To not see this reminder again
We live in the times when human beings try to play the role of God. There are lots of reasons behind such epidemic, I can, at least, introduce you to a few of them: we have banned God, as the Creature and Nurturer of the worlds and its inhabitants from our daily lives, and one of the results of such widely spread transition in our cultural understanding from ourselves is our ill need for control, planning, knowledge, and science.
For example beyond the numerous verses in Quran, where God has made conclusions based on the assumption that He has already gifted the humankind with the ability to differentiate the good from the bad, and believe me or not the God doesn’t talk about scientific methods, He [very mistakenly falsely] believes that all humankind are able to figure out the truth of His message, the truth of what is right and just from what is not just and what is not right. Beyond all those verses when he doesn’t clearly state that human beings are able to realize the truth, there is, at least, a verse, which I remember that He says such a thing very clearly: „ … And a soul and Him Who perfected it. And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. He is indeed successful who causeth it to grow, And he is indeed a failure who stunteth it. …“ God of Quran believes that He has inspired the soul of mankind with the conscience of what is wrong for it and what is right for it and the way to be successful is to cause our souls to grow.
But since we do no more believe in fairytales which the God of Quran would tell us, we have found an alternative to him. Nowadays we do no more believe that any individual knows what is best for him, rather we have given up all our ability to think and judge by ourselves to the scientists. In the past, we trusted the Pops and the religious persons to tell us what is right and what is wrong but since they have already betrayed our trust in them, we gave this duty to yet another people, this time, scientists.
Nowadays for making any big decisions, first a group of scientists and researchers should be gathered and spend a lot of money, time and energy and make a study and come up with a result. We have implemented IQ and IQ-test in the body of our employment system to evaluate whether someone fits a job or not, we have even gone so far that we expect the science to tell us whether we love someone or not.
Maybe the fact that poetry is slowly fading away from our daily life and rather psychology snippets in magazines, newspapers, blogs, Talkshows and … are growing in popularity has no reason than us trying to shift our trust in ourselves about being able to realize whether we love someone or not, to a trust to scientists —in this case psychologists and sometimes sociologists— that they know better than us, whom we love.
But if we go back to the roots of religion, to what God has himself written in Quran, He [and I am yet saying it again very unfortunately] trusted that human beings are themselves able to realize what is good or what is bad for them. You wonder yeah? Don’t wonder. God never states we need scientists to prove us whether this or that is wrong. God even never stated that we need Pops and the rest of religious leaders to tell us what to do or what not to do. God even very surprisingly has again and again and again told us in Quran that we don’t need Prophets to tell us what is wrong or right. You wonder, yes? You don’t believe me? There is no need to wonder. He, I mean, the God, always believed in His creation, as any other inventor do always believe in their creation, therefore, He always called His prophets, messengers. Did you ever think what a messenger does? He or she solely hands a message from the sender to the receiver and the God —at least the God of Quran—, always believed that the mankind is able to realize whether a message is sent by Him or there is someone faking that they brought a message from Him. He always believed that the mankind is able to know what is best and what is worse for them and I think this is absolutely true.
I am not trying to say we don’t need scientists or religious leaders or etc and etc … what I am claiming is that each of us knows what is best for us and what is worst, and we should never ever ever hand over this ability from ourselves to another human being, we should only hand it over to God, but not another human being. Whether you call such persons scientists or Pop, it doesn’t make a difference, we don’t need them to be our God and to tell us, to decide for us what is good and what is wrong. They are just another human being as us. The same is true about prophets, and the same is true about psychologists.
I am not denying the fact that sometimes there are people out there who has been given the gift to enable you to figure out what you really want, which you never thought of before, this person can be a five years old child, an uneducated person, or maybe the Pope or maybe the prophet or maybe your psychotherapist but this doesn’t mean that we ourselves are not able to realize what is good and what is bad for us, cause at the end it is us who realize, wow this five years old kid told me a truth about life, I was searching my whole life for it … definitely, the five years old child can’t tell you that *this *was what you waited your whole life for. I hope you understand what I mean.
I think psychotherapists themselves and their clients are harmed by the widely held belief that human beings are unable to know what is good and what is bad for them and that it is the task and the duty of science to let them know this, and since the psychology is the science of private life, unfortunately, there are lots of mistakes in our current practices of psychology, most of which are solely a side result of the belief that science knows better than yourself what is good for you. One of the majors is which psychology and psychotherapy has one of its worst record in its entire history, beyond the treatment of mentally ill people by psychiatrist, is how psychology treats gifted people.
And I am going to talk about it, but remember the key of what I am going to discuss with you is the trivial fact that „every single individual is able to realize the good and the bad for his own soul“ and the other side of the this fact is that usually, anyone else than that particular individual is not always able to tell him or her what is best for them, so as soon as we give up the duty of ourselves to follow our own mind and rather try to give other individuals the position of the God, the story of our misery begins …
Frist things first; please, don’t identify yourself with your job …
This essay is filled and full of critic around significant basics and widely agreed-upon practices in education, psychology and psychotherapy. Therefore in case you are a teacher, a psychotherapists or have a job or positions related to these two professions, more seriously in case you love what you are currently doing regarding you job in respect of giftedness, it is important to be able not to identify yourself with your job, before continuing with this text …
Any profession is to a degree a conscious choice, which you can change whenever you wish to. You are not born to follow specific practices, *which are going to be criticized here, or to believe in specific theories, which are going to be proved that there are wrong at the end of this essay, *so be aware that it is possible to change what you believe in, *as soon as it is proved that what you believed in is wrong. You can change your practices, as soon as it is clear to you that what you thought is a useful method, in reality, is just harmful. Be aware that you are not your job, ***and your job is not you ***and that you are not what you believe in, and ***what you believe in, is not you****.
For example, Harry Frederick Harlow was triggered to make a brilliant study to prove to his time’s society that newborns need love and need to be hugged to better develop mentally and physically. Yet in our time a trivial matter, back then, the sociologists and psychologists believed it is harmful to hug infants and new mothers were thought by nurses not to hug their children, just as outrageous it might sound today, science has a good name in proving desperately wrong theories and practicing even more wrong behaviors based on their studies and theories, so if you identify yourself with your job and with what your job requires you to do, then you might easily get broken hearted when it turns out that your job description contained nonsense practices and believes. Be careful that your job, what you believe in, and what you do are decisions which you can be easily reverse whenever you want. You are responsible for what you did but as long as you breathe you might have a chance to change them …
What we are going to ruthlessly criticize is *your job *and *your beliefs *and … we criticize them, so you can improve your job, your beliefs and … we criticize them, cause such things are important for us, cause what you do is important for us and that we wish that things be done in the very very very best way(s) possible.
Psychotherapist of a gifted adult equal life crises …
The psychotherapy, as we practice it today, combined with a gifted client, will inevitably lead the psychotherapist toward crises, but before starting with that, let’s first clear up a fact …
The psychotherapist of a gifted adult?
If a gifted adult visits you by his own will, you’re quite definitely gifted.
