ASSIGNMENTS - 1st Quarter theme Developing Self-Awareness.
Your Q1 study will bring you to a clear awareness of yourself and others; and, how to use this awareness to succeed in your chosen career. All assignments must be submitted by the end of the day (midnight) on the due date.

Your grade will be based on the depth of understanding written in your original post and the two rejoinders that you post in reply to your colleagues. Make sure that you read carefully for understanding, and make personal connections to the article and postings.

ASSIGNMENT 1: Due August 22 (midnight): Read & Comment

1. Read the following short prologue by Dr. Barbara Kerr; it's her reflection on a talented student.
2. Post a thoughtful comment (1 or 2 paragraphs) about what you learned or found interesting in this piece. You will access the "Discussion Forum" by clicking on the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page.
3. Read the comments that your student colleagues have written; select only 2 responses, write one rejoinder ( a rejoinder is an answer to a reply), to each response, with a significant comment or suggestion.

Prologue: to Handbook to Counseling the Gifted; by Barbara Kerr; PhD.
During my (Barbara Kerr's) graduate training at Ohio State University, I had a unique opportunity to serve as the student personnel assistant for students in the Honors Program. One group of honors students was special indeed; they were the 13- to 16-year-old boys and girls enrolled as math and science majors. These prodigies were part of the university's effort to attract and train the most promising intellects. My task was to ensure that these bright young people had the supervision, guidance, and friendship that they and all adolescents need, despite their extraordinary intellectual advancement. The boy who helped me to learn the most about the needs of gifted and talented young people was Mike Darwood.

Mike was 14 years old when I met him. He was taking a variety of undergraduate and graduate level courses, and was being simultaneously courted by the math, physics, and astronomy departments. Mike was virtually a self-taught genius. He had been fascinated by math as long as he could remember. He'd had a few good teachers, but by the time he was 11, they couldn't keep up with him. Most of his teachers seemed unaware of his special gifts. His parents were nonsupporting, believing his obsession with mathematics was somehow abnormal. His only re­sources were the books in the public library of his small town: this led to some odd knowledge gaps. For example. he read everything he could find on relativity theory, and then went on to explore the Unified Theory, on which Einstein had been working at the time of his death. Mike realized Einstein was using a form of mathematics with which he was unfamiliar: Mike had never seen calculus. So he deduced, or recreated, calculus for himself, with his own idiosyncratic symbols. At 13, Mike's excitement about his work had reached a feverish pitch because he believed he had discovered a small but interesting flaw in one part of Einstein's work. He wrote all his ideas out; they came to two pages of equations. Knowing no other outlet, he submitted his two pages as his science fair project. Mike's entry in the school science fair was met with universal derision. "You call this a science fair project'?" said one teacher. "Two pieces of paper with math problems'? A science fair project is built on a platform. It demonstrates something, with good use of audiovisual materials."

Mike's next entry in the county fair, under an assumed name, had better fortune. "Ikem Doowrad's" science fair project was indeed built on a gaily painted plywood platform, as large as the rules allowed. There were blinking lights and a siren-like noise box hooked into a light-sensitive device, which set off the entire display whenever anyone walked by. Above the siren, among the blinking lights, were tacked two pages of equations, Mike's comments on the Unified Theory. As luck would have it, one of the judges was familiar with advanced math and physics. The siren and blinking lights performed their function and drew this judge's attention. The judge quickly relayed the equations to a colleague in phys­ics, who said something to the effect that "The Einsteinian notation is obsolete, there are some strange symbols that appear to be a personal form of calculus, but he's definitely got something here. Give him the prize." This was how Ikem Doowrad, or Mike Darwood, went on to the state, national, and eventually the international science fair, and this was how this obscure, self-taught genius of 13 came to the attention of the university faculty.

What I learned from Mike's story was the sad truth that great talent is often hidden, and sometimes our most brilliant students need sirens and blinking lights to get our attention.

ASSIGNMENT 2: Due August 29: Read & Comment

1. Read the article, an excerpt by Dr. Barbara Kerr on guiding gifted and talented students.
2. Post a thoughtful comment (1 or 2 paragraphs) about what you learned or found interesting in this article. Access the "Discussion Forum" by clicking on the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page.
3. Read the comments that your student colleagues have written; select only 2 responses, write one rejoinder to each response, with a significant comment or suggestion.

Guidance Techniques by Barbara Kerr; PhD.
Although it is probably not necessary that gifted students have a separate, specialized counseling service, it may be useful for the counselor to have a different system for keeping records and providing services to gifted students. Having a system of records and a plan for counseling gifted students ensures that gifted students' needs will not be overlooked in the course of trying to provide a wide variety of services to a diverse student group. Sometimes a school already has an individualized approach to guidance that emphasizes the talent development of each student; a system like this can be easily modified to provide for the special needs of gifted students. Some suggestions for structuring guidance services to gifted and talented students follow.
1. The file of every gifted and talented student should contain the transcripts of that student's coursework; a clear description of the student's special talents; a description of all results from ability tests that have been administered to that student by the counselor, school psychologist, or a private psychologist; any interest, personality, or values inventory results that may exist for that student; a record of summer school attendance and attendance at special camps and institutes for the gifted and talented; a description of out-of-class accomplishments, particularly awards, recognitions, and outstanding products; and a goal-setting sheet in which a student has outlined two or three goals and his or her plans for attaining those goals.
2. If an assessment program does not already exist in the school, the counselor may wish to develop his or her own psychological assessment system for gifted students. Psychological assessment may consist of additional tests of intellectual abilities and aptitudes that the counselor is qualified to give; vocational interest tests; personality tests with which the counselor is familiar and competent; and values inventories.
3. The counselor should keep a library of materials likely to be of particular interest to gifted and talented students. Career education materials should include biographies, materials for career counseling, as well as career education and college planning materials specially designed for gifted students. Also, the counselor's library should include a copy (or multiple copies) of favorite books for bibliotherapy.
4. Counselors can design a guidance plan for each gifted student that focuses on the development of talent. Each academic year the counselor should meet with the student alone several times, and at least once with parents to plan for the academic year ahead. Individual sessions with the gifted student alone can be devoted to developmental counseling focusing on the student's adjustment and achievement of his or her own goals. Sessions with parents can evaluate the overall impact of curriculum and special activities on the student's development, and also can be informational sessions about future opportunities and goals.
5. For the counselor with a large caseload of gifted and talented students, group guidance is not only an efficient way of providing registration, but also an opportunity for gifted students to interact with one another in planning for the future and discussing current issues in their lives. Group guidance with the gifted and talented can be organized around topics covered in this handbook. Group sessions might include a workshop on adjustment and self-esteem; a workshop on sex roles, relationships, and giftedness; a career planning workshop; and a college planning seminar.
6. The counselor should work closely with the gifted coordinator and with teachers of gifted students in developing a consultative relationship. The gifted education coordinator and other teachers need to be aware of the counselor's special expertise. In addition, the counselor can learn from the gifted educator and teachers more about the characteristics and needs of his or her gifted clients. Too often consulting remains on an informal basis and busy schedules overwhelm the good intentions of all parties to meet. Therefore the counselor might want to set up, at the beginning of each year, at least one formal meeting with the teachers of the gifted and perhaps the gifted student representative in order to develop a plan to meet the needs of gifted students.

