If you are the parent of a gifted child, you have probably 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 regarding decisions related to your gifted child's academic choices and emotional well-being. Or you just might need an opportunity to sort out and prioritize goals for your child without any possible conflict of interest that can sometimes occur, for example, in schools burdened by budgetary or philosophical constraints.
If you are a gifted adult seeking coaching for yourself, you may have just realized that you are gifted and want to explore what this means. Or you might need some guidance related to how giftedness is impacting your relationships or career.
During our initial meeting, I will try to 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 gets started, it becomes easier to share information. I will also 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.
The goals of psychotherapy focus on alleviating symptoms, understanding the underlying dynamics that create these symptoms, changing problem behavior, and developing new strategies for successfully coping with psychological problems. The therapist uses diagnostic techniques, theoretical foundations, and research-based strategies to understand clients and develop treatment goals. Psychotherapy is considered a health care service and is usually reimbursable through health insurance plans, which is not true for consultation.
On the other hand, educational consultation services or coaching provide education and information related to a specific area of concern: in this case, giftedness. Similar to life coaching, this approach 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.
(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 coaching would not serve your needs, I would refer you to the appropriate services.)
Workshops and programs are also available for gifted children in schools. This includes consultation with staff, parent workshops and workshops on social/emotional needs for middle school and high school students.
If you are interested in learning more about Gifted Challenges Educational Consultation Services, please contact me directly to see if these services are the right approach for you.
Also, more information about social and emotional aspects of giftedness, parenting concerns and advocacy can be found on my blog, Gifted Challenges.