If you are the psychotherapist of a gifted adult, who’s visited you more than twice solely by his or her own will and your judgement about yourself is that you are in no way a gifted individual, you would rather question your underlying beliefs and assumptions about yourself and in case IQ-tests underpin your opinion, the is a simple explanation IQ-tests are lying to you …
There can be lots of reasons presented to you, to show you that you are wrong, for example, the simple fact that, being below the giftedness level of your clients, will make it impossible for you to communicate with them, you are not going to recognizing it, but they will … But without going into details, let’s view the situation just from another perspective: A gifted person accepts you only if:
1-either you are gifted as much as him or her or to some degree less but again you are above average in a way that you meet his or her needs of emotional and intellectual intensity
2-you are a very wise person, as if you were a resource of knowledge, experience, expertise and … to which the gifted adult didn’t find any access to them in any different way, which could rarely be the case, because of lots of blogs, essays, articles, books, libraries, videos, universities and all other means of education, as far as they are more accessible than you for that particular individuals
3-you may call it the big elephant in the room, but, unfortunately, you are lying to yourself. You might be attractive, in case you are a male consulter you think you are sexy, but the truth is even if you have a body above the average of your society, if you don’t meet the emotional and intellectual intensity of a gifted adult, your beauty is simply just an object for him or her. his or her interest in you is not going to last more than two sessions and fortunately or unfortunately, you can never satisfy such person sexually, since you are missing the ground of a satisfying sexual relationship with that person because you don’t have the ability to meet his or her emotional and intellectual intensity. That’s also exactly the reason, why highly gifted individuals could have a sexually satisfied relationship with someone, totally different from themselves and again different in lots of aspect of their lives. While for anyone else, being in the same age, having the same culture and attitudes, sharing the same views about the world and everything else, and not least but the last the beauty, plays a significant role in the choice of their sexual and life partners, but for gifted all these characteristics are usually matters of no importance, as long as the two of them meet each others emotional and intellectual intensity. If you ever wondered why a young beautiful gifted boy or girl, doesn’t show any understanding for the sake of beauty of their partners in their relationship and chase after an individual far less beautiful than themselves and neglect all people, who could have been great partners for them, it is due to the simple fact that what matters in a sexually satisfied relationship [especially for gifted adults] is that both persons have the fulfillment of their extremely intense intellectual and emotional being, and it is totally understandable that such factors don’t occur too often in generations of human being. For such personalities being fulfilled emotionally and intellectually with someone in the same intense level of begin is the most scarce thing in their lives. It is really very scarce.
Driving the psychotherapist’s life into crises?!
Now that you accept, you are gifted, let’s go one step forward. You are gifted, your patient is gifted, that sounds great, doesn’t it?
Why the hell, I announce that your life is going to be lead toward crises?
Cause you are the ***„psychotherapist“ ***of a gifted person.
That’s where all the trouble is.
The therapist-client relationship will end in two scenarios on the therapist’s side. I know, what I am going to tell you is awful, but I am going to be honest with you and let you know the whole truth, so be careful:
- Either you are going to fall in love with him or her, and perplex him or her cause he or she has no idea how could you fall in love with him or her
- Or you are going to lose yourself, lose your identity, and …
To be honest, it is usually a mixture of both of them that will happen, each to a degree.
If the reason why you are reading this essay is because of a gifted client, I believe, your life is worth and instead of believing nonsense psychological traditions about the best methods for treating your clients, put your courage together; Having a gifted client is usually one of the best experiences during your whole professional life but in case you treat such person the way that the traditional psychotherapy suggests you to do, the price that you are going to pay is just too high.
I know, I know, you love your partner really honestly and you can’t imagine such things ever happening to you, but having a gifted adult as your client is not an everyday occurrence. You are going to face these endings unless you make a change in your psychotherapy methods.
If reading this essay till the end will make you rethink your decision about accepting gifted clients, before continuing with the rest of my thoughts, let me tell you something: „if this article has caused panic in you, the solution is not to reject gifted clients, if you are a professional psychotherapist but to rethink what you were told to be the best form of psychotherapy.“
If a gifted adult comes to you for something and stays with you, then be sure that this person needs some sort of help or solution, which they couldn’t find anywhere else. Gifted adults are usually great problem-solvers and if they come to you for solving a problem for them, it is cause they believe, you provide them with the help to finding the solution for their problem(s). It is to be said that usually the problems, which cause gifted adults to seek psychological advice, aren’t as critical as the cases of usual clients.
So, if they are a good problem-solvers and they can’t solve the relatively easy problem in their lives and come to you, then there is a reason behind the fact that they couldn’t solve their problem themselves and if you put yourself in the place of your gifted clients, the reality of life for them is that a gifted psychotherapist is a rare occurrence too. So unlike regular clients, their chances of finding an alternative psychotherapist are really low. Gifted adults can rarely receive help from anyone or said more precisely, rarely someone can activate their whole emotional and intellectual intensity, to get an insight in their lives and understand their issues, let alone helping them.
Let’s talk about it …
How is it possible that therapy sessions with a gifted adult as your client will put your life in crises is because of our assumptions of the roles of therapists and clients?
Not only that these assumptions are not useful in case of gifted adults, but rather they will inevitably drive the psychotherapist to cause a great deal of harm to his life and himself. While a change in these assumptions will not only rescue you from all those harms but it will as well turns the therapy session into one of the very fruit-giving moments of client’s and psychotherapist’s life.
Before talking about the necessary changes, let’s first see, how are you going to inevitably drive yourself into one of formerly introduced scenarios:
The giftedness of you and your client would be the cause of a great interest for understanding your client’s inside, which is a very natural desire in any human being [and perhaps even more stronger in scientists] but because the relationship between you and your client is regulated by traditional practices of psychotherapy sessions, you will not be provided with enough access to the inside life of your clients. Cause in order to have such access to someone, you need to be at least his or her ****friend****. Not only because otherwise, he or she will not be able to provide you with such access, but because you as well will not be able to understand him or her, since you are not sharing information on the same level with your client.
The concept of relationship and friendship between human beings is not about giving & taking, as lots of people tend to believe. Having a well-functioning relationship with a human being, be it parent-and-child, friendship, sexual partners, lovers, marriage or any other form of relationship, such relationship will also empower you and your partner a unique communication experience. That’s also why lots of people tend to believe that as soon as there is no good communication between themselves and their life-partner, that the love in their marriage has expired, or doesn’t exists anymore. Or that A gifted client could tell you exactly the same things, he or she would tell to his or her friend and you may as well have not even got ten percent of the insights which their friends would have got from their expressions. In the same way, someone’s lover could even read his or her spouses’ emotions from their silence while even to a highly professional psychotherapist, such silences would say nothing.
For a normal client why you are solely interested in them, because helping them with solving their life problems is your profession and it is always extremely easy to keep yourself distanced from them, cause you are not the same as them. You are gifted and they aren’t. But this condition is no more the same with a gifted client. Moreover, a gifted client will be something like a mirror for you. Because whatever he or she shares with you, you will find lots of resemblances with them in your own life, or you will be interested to do, what they did, in order to be like them, making same experiences like them and …
Adding the fact that you are a gifted person yourself, who perhaps since his or her childhood hadn’t had anyone of the same nature around himself or herself, the wish to figure out who this person [your client] is, in order to understand, who you are, will be so strong that you will not be able to let it down.
But the traditional practices of psychotherapy don’t allow to use the therapy session of your clients, as the opportunity of getting to know someone from the same nature as yourself and figuring out who yourself are.
As in lots of other occasions of our life, instead of questioning the unwritten rules, which we believe in, and making changes in them whenever required to meet our needs, we try to obey these widely accepted rules and regulations, and try to reach out for our wishes and dreams, through alternatives, some will go after working harder, other will try to change their dreams, and these are what gifted therapists of gifted adults do too.