Techniques for Counseling the Gifted and Talented
Most of the techniques for counseling gifted and talented students are simply the techniques all good counselors use: listening skills, persuasion skills, and behavior change skills. The following techniques are really attitudes and behaviors that can help the counselor to be more effective with intellectually able students and students with specific extraordinary talents (Kerr, 1990).
l. Counseling with gifted students must be child-centered, as Hollingworth (1926) first demonstrated. The more remarkable the gifts of the bright student, the greater are the investment that individuals have in the decisions that student makes. In the life of every gifted student there are teachers, parents, administrators, and friends with strong opinions about that child. In addition, there is often a great deal of information available in the records from former teachers and counselors. Despite the involvement of parents and teachers and despite the documents and records that exist, the counselor's first duty is to receive the gifted child's description of the problem or concerns in the child's own words. The child must be the focus of the counseling and therapy process. Sometimes in our rush to develop a child's talent we forget the child's own feelings and beliefs about his or her gifts. Only by understanding the child's giftedness from within the child's frame of reference can the counselor help to develop the child's gifts to their full potential.
2. In understanding the psychology of the (gifted child, intellectual abilities as well as personality characteristics must be taken into account. Many counselors of gifted students have observed that gifts seem to have a life of their own. For example, verbal precocity is a hunger for reading, writing, and expression that the individual cannot ignore. Mathematical precocity has an insistence of its own, demanding that the student go further and deeper into an understanding of math. Almost every talent carries with it its own drive and appetite for actualization. Therefore, to attempt to counsel the child without guiding the gift is to misunderstand the nature of the gifted child. It is often said that the gifted child is a child first, and then gifted. However, this statement may be misleading. A gifted child cannot be understood apart from his or her gifts.
3. A counselor's attitude toward a gifted student should be positive, constructive, and comfortable. As Hollingworth (1926) noted long ago, professionals who work with gifted students often feel threatened or are overly admiring. Neither of these attitudes is helpful. The counselor who feels threatened by the gifted child may feel tempted to test the child's knowledge, as if to make the child prove that he or she is gifted. The counselor who is threatened may avoid gifted students, not wanting students to know about his or her lack of experience. The counselor who is overly admiring may be equally harmful. The awestruck counselor may feel overwhelmed by the verbally brilliant student's conversational abilities, allowing the counseling session to be sidetracked. Instead of being frightened or dazzled, probably the best attitude to strive for is one of friendly helpfulness and positive challenge. A counselor can be an empathic listener as well as a mentor who expects excellence from the student.
4. A counselor should always show curiosity rather than ignorance or indifference. For better or worse, many gifted students base their opinions of others on their perceptions of others' intellectual interests and abilities. In order for counselors to be effective and influential with their lifted students, it is necessary that their students perceive them as intelligent people with lively interests in the kinds of intellectual endeavors in which the students are interested. This does not mean that the counselor has to be an expert on such things as Fermat's theorem, Dylan Thomas's poetry, or the language of dolphins. Instead, it means that when students discuss these kinds of subjects the counselor should show a lively curiosity and willingness to learn about the topics that are exciting to the students. The basic techniques of good attending behaviors are exactly those that enable the counselor to show curiosity and interest. When a student remarks that she or he is interested in developing software for playing Dungeons and Dragons, the counselor can simply respond with, ""That sounds fascinating! Tell me more about it." Or "What is it about developing software for games that excites you'?" The counselor will learn a lot of interesting facts in these kinds of conversations, and gifted students will perceive the counselor as credible and persuasive.
5. The counseling process with gifted students often points up the necessity for change not only in the student but in the family, the school, and society. Many problems gifted students present to the counselor are not really their own problems but rather problems of the system in which they are trying to learn and grow. To help a gifted child to cope with the boredom of being in the regular classroom, the counselor must do more than help the student with coping skills. Instead, the counselor must act as an advocate for that student, helping the student to achieve a more challenging curriculum. To help the student who is experiencing extraordinary stress from academic pressure, the counselor must work with parents and students together to create a healthier attitude toward achievement. Often, if the counselor is to do a good job as a helper to gifted students, he or she must become involved in action for change in the school system and in society. Many counselors who are experienced in working with gifted students enjoy the opportunity to meet other counselors of the gifted at state and national professional organizations that work for the betterment of gifted students. Counselors also can help empower gifted students to bring about changes themselves. By teaching their gifted students communication and persuasion skills, counselors may be able to help them to influence teachers and administrators to provide the kind of education they need.
Perhaps the best way to describe the experience of counseling gifted students is to liken it to cutting diamonds. Like the jeweler who cuts precious gems, the counselor to the gifted gently guides and shapes the student's abilities and interests so that the brilliance might shine through.

ASSIGNMENT 3: Due September 7: Read & Comment

1. Read the interesting item below, an excerpt by Dr. Daniel Goleman on emotional intelligence.
2. Post a thoughtful comment (1 or 2 paragraphs) about what you learned or found interesting in this article. Access the "Discussion Forum" by clicking on the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page.
3. Read the comments that your student colleagues have written; select only 2 responses, write one rejoinder to each response, with a significant comment or suggestion.
Highlights of Emotional Intelligence: Excerpts and Comments from Daniel Goleman
In 1995 Daniel Goleman's best seller Emotional Intelligence was published. His book has caused many to rethink common, existing definitions of intelligence, and to focus on the more functional aspects of interpersonal and personal strengths commonly used by successful, happy people. The following are highlights from Goleman's work as he describes and defines common emotional intelligence (EQ) attributes, offers differentiated views of EQ in males and females, and discusses attributes that differentiate EQ from other personal definitions of intelligence.
Goleman defines Emotional Intelligence (EQ):
EQ is not destiny - emotional intelligence is a different way of being smart. It includes knowing your feelings and using them to make good decisions; managing your feelings well; motivating yourself with zeal and persistence; maintaining hope in the face of frustration; exhibiting empathy and compassion; interacting smoothly; and managing your relationships effectively. Those emotional skills matter immensely - in marriage and families, in career and the workplace, for health and contentment.
Persons having EQ exhibit the following common attributes. In essence, the panorama of skills found in the context of emotional intelligence help individuals manage both the self and others in the following areas:
  • 1. Impulse control
  • 2. Self-esteem
  • 3. Self-motivation
  • 4. Mood management
  • 5. People skills

Gender Differences: Goleman offers counter views of emotionally intelligent men and women.
By contrast, men who are high in emotional intelligence are socially poised, outgoing and cheerful, not prone to fearless or worried rumination. They have a noticeable capacity for commitment to people or causes, for taking responsibility, and for having an ethical outlook; they are sympathetic and caring in their relationships. Their emotional life is rich, but appropriate; they are comfortable with themselves, others, and the social universe they live in. . . .
Emotionally intelligent women . . . tend to be assertive and express their feelings directly, and to feel positive about themselves; life holds meaning for them. Like the men, they are outgoing and gregarious, and express their feelings appropriately (rather than, say, in outbursts they later regret); they adapt well to stress. Their social poise lets them easily reach out to new people; they are comfortable enough with themselves to be playful, spontaneous, and open to sensual experience. Unlike the women purely high in IQ, they rarely feel anxious or guilty, or sink into rumination.

