance school doing about 35 hours […]

  • Coming out Gifted

    Coming out Gifted

    By Lisa Erickson, MS, LMHC : The caller says they went to my website and started to cry. I have heard this reaction before. It isn’t because they read the page on addictions or the one on depression. There is only one page that evokes this response. The caller has read about giftedness on my […]

  • Creativity and madness: High ability and mental health

    Creativity and madness: High ability and mental health

    Elyn Saks: defying the predictions Elyn Saks is a college valedictorian, Oxford scholar, Yale law student, USC legal professor – and a person with schizophrenia. The university press release “USC law professor battles schizophrenia” declares, “However ironic, the life of Saks’ mind has been her salvation. Even as her brain attacks her with fear and […]

  • Janitor or mathematician - adult achievement, or not

    Janitor or mathematician – adult achievement, or not

    Good Will Hunting The movie Good Will Hunting (1997), as summarized on Wikipedia, tells the story of Will Hunting (Matt Damon), “a troubled prodigy who works as a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, despite the fact that his knowledge of and facility with higher mathematics far outstrips that of anyone in the university. […]

  • Smart teens and sex

    Smart teens and sex

    Being highly intelligent can impact social and sexual relationships for many people, growing up and as adults. The character ‘Dr. Lisa Cuddy’ on the tv series “House” finds Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) “hot.” The actor who plays Cuddy, Lisa Edelstein, was asked if she would you be attracted “to a guy like him” and replied, […]

  • How Pop Culture Stereotypes Impact the Self-Concept of Highly Gifted People

    How Pop Culture Stereotypes Impact the Self-Concept of Highly Gifted People

    By Sarah Williams Some among us, plain and simple, are born great. There are people who have high capacities for specific talents, such as those who are math wizards or seemingly inherently know everything scientific. The world is home to a select few highly gifted people blessed with abilities the average human can only envy. […]


  • More Articles

  • Acknowledging our gifted adult personality

    Acknowledging our gifted adult personality

    “I did not perform well socially in junior high. I was a strange girl and I was in a lot of pain because of that, like most teenagers.” Claire Danes Elaine Aron, PhD comments on some of the consequences of being very sensitive as a child: “…family and school problems, childhood illnesses, and the like […]

  • Exceptional, gifted adults without enough positive self-regard

    Exceptional, gifted adults without enough positive self-regard

    Exceptional and insecure Diana, Princess of Wales was noted for her pioneering charity work for AIDS and landmines. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, among many others, considered her “an exceptional and gifted human being.” But biographer Simone Simmons, also a friend and confidante, says she was “one of the most insecure people I had ever […]

  • Gifted and Shy: Kubrick; Kidman and others

    Gifted and Shy: Kubrick; Kidman and others

    Stanley Kubrick: overwhelmed by his actors Kubrick is considered one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers, renowned for a legendary perfectionism. But one of his most intense actors, R. Lee Ermey, the menacing drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket (1987), has said, “Stanley called me about two weeks before he died [in 1999]. “We […]

  • Lang Lang: "Pressure…but a wonderful way to grow up"

    Lang Lang: “Pressure…but a wonderful way to grow up”

    “If my father had pressured me like this and I had not done well, it would have been child abuse, and I would be traumatized, maybe destroyed. He could have been less extreme and we probably would have made it to the same place; you don’t have to sacrifice everything to be a musician. “But […]

  • Addressing gifted adult underachievement: Acknowledging our own abilities

    Discounting our abilities One aspect of high ability, being able to do many things well, is a tendency to discount those abilities, and thinking, If we can do things easily, they must not actually be difficult or worthy of our respect. It’s a way, perhaps, to keep us more comfortably small in our own estimation. […]

  • Gifted adults: Brilliant innovation and extraordinary contributions

    Gifted adults: Brilliant innovation and extraordinary contributions

    “There are many confusing notions about what giftedness is and is not. Indeed, in several respects, the life experience of the gifted individual seems paradoxical (e.g., being considered highly successful while secretly feeling like an impostor).” From article Encountering the Gifted Self Again, For the First Time, by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy.D. In another article, Dr. […]

  • Creative Passion and Gifted Adults: Prodded by Our Angelic and Demonic Muse

    Creative Passion and Gifted Adults: Prodded by Our Angelic and Demonic Muse

    How does talent become passion? “The presence of talent is not sufficient. Many people have more than one talent, and wonder what to do with them.” Jane Piirto, Ph.D. continues in her book Talented Children and Adults, “What is the impetus, what is the reason, for one talent taking over and capturing the passion and […]

  • Talented People, Stress and ChokIng

    Talented People, Stress and ChokIng

    Does having a highly capable intellect ensure you will perform well all the time, and always do better in performance situations? Not according to some research. This is from a news article: “Talented people often choke under pressure because the distraction caused by stress consumes their working memory, a psychologist at the University of Chicago […]

  • Giftedness in the work environment

    Giftedness in the work environment

    Backgrounds and practical recommendations By Noks Nauta, Sieuwke Ronner This article was published in Dutch in Tijdschriftvoor Bedrijfs-en Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Journal for Occupational Health- and Insurance Physicians), TBV 16, no. 11 (Nov. 2008): 396-399. Publisher: Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum, Houten, The Netherlands. The editor agreed with translation and publication on this website. Key words: GIFTEDNESS, CHARACTERISTICS, […]

  • You may be gifted - Are you denying it?

    You may be gifted – Are you denying it?

    Not settling for underachievement We may not have realized all or even many of the promises of our identity as a gifted kid, and through circumstance or suppression left talents unmanifested or unspoken. But that doesn’t mean we have lost that aspect of who we are. You can learn more about the traits that gifted […]

  • Higher IQ than Hawking - But what challenges may Victoria Cowie face?

    Higher IQ than Hawking – But what challenges may Victoria Cowie face?

    British schoolgirl Victoria Cowie recently scored 162 on the adult admission tests for Mensa, which places her above the scores thought to have been achieved by Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Her father cites one example showing how uncommon she is: “When she was just three years old we were sitting in a […]

  • Weed Girl – numbing her “rage to achieve”

    Weed Girl – numbing her “rage to achieve”

    Smoking weed, drinking and trying some other drugs, Weed Girl preferred the pot smoking which she explains “took the edge off of her brain.” This was the beginning of Weed Girl’s new lifestyle which landed her in jail and rehab several times each. Sadly, by the time I met her, Weed Girl was pretty convinced […]

  • Finding the Gems in the Rough: the mission to identify and serve the unknowing gifted

    Finding the Gems in the Rough: the mission to identify and serve the unknowing gifted

    By Sara Yamtich Over the decades, education and resources for gifted youth have made significant contributions to the education and mental health fields.  Many thinkers have shed light on not just the intellectual differences of the gifted, but on the unique personality traits and social-emotional needs of this population.   And it’s been hugely liberating […]

  • Gifted, talented: With or without the label and notable accomplishments

    Gifted, talented: With or without the label and notable accomplishments

    Giftedness often tied to achievement So much categorizing people as gifted children or adults emphasizes having achieved significantly, having some distinction – high IQ or SAT scores, having a bestseller book or movie or being a sport superstar. And with perfectionism and high levels of self criticism, many gifted and talented people feel they don’t […]

  • Publish your expertise to help others

    Publish your expertise to help others

    In their article What Is Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy?, Drs. Phillip and Jane Mountrose note, “Many gifted individuals have expertise to share and this may include you. “The issue is how to make your expertise into a profitable business. Experts Academy with Brendon Burchard solves this problem. His goal is to turn you into a […]