Dear psychotherapists, who are reading this essay, you, perhaps know this fact better than me that avoiding to answering the deepest wishes of your heart [in this case, figuring out who you are, in the face of your gifted client] is the cause of lots of psychological problems, the most famous one being addiction, and for sure you know better than me that you are never going to be the winner in a battle with your own heart, that even if you temporarily win over your heart, one day your heart will come back and defeat you, until you answer to its wish.
As mentioned in the introduction of this essay, our ****hearts**** are designed to be our guidance, and one of the communication means of our hearts in guiding us to the right path, is through the deepest and most intense desires, dreams and wishes, which it presents to us.
For sure, time to time, we have no clue, why should we chase after such thing, how could we be able to reach, what our heart desires for, and … but if you have an honest heart and understands its messages in the right way, during my whole life, I never heard of an example, in which one’s heart, guided a man to the wrong way, and for sure, if you don’t follow the advice of your guide, you will be left lost and that’s what I mean by losing your identity and yourself.
Why does your heart want such thing?
I believe, human beings don’t know who they are by themselves and, even more, exciting, they can’t even develop such understanding from their identity by themselves. I think the whole process of acknowledging one’s identity is an unconscious and unintentional process.
Let me explain you this through an example. Human beings are able to differentiate, categorize and understand physical objects. This is a process which could also happen consciously and intentionally but unless you are doing some scientific job, such process is mainly unintentional and unconscious. For example, even though there are dozens and dozens types of chairs and tables, a child at a certain age really differentiate one from the other. But like in the physical world that as long as we don’t see a *reflection *of our face, of our appearance in the world, we have no idea, how do we look like, for having an understanding from our identity, for having an understanding from our likes and dislikes, our wishes, desires, and dreams, who we are and what we want, we need the same *reflection. *For the physical world you will need a good mirror to show you exactly how you are, for psychological world, or call it the spiritual part of our existence, we need a deep true emotional bound to an individual or an external existence.
Like looking in the mirror that we come in touch with how our face looks likes, for our own inside being, the awareness about who we are, happens through being reflected by the environment to ourselves. What does this mean in praxis?
Let me give you an example. It is widely accepted in psychology that encouragements by parents have a significant affect by the neuronal developments of a child mind, in which the affects of these neuronal developments are daily observable in the development to the mental and emotional ability of that child. A child who is encouraged for his or her particular task and particular ability, becomes [self-consciously and to a greater degree] self-unconsciously aware of that particular ability and to a degree of who he or she is, or say it better in the lifelong task of discovering and developing oneself, as a child receives encouragements his minds are provided with secured and correct information for a further development and also with motivations for doing so. The same praxis happens life long but to different degrees. While by a child the changes in neuronal developments are assumed to be significant and observable, I have not yet seen any studies in this issue with adults which state the same strong effect on neuronal networks as by children, yet the positive affects of encouragements on our psyche are observed in dozens of experiments.
You may wonder why we need others to know who we are, since we are grown up in the culture which promotes each individual knows the best what he or she wants. It’s a nonsense statement and more nonsense are the attempts to promote democracy based on this statement, to promote gender equality on this basis, or to justify the widespread, excessive and unreasonable individualistic’s way of our lives. I strongly believe in the idea that we need to treat men and women the way they deserve and that we need to have the ability to make decision about the future of our society and … and that we should be appreciated individually but to believe that **we **know who we are, without the existence of others, is a total non-sense from a psychologic point of view. We need to be reflected by others, by our environment to know who we are, to grow mentally and emotionally, to improve our mental and emotional abilities. It is a pity that a number of psychologist-scientists, can’t think of any other idea than that emotional bond is something just for the period of childhood and our desire for a love relationship is partly the unsatisfied or remained part of that childhood thing and the rest what matters in an adulthood relationship are sexual desires. The truth is that the existence of sexual desires in adults is God/nature’s design to unconsciously drive us to build this strong, deep and intense emotional bond with another adult. Without this primitive motivation, we would have required thousands of thousands of hours of study in psychology to be understood that we need such emotional bond, that the benefits of having this bond are incomparable to pitfalls of not succeeding through the way or losing the one, you had this bond with and etc. I guess scientist who wants to judge emotional bonds in adulthood in such ways, have either failed with their relationship with the only boy/girl who they loved, or are results of loveless childhood, quite often with parents who married the wrong person, because these parents failed with their relationship with the only one they loved … If you have failed in you relationship with the person you love, you don’t need to make scientific theories which prove love is nothing more than temporary sexual desires or whatever other non-sense but beautiful scientific theories, you need to be honest with yourself that you **love, wish **and **still need **that person.
If you are still in doubt about this idea, let me give you one more example:
Every artist knows that they need their audience, in order to create a piece of art. Don’t get me wrong that we do art for audience or making money or whatever. What I am talking about is a totally different aspect of creating art. You need an audience to create art. For example, it is believed that authors have periods of highly creative activity while they are with their Muse, a woman on the authors’ side, who uses her sexual abilities to encourage him about his work. Unfortunately as soon as we talk about sex, all the attention is directed toward the effects of sexually fulfilled life. The design behind this event is not the results of a fulfilled sexual life, with a beautiful woman as author, but the existence of the „reflection“ or „mirror effect“ when you are creating a piece. It doesn’t matter whether this **reflection **happens through the channels of our sexual organs or what other means, what I want to point out here is that even brilliant authors, who to the eyes of their general public audience seems to know the best way to formulate their thoughts and ideas into words and sentences, were uncreative, were unable to do their best works, cause as long as they didn’t have muse on their side, who would be their mirror for knowing what they are working on, they couldn’t know if what they are doing is to any value. That’s why it is said and believed that behind a very successful man is a woman. Gender doesn’t matter but what I want to direct your attention to it is that the highest possible intensity of an emotional bond between two persons are when these persons love each other and, therefore, it becomes very simple to explain why people who marry the one the love are the most successful one. There are lots of factors which contribute to one’s success but a primary necessary is that **you know who you are* ***and this happens in its best when you a healthy relationship with the person you love.
Why knowing this idea matters to our discussion? Cause the deep and intensive desires and wishes in the therapist’s heart toward his or her gifted patient are not unreasonable feelings or symptoms of unsatisfied love/sexual relationship with their partners or whatever but rather the natural design in human beings for developing an understanding from oneself, read it identity. Gifted persons are intensive and complex than average people and, therefore, this reflection** happens to a far lesser satisfying degree in their lives than it is usual for average people, cause an average person is not able to reflect **a gifted person completely or to good enough level. It is like as if you take a very small piece of mirror in front of yourself, you really can’t recognize who you are, you will just see a tiny part of yourself. Therefore as soon as a highly gifted persons visit a gifted therapist and open up a little of his or her inside life for the psychologist, the gifted therapist is provided with the rare ability in his or her life to see himself or herself inside their clients. In order for that this unconscious and unintentional process to take place in a healthy and fulfilling way, you need to have some sort of emotional bond and more important in this example, you need to be in a relationship which you and your partner treat, respect and … each others on the same level mutually, which is never the condition within a traditional psychotherapy session. The clients must open himself or herself up and the psychologist should remain closed. That’s why this natural and healthy desire of interest which exists to along other things, enables the development of one’s identity, don’t take place as it should to and the therapy sessions turn to disasters for therapists inside life and an unsuccessful experience of seeking help from outside for the gifted clients.
the core of the solution
So far a little about the two typical scenarios in which a psychotherapy session with a gifted adult ends on the therapist’s side but to be correct, these are not really two typical scenarios, what happens in the reality is rather a mixture of both of these scenarios, each to a certain degree, each in a unique mixture.