Intra-personal, Interpersonal and Emotional Intelligences -- What are the differences:
In the contexts of Goleman's previous definitions, it may be time to take a look at standard characteristics used to describe students possessing Gardner's Intra-personal and Interpersonal Intelligences. Emotional intelligence appears to be a more comprehensive version of Gardner's personal intelligences. Many of the attributes are the same.
The following have been synthesized from Gardner's works on MI and others translations of his work.

Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Enjoys socializing with peers and social occasions.
  • Seems to have natural leadership abilities.
  • Readily able to give advice to friends who have problems.
  • Seems to be "people smart."
  • Enjoys a sense of belonging to groups -- May belong to clubs, committees, or other organizations.
  • Enjoys informally teaching other kids.
  • Likes to play games with others.
  • Have two or more close friends.
  • Has a well-developed sense of empathy or concern for others.
Others often seek out this student's company -- others appear to be drawn to this student.

Intra-personal Intelligence
  • Displays a strong sense of independence, or is often described as, "Having a strong character or will."
  • Has a realistic sense of personal strengths and weaknesses -- knows what they can achieve and what their personal limitations are.
  • Does well when left alone to play or study, often prefers to work, play or study alone.
  • Can be described as "marching to the beat of a different drummer"-- this may apply to style of dress, mannerisms, of living or learning.
  • Has a special interest or hobby that he/she doesn't talk much about.
  • Has a good sense of self-direction -- is often intrinsically motivated.
  • Accurately expresses how he/she is feeling.
  • Is able to be introspective and reflective about personal actions and learns from his/her failures and successes in life.
  • Possesses high self-esteem and a strong sense of self-worth.
*Note: These categories are not mutually exclusive; individuals may have strengths in both areas

Goleman differentiates his approach from that of Gardner's by noting:
While there is ample room in Gardner's descriptions of the personal intelligences for insight into the play of emotions and the mastery and in managing them, Gardner and those who work with him have not pursued in great detail the role of feeling in these intelligences, focusing more on cognition than about feeling. This focus, perhaps unintentionally, leaves unexplored the rich sea of emotions that makes the inner life and relationships so complex, so compelling, and so often puzzling. And leaves yet to be plumbed the sense in which there is intelligence in the emotions and the sense in which intelligence can be brought to emotions.
Goleman goes on to discuss the history of the predominating, rather parochial views of behavioral scientists and psychology's eighty year old mindset concerning the science of cognition, to exclude much serious study of the roles of emotions. He views this as "lopsided." Goleman further explains he doesn't think IQ and emotional intelligence are opposing competencies, but rather they represent different aspects and that different people have varying degrees of types of intelligence.
In his attempt expand the differences between Gardner's definitions of personal intelligences as emotional intelligence; Goleman uses the work of Salovey as a foundation. I offer a summarized version of Salovey's definitions of emotional intelligence -- these are categorized into five domains:
1. Knowing one's emotions - Self-awareness is the keystone of emotional intelligence. This area features the ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment as they happen. People possessing this domain make personal decisions with certainty and assurance.
2. Managing emotions - This domain refers to the ability to handle emotions in appropriate manners. Persons proficient in this domain are better able to shake off negative emotions like gloom, anxiety, and irritability. These people are ones who have less difficulty bouncing back after experiencing life's ups and downs.
3. Motivating oneself - Concentrating one's emotions on the achievement of goals within the context of mastery, paying attention and creativity falls into this category. People possessing attributes in this domain are self-motivated; they delay gratification and stifle their impulsive urges. They can enter the state of "flow" often needed to complete a task and that allows them to be highly effective and productive.
4. Recognizing emotions in others - Empathy is an essential "people skill." These people are attuned to subtle social cues and interactions which indicate what others want or need.
5. Handling relationships - Skills in this domain refer to the abilities common in people who are adept at managing the emotions and their interactions with others. This domain also refers to aspects inherent in popularity, leadership, and harmonious interpersonal relationships.
Like Gardner's discussions of the multiple intelligences, Goleman points out that different people have aspects of each domain to varying degrees, combinations and intensities. People adept in one domain of emotional intelligence might not necessarily excel in another domain. Goleman's discussions give an added dimension to our concentrations on the importance of personal intelligences. His thoughts and ideas help elaborate and explain the importance and dimensions of the personal intelligences as they are extended and redefined as components of emotional intelligence.

ASSIGNMENT 4: Due September 14: Read & Comment

1. Read the interesting article below by Zach Miners about "Twitter".
2. Post a thoughtful comment (1 or 2 paragraphs) about what you learned or found interesting in this article. Access the "Discussion Forum" by clicking on the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page.
3. Read the comments that your student colleagues have written; select only 2 responses, write one rejoinder to each response, with a significant comment or suggestion.

Tweeting Your Way to Better Grades

Twitter actually can be a helpful study tool, some students and educators say

By Zach Miners
Posted June 15, 2009

Sammy Garey, a recent graduate of Burlingame High School in Burlingame, Calif., is a devoted user of Twitter. She's used the website with her classmates for online book discussions for her AP English class, in which they post and share feedback, analysis, and questions about novels such as Crime and Punishment. Garey also turns to the website to check breaking news and feed her interest in science by following the tweets of specialized Twitter accounts such as MedUpdates and DrugInfo. "It's the new frontier," she says. "This is the direction the world is heading in, and there's no better place to start than in the classroom."

Twitter, the Web service that lets people post and share messages of 140 characters or fewer, is enjoying a popularity surge in general. But on the education front in particular, some forward-thinking college professors are embracing it and finding ways to include it in courses, and teachers at the K-12 level are also experimenting with the social networking website. Using Twitter in a classroom setting can bring challenges, but some educators and students think it's a tool that can boost the learning process.
Delainia Haug, an English teacher at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, says that taking the online social networking applications that teenagers depend on outside of school—such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace—and bringing them into an academic space is critical for student engagement.

But other educators aren't so sure. William Kist, who teaches in the college of education at Kent State University in Ohio, says that using technologies like Twitter in the classroom—especially at the K-12 level—could be risky because the sites might expose students to Internet predators. He keeps a Twitter account, but he uses it solely as a "digital faculty lounge" where he can network with other professors. He is hesitant to follow the Twitter accounts of any of his students—given the typically personal nature of their updates—and is not aware of many students who follow his. "I'm very nervous about students following professors such as myself," he says. "That could put us in a compromising position."

Other educators feel that if anyone uses the site for nefarious purposes, it's going to be the students themselves. Bob Alexander, a language arts consultant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, says today's kids aren't just digital natives—they're "digital savages" and "digital cannibals." They master technology at an alarming rate, he says, and they find ways to adapt it to practices other than what was originally intended. And they cheat.
"Even the good students are looking for an edge," he says. "This already happens with texting, so it would follow suit that somewhere along the line, it could be applied to Twitter."

You're not likely to find much cheating at Roosevelt High, whose student body comprises mostly lower-income students and English language learners, and where Haug and Dean of Students Damien Poling spearheaded a program that uses digital media like blogs, wikis, audio, and video to give students a chance to work with computer technologies. It doesn't use Twitter, but the Digital Media Studies program, otherwise known as DigME, has helped to bridge a gap in digital literacy among students at the school. Such progress lies at the heart of what many educators say is the thorniest issue regarding digital media technologies in schools: fair access and equity. A majority of teachers, especially those who teach in low-income areas, feel that bringing online technologies into a class setting is problematic when students might not have the resources to access the digital tools outside of class.

