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Counseling the Gifted

  • Jean Sunde Peterson
  • Sidney M. Moon

In recent years, the field of gifted and talented studies has paid increasing attention to issues affecting gifted youth and factors that promote healthy social-emotional development in this population (Neihart, Reis, Robinson, &Moon, 2002). However, the field continues to have a heavy emphasis on achievement outcomes, to the neglect of “other important outcomes such as happiness, wellbeing, and life satisfaction” (Moon, 2003b, p. 16) that can be facilitated by counseling. Similarly, while a great deal of attention has been paid to the need for differentiated curriculum, very little work has been done to provide guidance to counselors and psychologists regarding how they might differentiate their typical counseling practices in order to be more effective with gifted clients. Several clinicians have developed new counseling models that are designed to address the needs of gifted clients (Mendaglio & Peterson, 2007; Moon, 2003a), but few of these models have been evaluated in clinical trials. In other words, although counseling can be an important mechanism for promoting the holistic development of gifted persons, most of what is currently known about how counselors might work with this population is grounded in the scholarship of theory and/or clinical practice rather than empirical research.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the current state of the art regarding counseling gifted students. The chapter begins by giving clinicians an overview of the developmental issues facing gifted students and the typical presenting problems of this population when they seek assistance from counselors. Then counseling models that have been described in some depth in the literature are reviewed in three categories: individual, family, and group. Finally, implications for practice, training, and research are discussed. It is hoped that the chapter will serve as a rough guide for practicing clinicians and encourage university-based counselors and psychologists to initiate programmatic research to test interventions with this population.

Keywords

Family Therapy Emotional Development Family Counseling Gifted Student Gifted Child 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Sunde Peterson
  • Sidney M. Moon

There are no affiliations available

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