But before going straight to the pieces of recommendation, let’s us observe why these two scenarios take place.
The whole which causes you to harm yourself in such dramatic way, is simply the use of the traditional psychotherapist-client role model. In this role model, the psychotherapist somehow plays the kind of position, as if he or she is in a rather more stable, more advanced psychological status than their clients. Even if such approach might work for average gifted individuals because a gifted individual has more access to your psyche than you might think of, such a role model leads to anywhere but a successful therapy sessions.
If you stand against a truth in nature, it doesn’t matter how steadfast you are in your false opinion, nature is never going to be the loser, and hence you are going to the one ho loses at the end. To explain it differently, If you are conceited about your wrong opinion about any truth in the nature, you are just going to harm yourself and others, but your wrong judgments about the truths in nature is neither going to make this truth to change themselves nor to obey your false opinions about them.
All these bad endings of psychotherapy session for a gifted adult on therapists side are just caused by a simple false assumption about human being. The problems start because the therapist believes he or she has a different role and position than the gifted client. The belief that he or she understands more, after all, he or she has a degree in this field, how couldn’t that be true? Do I try to say university degrees are just nonsense certificates? No. The point is that gifted adults and children are born with the abilities to understand and feel more than anyone else. Like any other human being, no matter to which extent gifted, we are able to innovate, discover, understand, build on to of the past knowledge and experiences, and lots of other mental activities and gifted are the one who could be more advanced in these abilities than their contemporaries. So the worst thing you can do in your psychotherapy sessions is to treat a gifted adult as if your academic degree entitles you are to be more advance than them in psychology, as if your experience is a sign that you are in a higher position than them.
I am not claiming that every gifted has a better understanding in psychology than you or something like this. I am talking about a gifted client at all. I am talking about you and I am warning you that if you consult such person in the traditional way of psychotherapy, you are going to fail. It is not the failure of your client, that you’re going to fall in love with him or her, you’re going to get mad on him or her, because you feel he or she knows everything better than you, and still seek something from you, and indeed he or she is not responsible for you about losing your identity or yourself in the battle of proving, you are right with yourself. Gifted persons usually believe they are below the average [for lots of reasons, which I don’t want to discuss it here] but this is not the point, a gifted client, who visits you doesn’t seek any fight or battlefield to prove, he or she is more talented than you, what they seek is help and what makes their help seeking process turn into a fight or battlefield for both of you, is your belief that you are gifted than them, that you are in a higher position than them, let me say it the simplest way possible, cause you perceive them as patient and yourself as the therapist and that’s the reason, why you are going to force them to fight you back, why you are going to guide yourself falling for them, or continuing your journey of diving so deep in their psyche till you lose yourself and your own identity. The belief that you have more understanding of someone’s inside and their beliefs than he or she has from your inside and what you believe in, when this person is a highly gifted individual, is kind of fight against a truth in nature and since the law of natures doesn’t change just because of your assumptions, you are going to fight and lose, whereas all these fighting and losing were in no way necessary if you didn’t hold a false assumption about yourself and your client and tried desperately to prove it.
I don’t know where this epidemic that psychotherapists should be the one who understand’s the clients inside better than a client can access a psychotherapist’s inside come from, but actually if you think clearly, it is easy to understand that a therapist and a client are both human beings and the ability to have a good understanding and a good sense of some’s inside has to do with lots of factors than just an academic degree, and after all and more importantly, the truth is that eventually there is no need for a therapist to be really in a superior position to be able to help his or her clients [in this case gifted clients]. I think we need to once accept that it might also be possible that a client helps a psychologist far more and far deeper than the psychologist has helped the client. For sure such a thing doesn’t happen on everyday basis but again a gifted client is not any usual occurrence either.
But the reality can be something completely different. In order to help your gifted client and getting paid or receiving satisfaction from what you’ve done for him or her, you don’t need to pretend that you are better than him or her, there is really no requirement that you should perceive him or her as client and yourself as a traditional psychotherapist, you don’t even need to have to do anything especial, there is a simple secret which differentiates a successful psychotherapy for gifted adults from an unsuccessful one, there is one simple requirement to have wonderful consultation sessions with a gifted adult or even gifted children. You are not required to use any special and unique therapy method or etc and etc, there is one very simple secret. The only thing you are really required to do is to be yourself, rather than trying to play yourself in the role of a therapist, just being a human being and perceiving your client as a plain human being, too.
treat yourself and your patient as two human being instead of requiring them to play the role of a patient and you the role of a therapist
One of the very extreme things by gifted adults and as well children is that if they meet some of each other’s specific characters they are going to make very strong friendships with each other regardless of all the criteria’s which plays significant roles in making friendship between other people. I don’t talk about love. It is the ability to understand each other as human being, regardless of age, gender, education, nationality, color, attitude, cultural background, job, professional and social status and all, all other characteristics of human individuals. Not that they are not able to differentiate such characteristics but it is more, that they have a different friendship status, as human being, as if they were members of an invisible family.
So let us go a little in detail about what I meant with my advice about psychotherapy sessions for gifted adults. A brilliant example of a wonderfully successful psychotherapy session is represented in the movie, Good Will Hunting by Gus Van Sant. It might look like that Will Hunting and Sean Maguire play the traditional psychotherapy-client role model to a degree, but it is in no way like this. Will Hunting has the same position as Sean Maguire [the therapist]. Both are very gifted and even Sean Maguire is an admired psychologist for his time among his colleagues but Will Hunting changes his life forever, and it happens because Sean Maguire, positions himself as the same level as Will, even though he is a hardheaded personality or, at least, try to appear so. They fight with each other, even though Sean Maguire fights time to time in a more mature manner. They argue with each other, and they change each others view and behavior about the matter which the movie is about. This is a wonderful gifted-gifted psychotherapy session. You observe, they both influence each other exactly to the same degree about the same subject. if you ever accept a highly gifted adult as your client, that’s exactly what you should be open for it. If you believe, you should change your client while you yourself remaining untouched, you are making a bad deal with yourself and you are going to lose in the end. You should never believe, you are the therapist and your gifted client is the patient. You are a human being and he or she is a human being, just that. Nothing more or less. This is the most and perhaps the only important thing you should really pay attention to while accepting the psychotherapy sessions for a gifted adult, or even children.
some extra tips …
The next, I can introduce you to some practical skills to ease such transition in your behavior as a therapist, again remember before starting any psychotherapy you should be emotionally and even more importantly mentally prepared, not to fall in the trap of traditional way of psychotherapy rules and regulations, which is to perceive yourself in different position than your client. after you are prepared for treating yourself and your client just as human being, and nothing more or less, following list of tips may hopefully ease your therapy sessions …
- Be your gifted client’s friends, instead of psychotherapist, psychological advisor, or consulter. I think, by doing so, it will become easier for you, to open up yourself for your client, rather than trying to play the traditional role model of psychotherapist, as well it will allow you to accept advice [call it therapy] from your clients about yourself. Especially in case you are active as psychotherapist since a long time, it might get very tricky to be welcoming to sessions in which your clients is from time to time your psychotherapist!
- Tell him or her your story rather than what you’ve learned. The point is simple. What you have learned, is not really what a gifted adult needs. Instead sharing your knowledge with him or her during the psychotherapy’s sessions, delegate such duties to books, journals, essays, blogs and etc. and put your main focus on things he or she won’t get access to it in other places, and this is usually you, not your knowledge. Despite this, telling your story, if you have a relevant story to your visitor’s problem or issue, will enable him or her with far more variety and intensity of inputs and emotions than just hearing what you have been thought at the university.