But Jim Burke, an English teacher at California's Burlingame High, says the fact that some students might not have access to broadband Internet outside of school is the very reason why teachers should be focusing on bringing those technologies into school.
"If a kid doesn't have the means to set up an account on one of these services and to learn how to use it, then he's losing out on these emerging forms of literacy," he says.

So if you're a teacher and thinking about the best way to incorporate Twitter into your lessons or if you're a student, what do you need to know? Here are some things to keep in mind:

Eric Brunsell, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh:
If students organize (with or without instructor help) academic networks with other students in similar classes and programs, they can develop virtual study groups, share resources, and receive and provide support from others. And as their academic network (or personal learning network) broadens to include their professors and experts in the field, they can begin to see traditional course content from multiple perspectives and in real-world settings.

Jenna Gardner, teacher at Meadowcreek High School, Norcross, Ga.:
[One] possibility is to use Twitter as a type of interactive reading response journal. As students read an assigned text, they record their impressions and questions to allow their fellow classmates to give their input. I do this using Edmodo, a micro-blogging website designed specifically for schools, but students could do it more informally on their own.

William Kist, professor at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio:
Use it as a study group, if all of your class is following each other. In the days leading up to a big assignment, you could have them tweet x number of times or x number of things they've found online.

And there are Twitter-like options for students in communities without easy access to Web technology;

Jim Burke, teacher at Burlingame High School, Burlingame, Calif.:
Part of what Twitter has offered is the concept of communicating in a short note. But you can also give kids an index card and do Twitter in the classroom on paper. So if you're in an underprivileged school district and you want to do what you can in terms of teaching kids how to communicate in short messages effectively, then you're at least teaching the thinking processes.
But the point is not Twitter, because something else will come along to challenge and replace it. It's the various forms of communication students need to master and the knowledge of which one, when, why, and how to use it effectively. Kids in today's world need to be able to communicate the same idea and content in 3,000, 300, 30, 3, 1, and no words (using an image instead) and to do so on a sheet of paper, a computer screen, or a presentation screen, using words, images, sounds, and infographics as needed.

ASSIGNMENT 5: Due September 21: Read & Comment

1. Read the interesting article entitled "Psychological Adjustment of Gifted Students".
2. Post a thoughtful comment (1 or 2 paragraphs) about what you learned or found interesting in this article. Access the "Discussion Forum" by clicking on the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page.
3. Read the comments that your student colleagues have written; select only 2 responses, write one rejoinder to each response, with a significant comment or suggestion.

Psychological Adjustment of Gifted Students

Psychologists have long tried to understand the relationship of intelligence to psychological adjustment. For many centuries madness and genius were considered to be inextricably linked. Our culture holds many stereotypes of gifted individuals, most of them negative. Images of gifted people in the media have ranged from the bumbling absent-minded professor to the hard-drinking writer or half-crazed artist. Terman hoped to put these negative images of gifted individuals to rest with his research. However, in many ways, Terman's studies of gifted individuals raised as many questions as they answered. Although Terman found that the majority of the students identified by his procedures grew up to be well adjusted adults, among the group there were indeed people who had suffered psychological disorders (Terman & Oden, 1947). There were instances of depression, anxiety, and even suicides among the group. Apparently, too, at the highest IQ levels, there were more psychological disorders than would be expected in a normal group. Leta Hollingworth (1942) also provided support for the idea that at the highest levels of ability gifted students may simply be too different from average students to ever lead normal lives. Her students with IQs above 180, although for the most part functioning well, had suffered a great deal from being treated as deviants in the classroom and in society. In more recent years, research on the psychological adjustment of gifted individuals has become more sophisticated and has begun to explore more complex questions than simply "Are gifted students well adjusted'?" It is common now for studies to examine a wide variety of characteristics associated with psychological adjustment such as self-concept, self-actualizing tendencies, depression, and social self-esteem. In addition, contemporary studies of gifted students examine the adjustment of boys and girls, of students of varying ages, of students of differing abilities, and of students in particular talent areas. We will first explore differing subpopulations of gifted students, and second, we will examine some common adjustment disorders that may affect gifted students. Interventions will be suggested for some of these adjustment disorders.

Gender and Adjustment
The majority of studies of gifted girls and boys show that gifted girls are better adjusted than gifted boys or average girls and boys. On personality measures, gifted girls show fewer traits associated with poor adjustment such as depression and anxiety. Also, gifted girls are referred for fewer behavior disorders than gifted boys or average girls and boys (Kerr, 1985). Only in the matter of self-concept some findings indicate that gifted girls may have a lower opinion of themselves than gifted boys. Most studies show that both gifted boys and girls have positive self-concepts (Kelly & Colangelo, 1990). However, when self-concept is considered in terms of academic and social self-concept, some complexities emerge. For instance, gifted girls may have a lower social self-concept as a result of being labeled gifted; many gifted girls feel that giftedness is actually a social handicap (Kerr, Colangelo, & Gaeth, 1987). Most studies find that gifted boys and girls have about the same academic self-concept, but some studies show that gifted girls have less confidence in their academic abilities than their actual achievement would warrant.
Hollinger and Fleming (1985) suggested that because social self-esteem in gifted girls seems to be the result of a combination of masculine and feminine characteristics, androgyny may be the best predictor of social adjustment for the gifted girl. Other studies have found that gifted girls who are less conforming to social norms than girls in general tend to be psychologically healthier. One study (Karnes & Wherry, 1983) found that gifted girls were more casual and careless than other girls, and other studies have found gifted girls to be more independent, curious, and assertive. In short, gifted girls and boys are very similar in their personality characteristics because they tend to be superior to average students in their psychological adjustment. Differences occur in the areas of social self-concept or social self-esteem, and differences favoring boys tend to appear only during the adolescent years when girls may be particularly sensitive to the social impact of giftedness. Although many studies examine specific personality characteristics such as dominance, need for achievement, or depression, there are too many conflicting data to be able to make any statement about specific characteristics of gifted girls and boys. After reviewing the studies comparing boys' and girls' personality characteristics and psychological adjustment, it can be said that Terman's finding probably still holds true: Gifted girls and boys are more like each other psychologically than they are different, and both are well adjusted.

