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The Unique Challenges of Gifted & Creative Adults
Gifted Adult Challenges, Problems & Difficulties
An article by Lynne Azpeitia
Gifted, talented and creative adults face unique challenges, problems and difficulties while living their lives because of their high intelligence, overexcitabilities and multiple abilities.
Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults need:
multiple sources of stimulation for their curiosity, talents and abilities
a safe environment in which they can fully be themselves
to feel understood, accepted, respected and valued by others
to understand themselves, their needs and their gifts
to be involved intellectually, emotionally, artistically with others who think, feel and act as they do
a variety of outlets for the expression of their interests, talents and abilities
to have and build supportive connections
to develop ways to further personal, professional and creative growth and development
to identify, understand and meet their intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs throughout their lives
to understand the problems and challenges they face when their intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs are not identified, understood or met adequately.
When the intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs of Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults are denied or are not identified, understood or adequately met, gifted adults are at high risk for a variety of personal, relationship and career challenges, problems and difficulties.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller
When the daily lives and relationships of gifted adults do not include enough opportunities for the utilization of their multidimensional gifts, talents and abilities, Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults will experience a variety of ongoing personal, relationship and career challenges, problems and difficulties.
Life persists in the vulnerable, the sensitive-they carry it on. The invulnerable, the too heavily armored, perish. Elizabeth Taylor
When the conditions listed above do not exist, gifted adults will also suffer greatly.
They will most likely experience high levels of stress, anxiety, agitation, depression and depletion. Major bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings are also not uncommon.
Helping professionals who are not informed about giftedness and the specialized needs and experience of the gifted can make, and have made, difficult and challenging situations even more stressful for gifted adults.
Because the developmental trajectory of gifted and creative adults follows a different pattern than that which occurs in the general population therapists, coaches and helping professionals need specialized learning and training to adequately meet the needs of gifted adults who seek out their help and expertise.
When Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults receive advice and services that are appropriate for the general population, their condition and symptoms worsen, they do not improve and oftentimes they will be blamed or blame themselves for their worsening condition or lack of improvement.
Advanced and asynchronous development, overexcitabilities and multipotentiality all require specialized knowledge, interaction and intervention for a successful outcome.
It is important for gifted and creative adults to be supported and helped by coaches, therapists and others who are genuinely knowledgeable about giftedness and how to interact with gifted people or by those who are willing to learn.
It is also important that the professional working with a gifted person be in the same IQ range because every 10 to 15 IQ points is a different world.
If the IQ is more than 30 points apart, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to share the same perceptual and processing perspective and experience—this will then create even more problems and difficulties.
When gifted, talented and creative adults are involved intellectually, emotionally, or artistically with others who think and act as they do, have a safe and understanding environment in which they can fully be themselves, and have supportive connections their sense of well-being, happiness and self esteem increase--so does their creativity and productivity.
Gifted talented and creative adults and others need to know and understand that unless gifted adults can relate to, believe in or love the activities they are engaged in, they will
most likely lose their equilibrium
become off balance physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
have nagging doubts about themselves, their abilities and their competencies
engage in self blame and self doubt
overwork and have a tendency to burn out
not enjoy life, work or relating
have a tendency to isolate themselves when their usual practice would be to be more social
suffer from feelings of not doing enough or being enough
escape into other activities but experience no relief from doing so.
Gifted, talented and creative adults are a precious resource and need to learn about themselves and their specialized needs and requirements—and find ways to fulfill them adequately.
I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum. Frances Willard
There are many ways gifted and creative adults can learn about meeting their needs, psychotherapy, coaching, reading, gifted groups and classes, internet, and many others. However, without the right education, help and support in this area many gifted, talented and creative adults will continue to struggle and suffer needlessly.
Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults need to identify, understand and meet their intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs—and the world will be a better and much happier place for all.
Imagine, for a moment, a world where Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults and their specialized needs are understood, respected, valued and included.
That’s a world I’m looking forward to. How about you?
Lynne Azpeitia, MFT
3025 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Encouraging, supporting and guiding gifted adults to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
To schedule a session, begin coaching or arrange a free phone consultation, Email Lynne or call 310-828-7121
Coaching, Counseling & Consulting Services Also Available by Phone & Skype
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