- **Let him or her changing you **and giving you advice as much as you give him or her, or even more than you give him or her, because otherwise it feels like a faked friendship. When one only takes and the other only gives, it won’t work.
- Following what you advise him or her yourself as well. If you advise someone to something, in which you yourself don’t believe in it, it is really not going to work, especially not that much for a gifted person. Cause most of the time, he or she senses the lie between your sayings and your behavior; more than you might even imagined from him or her.
- Again, giving him or her help and advice as who you are, rather than differentiating your personal-self from you professional-self, cause as arguments before showed, the more you distance yourself as a human being from a gifted patient, and your patient perceives you more as a psychotherapist than a human being, the more likely for you, to lose yourself and fall in love with him or her at the same time [both to a degree].
This conclusion to be yourself and letting your gifted client to be himself or herself as well, rather than playing the psychotherapist-client role model, is really what the introduction of this essay was about. The evil doesn’t happen when we don’t follow these role-models but rather when we in ourselves know what is to do and instead of following our own voice, we follow the wrongly prescribed role-models with the hope that that doing anything other than this will be unsuccessful.
Damages of psychology on unprotected gifted …
When talking about traditional psychological treatment for gifted adults, examples and experiences are easier to communicate … I hope so far you would have been able to follow my arguments. Now that we came so far, there is another important matter regarding the traditional beliefs and methods of treatments around giftedness by psychologists and psychotherapists, which is important to be discussed.
Fortunately, this issue is no more in shadows, you can find notes about this issue in some psychological handbooks, plus some advice and warning regarding to this theme, but unfortunately it is rather a widespread problem and it’s rooted not in our understanding and knowledge about giftedness, the root of this problem and all the related issues with it is what was shortly discussed in the introduction.
A real life story
Let me tell you the story, which triggered me to approach this issue in public. I met a woman, by the time she was 22, grown up in divorced family, in a country which willingly or unwillingly operates more on drugs than anything else, and recently it has been becoming to an unsafe environment for its inhabitants, leaving them with no better short-term solution than to leave the country for the sake of her security. Putting things clearly together, it becomes graspable that her past and present life was a disaster. When we talk about disasters, we tend to picture extreme poor in Africa or Southeast Asia but in developing or even developed countries, people can, and indeed do, live in emotionally disastrous life conditions. We don’t talk about it, and don’t like others to mention it, cause we tend to believe material comforts, is the key to emotional comfort but I at least among psychologist we can talk about this issue more openly. After all the growing number of psychologist, is in indicator for that, not least but last, since we only take the help of psychologists when we are deep in trouble and without any possible solution in sight …
I met her in an especial program, which both of us were obliged to complete in order to start with our education at a university. As I experienced her skillfulness in the German language, her accent, the words and sentences she used, it was obvious, that she is really advance in this language. Having such advancement in German is neither a requirement for attending those courses nor even a requirement to attend a university directly. I knew lots of foreigner students in Germany, some of whom are graduated in a science or engineering fields from German speaking programs, and they are still not at the same level in German as her, and she has been learning German for less than a year.
Being in the same class as her for six months, it was obvious, she is more talented than other students in those fields, even though this fact wasn’t represented through her grades. I didn’t ask her to make any IQ test and I am sure she is a gifted adult. But why did her grades in those courses were below the average?
She would have told herself and anyone who might have asked her, that she has ADHD … she was diagnosed with that since she was a child. I have met her at least once a week every week for six months and I know her and I believe for a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and the later adult with such neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder, it is impossible to have the same achievements as her. She was plainly not given enough chances … She was in the wrong conditions at that school, not that she had a neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder. She is a gifted adult and a gifted child and as it is with giftedness, gifted children are more intensive in their emotions, therefore, the effects of divorce on a gifted child is far more intensive than it would be for an average gifted child. The minds of gifted children sometimes function really in a totally different way to somehow overcome the emotional intensity of the affect of the divorce of their parents. By saying the effects of a divorce is much severer on a gifted child than an average child, I don’t want to draw the conclusion that gifted children have fewer chances of survival, facing emotionally not suitable conditions, their mental design is provided with features for handling such situations. The way they work their way out of such crises is not comparable with the actions of average children and their stories in adulthood and starting relationships themselves. Gifted children don’t follow the emotional and mental recovery paths of average children and that’s why today’s psychology is very advance in wrongly diagnosing gifted children and adults with ADHD which being diagnosed with such disorders, in the end, turns out to be not even not useful to them, but rather the cause of great damages through their lives.
If you would examine her today in regards of ADHD, she will provide you with all the symptoms of ADHD and making the conclusion that she has ADHD seems to be the only logically correct conclusion, but it will be a great mistake. If you study philosophy of science and its methodology, you will get more familiar with the stories of great and gifted scientists making great mistakes, contributing, creating and promoting totally wrong theories and …
I know, it doesn’t sound much nice to listen to someone, who judge your profession so ruthlessly, but once we must open our eyes and look in the mirror. Psychotherapy in its traditional form & methods is not even not useful [for gifted] but nearly always harmful for gifted and in case he or she is an adult, for the psychotherapist as well. Look around and you will recognize that it is desperately hard to find out a review, a blog post, a book or anything like this by a gifted person, who believe it was wonderful to attend a traditional psychotherapy. When you dive deeper in success stories, these people’s always done things, which are not written or advised in any psychotherapy handbook, moreover you will be warned about doing such things. Look at Good Will Huntings’ example. The first session with his therapist and the therapist turn so furious that he is close to strangle Will. What? Should you do these things in a therapy/consultation session? If you have a gifted person in front of yourself, and you are gifted yourself as well [as already explained in the beginning], then yes, absolutely, no doubt. What do you want to do instead? Being a useless tradition psychotherapist? You can remain that for the rest of your life and there are dozens of dozens of dozens of institutions, professions, individuals and organizations, which will encourage, support and promote you in being so … But for God’s sake, think once again, neither you, nor your client will profit from those methods and advice.
Let’s go back to the example of that gifted young woman. Maybe you still wish to know, why did she never get the grades she needed to attend the university? The answer is simple, because it was not what she really wanted. Being a child of a not working marriage, being a forced immigrant from where you lived most of your life, ending up in a country which you have no real bond with its inhabitants, even more, they are not welcomed toward you, going through a relationship with a man, for whom you did all the possible things, which others boys/men wished you did it for them, and being cheated by him again and again, and after you figured out he’s cheating and telling him your feeling and seeing he crying and that he’s really sorry and that he won’t repeat it again and forgiving him and after while being faced that he’s on the same track … You know what? A gifted person, who by nature has greater emotional and mental intensity and ability, would need love in these conditions, more and sooner than anything else, and as far as I had the chance to get to know her family, her friends, her classmates and all other people, who had in one way or another the responsibility to take care of her emotional being, it became less necessary to find out any explanation for the fact that why this woman had unreasonable acts about love, her career, her education, her future, and … These specific way of behavior were not results of her having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but because the gifted child and gifted adult never received the emotional bond, she deserved and craved for. Call it love, in case you consider romantic relationships as one of the faces of love …
By the time, I was in the same environment as her, and I was observing she being used up slowly and continuously by herself, her family, her environments and … It was a great pain to observe a gifted human being, being used up, because people who should have cared for her, people who had the responsibility and the opportunity to gift her their respect, attention, and love, were so blind to the plain truth that this woman don’t have any neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders but rather she is a gifted person, who should have been understood and loved differently.