Age and Adjustment
Although only a few studies exist that trace the adjustment of gifted individuals over the course of long periods of time, most of these studies (Terman & Oden, 1947; Kaufmann, 1981) agree that gifted individuals in general are well adjusted throughout the life span. However, there may be critical periods for gifted students just as there are for average students when mistimed interventions or lack of intervention can lead to adjustment problems. Preschool and kindergarten can be a difficult time for many gifted children. As Stephanie Tolan pointed out in her case study in Guiding the Gifted Child (Webb, Meckstroth, & Tolan, 1982), gifted children may be sorely surprised upon finding that their preschool or kindergarten playmates cannot play the same games or read the same books they themselves can. Many gifted children look forward to the beginning of preschool or kindergarten with great enthusiasm and anticipation. They are often disappointed, frustrated, and bored with the reality of school. As a result, gifted children may develop school-related problems such as fear or anxiety about going to school; quarrelling with playmates; or withdrawal into fantasy or daydreaming during the school day. Gifted 4- to 7-year-olds may have a difficult time understanding why other children cannot keep up with them and why teachers fail to stimulate them to the degree that they need. This is a period of life that requires patient understanding and guidance from parents, teachers, and counselors. Another critical period for many gifted students is the entry into junior high school (Buescher, 1987). Gifted students may begin to be especially sensitive about being labeled gifted in junior high, particularly girls. Both boys and girls may see their giftedness as a social disadvantage. In addition, new social and romantic interests may overwhelm the previously intellectually oriented child, bringing about what seems to be a marked change in personality. Teachers frustrated by the sudden onset of silly or blindly conforming behavior may believe that there are adjustment problems above and beyond those caused by the onset of adolescence. However, in most cases, it is simply the contrast between the intense achievement orientation that was once directed toward academic work and that is now directed toward social accomplishments and popularity, which leads the gifted students, teachers, and parents to be alarmed by this change in behavior (Groth, 1969).
Another critical period is also a transitional period: the end of senior year and the beginning of college. Many gifted students at this point become afflicted with indecision and fears about the future. In chapter 5 on career counseling for the gifted and talented, it was noted that multipotentiality can be a source of great difficulty for gifted students; having too many options can be a curse rather than a blessing. This confusion, toward the end of the senior year, can sometimes lead to depression, anxiety, and the lowering of academic performance after years of success (Frederickson & Rothney, 1982). The beginning of the freshman year of college brings with it, often for the first time, competition with students of equal and superior intellectual ability. This often leads to dismay and anger in the gifted student who is used to straight A's and little competition. Some students who have never experienced failure may be intensely negatively affected by every grade less than an A. Occasionally, the fear of failure can lead students to deliberately underachieve, to withdraw from college completely, or to choose another college with much lower standards.

Verbally Gifted Students
Verbally gifted students' advanced vocabulary and unusual fluency can actually make it difficult for them to relate to others (Webb et al., 1982). Whenever verbally gifted students find themselves in conversations with individuals of lower verbal ability, they may be constantly trimming their conversation to fit the group. Particularly tactful verbally gifted students may conscientiously avoid using long words and discussing topics about which their peers are ignorant. However, years of attempting to relate to people of lesser verbal ability may transform the talkative and friendly gifted student into a sarcastic cynic. Verbally gifted students are particularly challenging as clients. As counselors, we often assume that the ability to articulate one's problems is equal to the ability to solve one's problems. This is simply not true with these students. They may be able to label and describe their difficulties eloquently, and yet not have the slightest notion of how to go about resolving them. Verbally gifted students literally talk around their problems.
Studies at Johns Hopkins University have shown that verbally gifted students may experience more psychological difficulties than mathematically gifted students (Brody & Benbow, 1986). When verbally gifted students have problems that merit referral to counseling, they are more likely than students in other talent areas to be witty, rebellious, and argumentative. The counselor may find it necessary to use counseling techniques that are less verbal; it may be useless to attempt to beat the client at his or her own game. Gestalt techniques (Perls, Hefferline, & Goodman, 1951) and other techniques that emphasize experience and awareness rather than conversation may be more appropriate. Finally, it may be that verbally gifted students suffer the most from lack of acceleration and opportunities for intellectual stimulation. Their lively minds and their desire to describe and discuss every aspect of their existence may be thwarted by the lack of opportunity to read challenging books, to engage in conversation with intellectual peers and superiors, and to argue and debate at a high level.

Mathematically Gifted Students
Studies of mathematically gifted students have dispelled the myth that they are awkward and socially inept (Haier & Denham, 1976). There is little evidence that mathematically gifted students are withdrawn or alienated. Mathematicians and scientists do tend to be more introverted by nature, according to vocational interest studies (Gottfredson & Holland, 1989). However, mathematically gifted students' introversion is likely to be well within the normal range. Nevertheless, there are those mathematically gifted students whose interests are so esoteric that they may indeed be rejected by other children who have little understanding of the mathematical concepts that the gifted student finds so fascinating. In addition, many mathematically gifted students may actually choose the label of "brain" or "nerd" because paradoxically, the media have made it somewhat fashionable in the 1990s to be brilliant in an area such as math, chess, or computers.
Movies such as "Stand and Deliver," "The Wizard," and "Back to the Future" provide models of young people who are fascinated by math and science activities. Therefore, counselors and teachers should not automatically assume that a student who is considered "weird" by his or her peers is necessarily unpopular or not liked. More critical to the psychological adjustment of mathematically gifted students than social popularity may be the issue of acceleration and intellectual challenge. Because mathematical giftedness often appears at a very early age (Gardner, 1983), these students need guidance and education even in the elementary grades. Mathematical knowledge is logical and linear in its progression, and is well suited to acceleration. Mathematically gifted students often have an intense desire for further information about their interests as well as an intuitive sense that there is much more to know. The refusal of schools or parents to allow the mathematically gifted child to learn at his or her own pace may lead not only to frustration and anxiety but also to the eventual rejection of math interests. Mathematically talented students must be nurtured and encouraged in their interests.
Attempts to make them well rounded by discouraging math interests and encouraging participation in intellectual and social activities that are less attractive to these students are probably doomed to failure. Counseling with mathematically gifted students may require that the counselor become knowledgeable about some of the mathematical ideas that are fascinating to the students. This does not mean that the counselor needs to be mathematically gifted; merely that he or she be willing to show curiosity rather than ignorance in the face of the client's enthusiasm. Most counseling strategies that rely upon sound reasoning such as rationale-motive therapy (Ellis & Harper, 1975) may be particularly well suited to mathematically gifted students who are experiencing psychological difficulties.

Spatially-Visually Gifted Students
The spatially-visually gifted student literally sees what others don't see, and this experience can be isolating. The spatially-visually gifted student may often think in images rather than in words (Gardner, 1983). These students' visual talents may be manifested most obviously in their dress and grooming. At the Nebraska Scholars' Institute, one instructor was heard to say of the Integrated Arts group of students, "You can see them coming a block away by the way they are dressed." Perhaps it's their tendency to think in images and to dress in unusual ways that leads to the stereotype of spatially-visually gifted students as nonconformists. However, the vast majority of spatially-visually gifted students are not nonconforming socially; they are, however, nonconforming in the way they perceive and think. Critics and those who appreciate the arts are often frustrated by artists' inability to articulate the meaning or purpose of their works. This is because artists simply feel little need for verbal explanations. Images for the spatially-visually gifted students stand by themselves and have meaning in themselves. As a result, when spatially-visually gifted students do have psychological problems, they are most commonly related to problems in communicating their feelings or thoughts to other people in ways that others can understand. Counselors need to think of creative ways of helping spatially-visually gifted students to express themselves. Psychodrama (Moreno, 194(r1969) and art therapy techniques may be particularly useful in counseling and therapy with spatially-visually gifted students. One of the most common reasons for the diagnosis of underachievement is actually the result of a misunderstanding of the IQ or achievement test scores of spatially-visually gifted individuals. Spatially-visually gifted students often score quite remarkably on the WISC-R performance scale and other nonverbal measures of intellectual ability, but achieve only average or above-average scores on measures of verbal ability. These students are not true underachievers. It is simply the case that the curriculum of most schools offers little that taps the abilities of the spatially-visually gifted student. Only in such areas as art, photography, geography, and geometry are spatially-visually gifted students likely to shine. Therefore, counselors must be on the lookout for this misdiagnosis and must also be prepared to deal with the effects of a mistaken assessment. Students who are spatially-visually gifted but only average in verbal abilities may be misplaced in gifted education programs or incorrectly accelerated in verbal talent areas.