The too simple, too hard solution
But what could be the solution regardless of any individual background story, as with this gifted woman?
The solution is to
recognize giftedness and allow them to be themselves and surround them with love.
I am not introducing you with magical spells by saying to allow gifted children be themselves. Every human being deserves love, respect, and understanding but normal children are quite easy to love, respect and understand. As far as you are not a bad parent, not drinking too much, not smoking too much, not having no quality time for your children, not perceiving your children as unwanted results of a sexual intercourse with a person you loved just during the first early years of relationship, and … if you are really a good person you can’t do much wrong to your child, it is easy to love them, but when it comes to gifted children the difference in what we expect from children and what we consider as our possible responses to them usually don’t comply to gifted children and as a result, it is extremely easy to mistreat your child, because everyone whom you know, is telling you what you are doing is totally correct and there is something wrong with your child. The whole problems beings from believing that „we know, how a child should be“ and a gifted child is in no way complying to any norm.
Let us see what I mean by this in the case of gifted children in the conditions which are mostly designed or at least defended by [traditional] psychology.
[Nearly always] a child enters the first grade in elementary school while his or her quality of being gifted is invisible to everyone. But gifted children are not the same as any other child. Remember this rough definition of giftedness, individuals with intense and more mental and emotional ability … How is it recognizable in a classroom?
A gifted child has more emotional and mental ability and intensity than his or her classmates in the same age rank. However, you should not mix the meaning of emotional and mental ability and intensity with what is measured as IQ or how we evaluate children’s mental and emotional progress made in a school or other observations we make, in order to mark a child as a gifted child. Nearly all these means of measurement makes no sense and has no direct relationship with the quality of giftedness.
For example, we observe a child being too generous than the rest of his or her classmates, we consider the progress a child makes from what we teach him or her, we consider if a child answers our self-designed questions the way we expect them to be answered from a child, they have made progress in the class and in case not, they are not in a good mental or emotional state, or maybe they are not that much interested in learning or any other reason. Let me tell you a real story of one of those situations. I had a gifted friend, whom I time to time dropped by in his parents house, get to know his family and etc, as we both went to the same high school. He has a younger brother who started his primary school back in those years and once his brother, my friend, told us of a very funny event in his school. There has been the first time his, my friends younger brother, were introduced to multiple choice questions by his teachers and his first reaction to the teacher was, that he couldn’t understand why the teacher should present him another „two wrong answer for a question!“ You know, if you know the answer to a question, then you don’t need to make any other wrong answers, and he has been so resistant to take part in such exams because he couldn’t accept a human being asking him questions, when they know the correct answer but presenting him with two extra wrong questions for him to choose between them. If you know the answer to a question you don’t ask it and if you want to be sure if someone else know the answer to this question, you simply ask him the question, you don’t need to give him extra wrong answers and even the correct answer too! I know his family, I know his brother, and we all knew that his brother is perhaps a gifted child but it was very funny for us to see, how his giftedness is becoming observable in his elementary school. For Teachers, such ways of behaviors are incomprehensible. The school teachers are never taught what to do, when someone understands more than anyone else, when a child don’t obey what you tell him or her, because his understanding of the events are deeper than what teachers are taught to expect from children.
It is true that a gifted individual would achieve what we consider as success better, faster, and to a higher degree than average people of her or his age, but this is just one possibility and in order that this possibility comes to reality, lots of lots of factors must meet each other and be within certain limits, which rarely happens in our societies.
So as you force a child to sit with same age children in the same classroom, the result is, you put a highly sensitive and powerful mind and emotional being in an environment, which in no way is designed to meet his or her needs, wishes, desires, and intensity. For example, a gifted child might require discussing very deeply about the details of scientific statements, about things which the teacher herself or himself has no idea about them. A great example of these happens in mathematics and later on, science courses, since the popular science (what is taught in the public schools), differs a great deal from what science really is, gifted children are not rarely labeled as trouble makers, since their questions are what teachers can’t make sense from them, or even if she or he can understand them, she or he has no idea how to answer them and believes that such questions have no place in her or his classroom, and usually consider the questions making act of gifted children as vandalism. For example in the „Good Will Hunting“ movie, Will provides the proof for a mathematical question, which was unsolved by all the mathematicians before him, and he does so, without even acknowledging such side-fact about that questions, he does as he does about every other questions and problem, which might pop up in his mind.
Giftedness is not a quality which you can measure. The whole IQ and lately EQ-testing industry is built upon measurements of the results which a potentially gifted person might have had achieved if his or her life conditions have been very very very optimal to achieve the results of such IQ and EQ-test. Which is plainly said, a nonsense assumption. Rarely a gifted person lives in optimal conditions for passing through such tests the way we expect from them, and even more rarely in our times and generations, since our time believes, whoever don’t feet the norms has a problem. Don’t get me wrong that I am claiming giftedness is a characteristic impossible to discover. No, it is possible: if you are a gifted person yourself and you have a trained senses and mental capacity to discover giftedness by persons you meet and as well you need to have a great understanding from their environment, their past and etc. Said plainly, you need to be able to reimagine in your mind and emotions their whole life and evaluate, for what they have become out of such life condition and situation, whether they had extreme mental and emotional ability and intensity or not.
In a classroom with normal students as the same age as a gifted child and with a normal teacher, it will be a rare occurrent that the intensity of the taught materials and the methods by which they are taught, attract and satisfy the gifted child.
Let’s me explain it through a plain model. Imagine we have a huge tank in ourselves where we storage knowledge, and the way to add any additional inputs is with the help of a cup of a specific shape. The cup of each person is different from the other and usually don’t take all the materials in it, just materials of with specific quality, let say temperature … So how our knowledge development functions, hmmm … pretty simple. Consider knowledge to be a liquid and teacher and books and etc … would put pieces of this liquid into a cup and empty that cup into the cup of the children. Wait a minute. This game has a rule. Unless a cup is more than ninety percent full, human beings don’t bother to add the volume in their cup to their internal tank, cause it doesn’t really worth the effort and if you fill up a cup with less than ninety percent, the children will throw all the volume away because it would slowly get cold and no one wants to add low-temperature material to their internal tanks, so either a full cup or emptying the cup and waiting for another warm income. What happens in the classroom of our today’s designed educational system is that we have instructed our teachers to have the cups that are just as capable as the average of children or maybe a little more, so a cup of a teacher has the volume to usually fill the cup of all average children, but a gifted child has a cup let say three times greater than an average child of their age. So we put them in the same class with average children, we instruct our teachers, not to pick up any cup which could be far more than the average of the class, because the cost of enabling teachers picking up bigger cups is too much and we fear that we will loose a lot of knowledge on average children, cause their cup won’t take more than a certain volume and as soon as there is a child in the class with a cup two or three times bigger than anyone else, the teacher will never fill his or her cup more than 30 to 40% so he or she never put the material inside that cup to his or her inside tank …
I hope this model helps you to understand the popularity of the stories of gifted adults, never learned anything at any normal school, maybe you think the best would be to categories children based on their cup rather than their age, so we no more have children with extraordinary big cups never learning anything in the classroom, because the classroom doesn’t meet their characteristics. I don’t want to go into details of educational system, methods, methodology, beliefs and myths and … in this essay but say it shortly what we need to do, is no more categorizing children but letting them categorize themselves, whenever necessary … if you are not familiar with such concepts, it’s hard to understand what I am talking about and, even more, impossible to realize why this is the best practice, but that’s the much I would mention in this essay.