Musically Gifted Students
The problems and psychological characteristics unique to musically gifted students are probably directly linked to the nature of the development of talented musicians. Musical talent, in order to flourish as musical accomplishment, requires rehearsal and training usually from a very early age (Bloom, 1985). Music is an area in which creativity and panache cannot substitute for hard work and long practice. Musically gifted students, like mathematically gifted students, may show their talent at an extremely early age (Gardner, 1983). These students can be identified and given training while still very young. Whereas acceleration for verbally, mathematically, and spatially-visually gifted children is extremely rare, acceleration for musically gifted students, usually through private schooling, is common. Musically gifted students usually progress through the learning of music at the rate that is appropriate to the level of their talent. Occasionally, however, musically gifted students may feel pressured to work faster and with more complex pieces than they feel ready for. Performance anxiety and a dread of practice can result. Students who seem obsessed and completely involved with music may have a love-hate relationship with their instrument or talent. They may feel consumed by the discipline that is necessary. They may feel as if their lives are being shaped by the inanimate object with which they must spend so much time if they are instrumental musicians. In addition, many musically gifted students must suffer through long periods in which their talent may not be recognized or rewarded.
Although there is frequently a role as an accompanist for the child who plays the piano and an occasional performance for children playing other instruments, much of the musical giftedness of these children seems irrelevant in the regular school curriculum. Because musical talent does not always go along with academic talent, these students may feel as if their own gift has somehow been devalued. When musically gifted students come for counseling or therapy, they may show the same kinds of inarticulateness that counselors sometimes experience in spatially-visually gifted students. Musically gifted students may think in musical terms sometimes. It may be easier for them to describe an emotion musically than verbally. One harpsichord player who came to the Guidance Laboratory for Gifted and Talented needing help with depression asked her counselor to meet with her in her practice room at the music building so that she could express to her in music the emotions she could not discuss. The counselor then was able to help her find words for her feelings. Music therapy techniques may be particularly helpful.

Interpersonally Gifted Students
Interpersonally gifted students are likely to be well adjusted, almost by definition (Gardner, 1983). However, occasionally interpersonally gifted students can have problems related to their gifts of empathy, communication skills, and ability to influence others. As discussed in chapter 3 on underachievement, interpersonally gifted students sometimes receive high grades and excellent recommendations from teachers based mainly upon their outstanding communication skills. This may lead to problems when the student is confronted with objective tests of his or her verbal reasoning ability, mathematical skills, or other skills that are not as well developed as "people" skills.
Interpersonally gifted students may also have difficulty with career development. Because they are often very socially oriented, interpersonally gifted students may be drawn to a wide variety of socially oriented careers or professions. However, they may lack good career exploration skills or decision-making skills. In counseling, the interpersonally gifted student may present a number of unique problems. Often, interpersonally gifted students have many of the same skills that counselors have, this can be a jarring experience. At the Guidance Laboratory for Gifted and Talented, we have often observed that interpersonally gifted students seem to "mirror" the counselor's behavior. These students tended to listen, to engage in empathic responding, and to repeat and rephrase what the counselor was saying. Sometimes these clients are extremely dominant or manipulative during the session. In counseling, a client who is able to draw out the counselor or to manipulate the counselor may not get his or her needs met. Therefore, the counselor needs to make a special effort to make the interpersonally gifted student the center of the counseling procedure and to insist that he or she stay on task during the process of decision making. Gestalt techniques, which frustrate clients' manipulations, are helpful.

Psychological Adjustment and Educational Placement
One of the most common and widespread misconceptions about gifted education is that grouping and acceleration lead to problems in psychological adjustment. A common criticism of special grouping for the gifted is that grouping students according to ability leads to elitism. In addition, the claim is often made that grouping gifted students leads to overly high expectations, pressuring, and competitiveness. This notion persists despite the fact that there is little research evidence to support this idea. In fact, the vast majority of studies contradict the notion that grouping is related to psychological adjustment disorders (Lehman & Edwins, 1981). On the contrary, grouping seems to benefit bright students by increasing their intellectual stimulation and providing opportunities for friendships with intellectual peers. Directors of Talent Search programs and Governor's Institute programs frequently have observed that students who enter summer programs with a record of behavior or personality disorders often seem to improve spontaneously in their behavior in an environment that encourages academic challenge and relationships with other bright students. The idea that grouping the students leads to elitism among gifted students has also received no support from research. Studies of the Iowa Governor's Institute showed that students who participated in this institute tended to improve in the areas of self-esteem and social support, feeling more self-confident and more comfortable in relationships with other students than before participating in the institute (Kerr, Hallowell, & Erb, 1989). Gifted students need to learn to be comfortable and on friendly terms with people of much lesser ability. In order for gifted students to learn to be tolerant and even compassionate toward students of lesser ability, it is necessary for them to feel comfortable with their own abilities and to have empathy for the feelings of inferiority or failure that so many average, and less-than-average, students’ experience. Paradoxically, it may be that retaining a gifted student in a regular classroom throughout the school years can lead to elitism and contemptuousness. A student who has always received the highest grades in the class and has found all tasks to be easy, and who has been prevented from understanding his or her giftedness, may assume that success is simply the result of hard work. For this student, it follows that the other students in the class are simply not working hard enough. It is much more likely that a student who perceives his or her peers as lazy or unmotivated will grow contemptuous rather than a student who perceives his or her peers to be of lesser ability. On the other hand, a gifted student who has been placed in an appropriately challenging gifted program may learn for the first time what it means not to be as competent as other students. That student learns what it feels like to not be the best. Placement in a gifted program with one's intellectual peers can be a humbling experience, although in the long run a growth-producing one. Acceleration has also received much condemnation as a source of pressure and psychological disorders. Again, however, the research on acceleration has shown the effect of this educational strategy to be precisely the opposite (Janos & Robinson, 1986; Kulik & Kulik, 1983). Most studies of accelerated students show them to be better adjusted than their non-accelerated peers. Even among students who have been accelerated as much as by 5 or 6 years, such as the students in Talent Search programs and radical accelerants who are admitted early to colleges and universities, these findings hold true. Acceleration may be harmful only to students who are misplaced because of inappropriate evaluation of their abilities or to students who have other behavior and personality disorders unrelated to their giftedness. Because the findings that support grouping and acceleration of gifted students go against the intuitions and inclinations of so many policymakers, information about these research findings usually fall on deaf ears. Gifted educators and counselors who have read the research and who have observed gifted students in accelerated programs or programs for gifted students are often frustrated by their inability to communicate this information. Nevertheless, counselors have as great a responsibility to dispel misconceptions about gifted students and gifted programming as they have to dispel the many myths about minority and handicapped children that have prevented them from receiving appropriate educational opportunities.

Common Adjustment Disorders of Gifted Students
In this section, the common adjustment disorders gifted students experience will be discussed. Stress related problems, depression, perfectionism, and problems in relationships are probably the most frequently cited presenting problems of bright students.