Let us see a real life situation, which the above mention model was designed to make easier to understand: For example imagine a teacher trying to explain children something which she believes is quite hard to understand and explain for those children and she is trying her best and children are really using the most of their available conscious [and subconscious] mind’s ability to grasp the lesson. While the given situation is really a great deal of mental activity for average children, it could be the gifted child of the story, don’t even recognize the hardness of the lecture, cause his or her mind already grasp the lesson without making any deal of effort and therefore, his mind either will become upset, or he or she will slowly turn his or her attention to something else, or while the teacher is still teaching, he or she will develop the material even further in his or her imagination and come up with questions which the teacher expected to be asked from her in the following weeks, or maybe [and this happens most of the time] he or she becomes frustrated, behaves extremely disinterested, and shows some or not rarely even all symptoms of ADHD …
Dear loving school teacher, parents, psychotherapists and psychologists, if you diagnose a gifted child, with any attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you are destroying his or her childhood and adulthood, and probably playing a great role in destroying their lives, till the day, he or she will recognize that his or her is giftedness and that there is nothing wrong with him or her, and till the time when after a while they accept that they are gifted and live their lives as they are meant to …
Why do I say you are destroying their lives? Because as you mark a child with a label, especially a gifted child, they will try to fit themselves within that label, instead of realizing that this is not who they are. As far as I understand [by the time of writing this article] how someone understand his own identity is very based on unconscious and conscious clues, he or she receives from others about himself. For example, if everyone appreciate someone as a wonderful singer, he or she will identify himself or herself as a singer. I think in children the conscious part of such clues have more weight than the unconscious one while for grownups it is the contrary. Since a gifted child has more abilities than a normal person, he or she will adapt herself to that role, to that identity —in this case the false diagnosis— more than a usual person could do and, therefore, it will become each time harder to recognize that the diagnoses, which was made, was a great mistake.
The too simple, too hard solution, I introduced before was to:
„recognize giftedness and allow them to be themselves and surround them with love“
The first part of the solution about gifted children, is to recognize their unique traits. You don’t necessarily needs to know what giftedness *is, you don’t even need to know that such a thing exists … what you need to know more than all these, is that children are *who they are and not whom you want them to be. What the majority of the population calls „caring parents“ tend to raise up their child(ren) with hopes, plans and … for their future. A quality, which is easily passed on teachers, schools, educational theorist, psychologists and politicians. I am not disagreeing with having good feelings for the future of your children but when these feelings turn to actions, expectations, norms, beliefs, theories, practices, theories of education and educational systems … we end up with lots of negative results, one of which destroying a gifted child’s childhood, and perhaps adulthood, as well.
My especial emphasizes for gifted is to „allow them to be themselves“, if you read this sentence, it doesn’t even sound like a solution, after all, we all perceive childhood to be the period of the life period with the highest degree of freedom, the stereo-typical version of „I wished I was a child again … to be able to do whatever I wanted …“ To be honest, the childhood of city children is anything but „to be able to do whatever I want“. We have taken the freedom from the life of our children, this much is what the majority of children of middle-class families in cities have in common but the lack of freedom for gifted is even deeper. Negative events in life leave a more intensive and more complex influences on a highly gifted child than an average gifted child and in addition to that children are more exposed to schools than ever before, and the schools are not designed to be the parents of children, even though children spend more awake time in school than with their parents. Our whole *caring *parenthood and schooling concepts, beliefs and practices are founded on the belief that we know better than children what they need. But the truth is that even though we may have a clue, what of an average gifted child, because they are lots of them out there and realizing patterns in bunch of similar things is not hard [even though I believe this patterns that we tend to have realized in children, are lies we have told to ourselves, we will discuss that later] the definition of *gifted *children means that they are out of our trends
The truth is we don’t need to discover such patterns, in order to define educational systems, cause indeed we don’t need to define educational *systems *at all, either, but this article is not about this, so let’s just briefly review why?
The congenital and emotional development of children, say it differently the neurodevelopmental progress of brain is a natural, complete process. I don’t want to go into details of what I mean by „natural, complete process“ but lets cover few features of such designs. One of the main features of „natural, complete processes“ are that they don’t need management *to growth, they may merely need leadership. Children don’t need *teachers, they plainly need interested people who share their own enthusiasm with them. The difference between a manager and a leader is that the manager order to accomplish a task based on a predefined plan, but a leader look inside its subordinate, figures out where the improvements are needed, where the interests and unused portions are the highest, and finally provides the subordinate with necessary means and equipments, and tries to directly and/or subtly encouraging him or her to take a different course of action. Caring *parents try to encourage [read it force] their child to learn a foreign language, because being able to speak two languages enables you a better future but a *natural parent, will indeed react to his or her needs after they know them. The difference is that they know, that they don’t know what is good for their child and what is bad, they are also aware that their child doesn’t know this either, but they are also aware of the truth in the nature that there are gifts in every human being that will show up in appropriate moments, they understand that they don’t need to make decisions for their child but that their child bears the answer to all these decisions inside himself or herself and that the only things they need to do, is to discover those answers and try to fulfill them. Even for an infant, it is not the parents who decide when a child’s body needs to suck his or her mother’s breast, children bodies are designed to provide you with enough signals, varying from screaming to silently searching for a nipple …
With this background in mind let’s consider other aspects of implementation of this solution
How could we prevent mistaken diagnoses?
Firstly you should understand that the traditional psychology and their therapy and consultations’ means and methods have their limits.
Secondly, as parents, teachers, and psychologists, you need to have a correct understanding of giftedness, rather than trying to identifying it with the help of pre- and mass-structured IQ and EQ-tests.
And the far most important step is to allow and enable gifted children to live their lives, which they are meant to live and they deserve to live. What makes a gifted child different from anyone else, is his or her quality of extreme mental and emotional capacity and intensity. So it is a logical result, that when a child is emotionally much more extreme than others, they require being accepted, respected and loved or say it accurately to have a more intensive emotional bond with people they should love, like their parents, or in case, their step-parents. Because of the mental side of their capacity and intensity gifted children should live in an environment, in which they are given the freedom to intensely study and discover something. If you put a child in an average classroom and say him you should not understand more than this, you should not think, what I teach is easy, you should not think, I am teaching too slow, and you should not come to the class with your own questions, but rather you should listen to me and learn just what I am teaching you, what you want to know won’t guarantee you a job, a husband/wife and a secure social status in the future, so behave yourself like other children. If you treat a child in this way, consciously or unconsciously, if you don’t kill him or her, you are at least destroying his life forever, and worse than that would be to diagnose him or her with ADHD, just because he has all the symptoms.
Every child, or say it better, every human being, deserve to live their lives and be themselves, why I am emphasizing gifted children more than anyone else, is not because I believe, gifted children should be allowed to follow their passion and other children won’t, I believe everyone should be allowed and provided with the means and infrastructure to follow their passion thoroughly. Let say for average gifted individuals we provide an environment with the grade one (if we grade from zero to ten and ten being the best grade) and for gifted children it is usually somewhere between negative five to negative eight [-5 to -8]. That’s why I exclusively state we tend to destroy the gifted individuals and their giftedness in our societies … but yes, if we really want to live a good life, we need to enable every child to live their life, instead of dictating them, how they should live their lives and deciding for them in advance what a life they should live …
What about classroom experiences?