Stress and the Gifted Student
Jessie is a 6-year-old girl who likes to read the newspaper. Soon after she reads several accounts of people who have been poisoned by medicines that have been tampered with, she begins to have nightmares about poisoning. Soon she insists that her mother check all of her food to be sure that it doesn't have poison in it. Lynn has just been admitted to a special school for the gifted. She is happy and proud to be in the gifted school because she knows that her parents are happy about it. Soon after her admittance, however, she develops a number of nervous habits such as nail biting. Worst of all, she begins to lose her hair; the only diagnosis the family doctor gives is that she is nervous and anxious. Jordan is a member of the high school swim team and is its high-point diver. He is also a straight-A student and the editor of the high school newspaper. One day Jordan doesn't show up for swim practice. He has no explanation or excuse when the coach stops him in the hall, but he refuses to swim again. All three of these students are gifted children under stress. There are as many reasons for gifted students to experience stress as there are sources of stress. However, some aspects of giftedness seem to be particularly conducive to stress, particularly loneliness (Kaiser & Berndt. 1985) and academic stress (Yadusky-Holahan & Holahan, 1983). It is interesting how often people immediately assume that the gifted student under stress is being "pushed" by his or her parents. Many writers have castigated parents and teachers for having overly high expectations of gifted students and have attempted to show a relationship between these expectations and the students' experience of stress. There is indeed some truth to the notion that stress can be related to overly high expectations; however, this alone is not a satisfactory explanation. Some students with ambitious, hard-driving parents nevertheless are relaxed and easy-going. On the other hand, every teacher has seen a gifted student who seems tremendously anxious and success oriented but who has casual, easy-going parents with only the most moderate expectations of their child. It is not likely that parental pressure alone is the cause of stress in the gifted child. For some gifted children, however, meeting others' expectations has become a way of life (Kerr, 1982). The student who is expected, not only by parents but also by teachers, school administrators, and community to be achievement-oriented may indeed feel pressure. The small town "scholar-athlete"; the high school's star speech and debate student who has won a national contest; or the school's only national merit scholar all may feel pressure as a result of their unique status. Jim Delisle, in his book, Gifted Children Speak Out (1984), gave many examples of students' beliefs that others hold expectations of them that are too high. Many gifted students describe a cycle in which achievement is followed by expectation of higher achievement, which is then followed by higher achievement in a never ending spiral, so that the student believes that no matter how much he or she may try, no attainment will ever be enough. How can the gifted student break out of this vicious cycle? How can counselors help the student out of the cycle? One of the only ways of helping gifted students to deal with the overly high expectations of others is to help them to move from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation, the dependence on others' approval, recognition, and rewards, can be a trap. When explicit approval or reward is not present, the student may become extremely anxious, looking around for a way of evaluating his or her performance. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is characterized by self-evaluation and an independence from the opinions of others. Students who have internalized their own set of standards can judge their own performance. Because they do not need to rely on the opinions of others for self-evaluation, they can be more autonomous and more confident about their performance. Counselors can help bright students to develop intrinsic motivation by challenging them to evaluate their own performance. For example, when reviewing a student's transcript, the counselor can point to each course and grade and say, "You received an A in French. Is this the grade that you expected? Is this the grade that you believe you deserved?" Or "Here is a B in pre-calculus. How would you have evaluated your performance? To what degree were you challenging yourself`?" It is important for the counselor to help the student to decide upon the level of effort that he or she will consider satisfactory, rather than the actual outcome that the student will consider satisfactory. What happens, however, when students set their own internal standards too high? This, too, is a serious source of stress. Many gifted students seem to "raise the stakes" on their own, even when parents and teachers assure them that their performance is excellent. These students never seem to be satisfied with any amount of recognition or reward. Each accomplishment merely sets the stage for the next effort. Some internal force presses these students toward achievement. It is not achievement orientation per se that is stressful. In fact, most eminent individuals drive themselves very hard and are extraordinarily persistent in their work. Many accomplished adults are extremely self-critical. Stress can result when there is no area of the student's life that is not counted as a potential achievement and when the student is completely indiscriminating about accomplishments. Being focused on excellence in a major area of interest is seldom as stressful as a student's desire to be perfect in all activities. Another common source of stress in the lives of gifted adolescents is over-commitment to school activities. Many gifted boys and girls seem to be engaged in a fierce competition to see who can receive the most inches of fine print under their names in the yearbook. Multipotential students, with multiple interests and skills, often seem to find themselves involved in nearly every extracurricular activity available (Kerr, 1982). Too often, students have been encouraged by faculty advisors to participate in activities such as yearbook, plays, newspaper, athletics, pep squad, and departmental clubs without an awareness of the degree of their involvement in other activities. The bright young man who cannot say no to any after-school activity may suddenly find himself in a position of having multiple conflicting commitments. Teenagers who find themselves constantly having to be two or three places at once and need to seek excuses from classes in order to fulfill out-of-class obligations may begin to experience all their activities as stressful.
Some gifted students begin to resemble middle-aged, overly harassed executives, rushing from one appointment to the next and suffering from stress-related symptoms. Headaches, stomach disturbances and ulcers, skin rashes, and respiratory disorders all have stress as a common denominator. The remedy for these stress symptoms is exactly the same as that recommended for the hard driving executive: a change in life-style. Bright students who have become overextended need help in learning how to manage their time more effectively and to set priorities on their activities. Counselors can help best by engaging them in time management exercises. Also, students can be helped to rank their activities in a variety of ways. First, they can rank their activities in order of preference; second, in terms of each activity's value in applying to college; and third, in order of each activity's importance to the school. The counselor can help the student discuss these rankings and develop a final list. In general, these students need to learn how to slow down. They need help finding time for rest, for proper eating, and for recreation. Many of these bright, hard-working students almost seem to have forgotten how to play. Counselors need to encourage them to let go of some of their structured activities and replace them with more unstructured, spontaneous activities.
Finally, an important source of stress in the lives of many gifted students is the necessity of making decisions that are simply beyond their capacity to make (Kerr, 1982). The third grader who is asked to make his own decision about whether to enter a gifted program: the seventh-grade girl who has to make a decision whether to stay home for the summer or to attend an institute for the gifted and talented far away; the high school freshman who is being pressured to make a decision about a college either by his parents or the colleges themselves may simply not have the maturity or the resources to come to an appropriate decision. If students are given choices beyond their capacity for decision making, they may react with avoidance, confusion, and anxiety. Often adults expect that gifted children can make difficult decisions simply because of their excellent reasoning abilities. But advanced reasoning abilities are of no help in weighing emotions. Counselors can help gifted students by giving them permission to ask others to make choices for them sometimes. At times, however, parents and teachers are unwilling to make choices for students. In this case counselors can help by providing the gifted student with decision-making strategies that take into account both the situation as well as the student's feelings about the situation. A decision-making model such as force-counterforce analysis can be useful. In this exercise, the young person works on one decision at a time. A choice is written out as a yes or no question. For example, should one attend the Duke University summer program? Then all the forces in favor of the decision are recorded as well as all the forces against the decision. A numerical value from 1 to 10 is assigned to each force in order to indicate its strength. Therefore, the decision results not from having more reasons to support it but from the cumulative strength of forcefully held beliefs.