Dear teacher, a gifted child don’t have any idea what giftedness means, she or he cannot turn back to you and tell you that you are treating her or him below his mental and emotional ability and intensity. The best thing they can do is to let you recognize this by showing you the symptoms of ADHD -or other neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders– like an infant, who always cries when he or she needs something, no matter what he or she needs, a gifted child is not a grownup person to show you —never mind to teach you—, how you should let them become interested in what you are teaching. They can just show, their interest or their disinterest, through such behaviors, which psychologist aim to label them as ADHD —or any other neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders—.
We instruct our teacher with the belief that they must be able to realize what the child needs, we make them believe that they are able to understand what does the child wants better than himself or herself. As mentioned before we should instead have instructors who are fully aware that they do have no idea what is the best for the child but rather can provide them with what they have in their hands. It is a very simple concept. We all know this concept but we tend to deny it … A child gets born and his or her food is already provided. Neither the mother nor the father has consciously made any decision to provide the very specific food for that child, it is just there in the mother’s breast and even more amazingly, it is not the mother who knows when the child’s body requires more food but it’s the child body itself, which have very great signals to tell the mother, „I am hungry“ … we need to understand that we don’t need to make decision for children, just because they are children and we are the grownups, but the only things we can do is to answer to their signals, and believe it or not they won’t ask for something which is not already provided before they even asks for … unfortunately we live in societies, which fundamentally misinterpret the signals of its children and adults, and we believe that this misinterpreting be to our benefits, when in reality it being the cause of our misfortunes in the long-run.
What about schools
Thanks for following the discussion till now but before ending this essay, let me provide you with an extra warning.
Lost of experts, scientists, politicians and … talk about giftedness with the underlying assumption that gifted individuals should have a specific social status, because of their giftedness, which** I strongly condemn**. Even bringing gifted children into separate schools than normal children, is a great mistake, as it is a great mistake to have the child of poor and rich visiting different schools and, later on, different universities. This essay is already enough long, not to yet get into details about such mistakes but I sincerely warn you, your school, your community or the society in which you live about making these mistakes. The best practice perhaps would be that gifted children and adults live within normal people, as invisible as they always have lived among others during some periods of human history.
What we need to do is not to exclude the individuals who do not fit into the norms from normal schools, universities, jobs and … but we rather have to give up on our obsession with control, which leads off to introduce norms in the first place and then to expect everyone to fill in the norms we have defined. I am not in denial about the importance of leadership in groups but we need to understand that we are not the God. That human beings grow and develop their spirit themselves, like their body. We don’t need to force them to do this or not to do that, cause we believe it is better for them. God has designed and created human beings in a way that each themselves is able to see what is good and what is bad for them, what we need to do is to understand their signals and answer them, not to call them „oh, you are a mistake, because you don’t look interested in my lecture“ …
Sincerely, it is really not good to make an extra position for gifted in any given community or society. They should be treated differently but this different treatment should not get a status in bureaucratic cultures, institutions, and organization … Giftedness is just a quality like any other quality and instead of trying to control and organize and order people based on their qualities, we just need to let them be themselves. We are not the God, and we can’t play His role. We are so used in our false obsession with controlling that as so as we realize that it is wrong and we are not able to do so, some tend to panic to death, but there is a really great news there and is that we really don’t need to. The God already exists out there and is able to do His tasks, really well. Look at millions and millions of designs that provide you every day with enough to eat, to drink, to wear … Did you ever really controlled any of these? Do human beings control the sun? Did we ever create the organizations to keep the flow of the solar system? It’s a joke that we need control any human being! We may need to lead people from time to time but this is not the same as controlling. We are not the God, we don’t write the rule of the nature, we are not able to define norms … and by the same manner it is wrong to put gifted children or even adults out of the society or in specific systems, just because they don’t fit into our expectations of how a normal gifted individual should be. Instead of designing organizations, schools, universities and so on for a defined degree of giftedness, we need to design totally differently. You know, a restaurant don’t say, if you are too fat or too thin don’t enter the restaurant, cause you don’t fit in our portion model, they just offer them to order different foods, or maybe order two portions or taking the rest to home. Why don’t we do that without gifted and less gifted people? Why do we need to expect them to eat the exact amount of food as anyone else, or otherwise they should go to especial schools? Imagine one day we had restaurants just for fat people and restaurants just for extra thin people. Such a design model destroys human lives. You can’t say fat people should eat just with fat people, cause otherwise the portions of food in our restaurant will get wasted. People love to eat food with people they love and this love doesn’t have to do with the size of someone’s stomach and in the same principles, dividing highly gifted and far blow average gifted from average is a loss for everyone and, in the end, it is *everyone *who pays the price of this.
Endnotes & Acknowledgements …
Brené Brown’s TED Talk about the subject „Vulnerability“ … is a good starting point as an inspiration about how to allow yourself and a gifted client treat each other as human beings rather than falling into the trap of psychotherapist-patient role-model.
If you are parents, regardless of the degree of the giftedness of your child, Brené Brown’s manifesto of parenting is also a worthy recommendation …
The definition of giftedness used in this essay is a very especial way of approaching such phenom. I don’t believe we have gifted and not-gifted people and don’t compare the quality of giftedness as described in this essay with that of talent, performance, ability, mastery and … For a closer understanding of what I believe about giftedness especially in human being in regards of socio-political decision-making, I rather recommend to look at the opinions of Gerald Hüther, he is the co-author of an interesting book about this subject, „jades Kind its Hochbegabt“.
Among lots of other people, thinker, scientists and individuals, the first part of this essay owes its present form to the two books by Anderea Brackmann, „Jenseits der Norm – hochbegabt und hoch sensibel?“ and „Ganz normal hochbegabt“.
Beyond all other factors, me being able to develop mentally and spiritually about myself and about giftedness … from where I was four years ago is due to the presence of J. W. And E. E. back during those time. Thank you so much …
The worshippers’ thanksgiving and Adoration is due only to Allah: The Creator and Nurturer of the worlds [And their inhabitants];
if you and your client have the possibility to start a relationship, I don’t want to discourage. It is wonderful to love someone but the heck is if you really perceive that gifted adult as a usual client and he or she perceives you as a usual therapist, this start of the relationship is not going to work. In order to start a relationship, which lasts a long time in this condition, first you need to spend lots of time and energy to rebuild the whole relationship out of that context [I mean being a therapist and a client]. Because in case you neglect to rebuild a new relationship out of the context of a therapist and a client, even if you succeed to start a loving relationship with that gifted adult, this start pointis really going to destroy your relationship in the future. You should never fall in love with clients, especially never fall in love with a gifted person, when your relationship has started as a therapist and a client. Cause this relationship is going to break and breaks both of you, no matter how hard you try. If you really want to give up your life because of your love for that person, take a break, give up on seeing him or her, when you are in your therapist [or psychological adviser] role. The next step and I know this suggestion sounds strange but the only things you can do [in my opinion at least], is really letting her or him visiting your life. By that I mean, letting him or her following you during your whole day, even as you visit your family, your friends, even in your very private moments, let him or her be there. There is no need to ask for anything, don’t offer anything, just let him or her observe you. There is no need to even talk about something, or introduce your anything to him or her. Just let them be an observer of your life as you have once been an observer in their lives. Don’t make the mistake to telling them, you love them in advance, cause the answer is either NO or it is not going to end good. Don’t make the mistake to telling them something. Allow them to experience you. That’s the point. The subconscious part of your being and theirs must observe each other as two usual persons usually do out of the context of a client and a therapist, in order to have a lasting relationship.