Depression among gifted students is increasingly becoming a concern of parents and educators. Many of the same situations that lead to stress for the bright child can also become precursors of depression. Under conditions of prolonged stress a student may gradually lose motivation, energy, and the will to go on. In the previous section on stress and the gifted student, examples were given of students who were overextended and "burning the candle at both ends." Often the student who has not dealt with the stress of over commitment eventually becomes depressed. Likewise students who have been forced into situations that overtax their emotional and intellectual capacity will often move from anxiety into depression. A student who converts his or her stresses and anxieties into physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches is still trying to succeed beyond his or her abilities; the depressed student has stopped trying. The depressed gifted student presents a challenge to the counselor precisely because intervention should have come much sooner. By the time a student is depressed because of overextension, time management and decision-making skills will not help. A
17-year-old young man came to counseling at the Counseling Laboratory for Talent Development because he felt "frozen." He said he felt paralyzed in his relationship and work, and seemed unable to feel any emotion. He had been an extremely competitive tennis, soccer, and baseball player and a straight-A student. Even his language was filled with the vocabulary of competitiveness: "She had the advantage of me when she said she liked me first" - and "I think I can win out over this depression if I work at it."
This kind of depression must be treated like any form of burnout. Students like this require a moratorium from activities, a slow process of engagement with rewarding activity, and at least short-term counseling or psychotherapy in which the student can discuss his or her feelings, or lack of feelings. Often family and friends need to be brought into the process in order to help the student create a new manageable and rewarding life-style. Cognitive behavior therapy, which replaces unrealistic beliefs with realistic beliefs, may be particularly helpful to "burned-out" gifted students. Counselors often use the lists of irrational beliefs developed by Ellis and Harper (1975). In the case just described, the counselor helped the client to see that all of life could not be conceptualized as a competition. The client learned to rethink his beliefs, to use new words to describe his experiences, and finally, to change his behavior so that he had a more relaxed, open approach to relationships and his work. Delisle (1990) developed a list of healthy beliefs specifically for gifted students. They are as follows:

Seven Realities for Successful Transition from Adolescence to Young Adulthood
Reality # l: Remember that the real basics go beyond reading, writing, and `rithmetic.
Reality #2: You can be good at something you don't enjoy doing.
Reality #3: You can be good at some things that are unpopular among your friends.
Reality #4: Life is not a race to see who can get to the end the fastest.
Reality #5: You have the ability to ask questions which should have right answers, but don't.
Reality #6: It's never too late to be what you might have been.
Reality #7: A life's career is not a life sentence.

Another type of depression that seems to be almost unique to gifted students is a kind of premature existential depression (Webb et al., 1982). Existential depression occurs in gifted children and adolescents when their capacity for absorbing information about disturbing events is greater than their capacity to process and understand it. Second graders who are capable of reading news magazine accounts of war and pollution may understand the information but not be able to deal with their helplessness to do anything about it. As Leta Hollingworth (1926) pointed out long ago, many gifted children feel trapped in a world created by adults that is somehow out of control. Gifted children's existential depression can result not only from their advanced reading ability but also from their participation in activities that call for greater maturity. One bright girl was so effective in working with animals at an animal shelter that she was given increasing amounts of veterinary responsibilities. Her work changed from simply taking wounded pets from individuals who had brought them in to preparing them for treatment, and finally to helping with the euthanasia of dogs and cats too sick or hurt to be adopted. This 12-year-old volunteer was heard to say, "I've seen too much death." Similarly, gifted teenagers who do volunteer work in hospitals and crisis centers may, because of their intelligence and skill, be given adult responsibilities without appropriate support. Some gifted students seem to experience existential depression as a result of having wrestled with concepts with which even the wisest of adults have struggled. The meaning of life, the inevitability of death, and the beginning and end of the universe are all subjects that may lead to depression in the child or adolescent who is attempting to understand them. Perhaps the depression results from the incongruence between the child's developmental stage and intellectual abilities. A young person whose cognitive development is still "dualistic"; still perceiving the world in terms of absolutes such as right and wrong, or good and bad, may be disturbed by reading and thinking about questions for which there simply are no right or wrong answers. When unable to resolve the ambiguity, the student lapses into anger and despair. Perhaps one of the most helpful techniques for this kind of existential depression is bibliotherapy. Counselors can recommend books that are appropriate developmentally as well as intellectually. Stephen Schroeder-Davis (1990) developed a comprehensive, annotated list of books that are appropriate for bibliotherapy. He says that books used in bibliotherapy with the gifted should meet the following criteria:
1. They are good literature. That is, independent of their relevance to the gifted, the books are well written and fun to read. Many are by award-winning authors or have won awards themselves.
2. Giftedness is important, but not necessarily central to the story. The book must be concerned with the gifted, but not "about"' giftedness.
3. Readers should be able to identify with the characters, themes, and conflicts.

Therefore, portrayals that are rich, varied, and realistic rather than stereotyped or derogatory should be chosen. Schroeder-Davis's selected, annotated bibliotherapy list is included in its entirety in the Resources section at the end of the book. The book Guiding Gifted Readers (Halstead, 1988) provides guidelines for selecting reading as well as excellent lists of books for helping gifted students to deal with unanswerable questions. The counselor should keep in the office books that have been particularly meaningful to him or her so that these can be shared with the bright student dealing with existential concerns. There is evidence that gifted students who have been guided toward self-actualization and meaning are less likely to be depressed Berndt, Kaiser, & Van Aalst, 1982).

Very few clients are likely to refer themselves to counselors for problems with perfectionism. Instead, friends and family often pressure them into counseling out of concern or frustration with their tendency to be hard on themselves and others. Perfectionism has been described as a problem of gifted individuals by most of those who have studied them at close hand. Hollingworth (1926) saw perfectionism as a common characteristic of the highly gifted; Whitmore (1980) related it to fear of failure and underachievement; and Roedell (1987) outlined its consequences. Perfectionism here is defined as a complex of characteristics and behaviors including compulsiveness with regard to work habits over-concern for details and unrealistically high standards for self and others, indiscriminate acquiescence to external evaluation, and rigid routines.

Possible Causes
Inherent Tendencies: Although the commonsense notion of the causes of perfectionism tends to lay the blame for the perfectionistic child squarely on "pushy," exacting parents, clinical experience shows this conclusion to be unwarranted. Many perfectionistic gifted children are the products of relaxed, easy-going parents with realistic expectations. Developmental psychologists have established that infants come into the world with tendencies to develop particular temperaments, differing among themselves on many variables such as activity level, sensitivity to change in the environment, reactivity, and mood. It seems possible that certain children are simply born with the combination of temperaments that create a need for an orderly environment, or conversely, an aversion to chaos. Children born with these temperaments who are also of high intelligence may be able to carry perfectionism further than average children, simply because they often have the ability to carry out tasks expected of their age level perfectly. In this way perfectionism becomes entrenched. The ability to perform perfectly combines with the need to perform perfectly (Adderholt-Elliott, 1989).
Lack of Awareness of Giftedness: Many gifted children are unaware of their abilities and many have never been labeled as gifted (Webb; et al., 1982). Even those who have received a label have seldom been given specific information about their abilities: How gifted, in which areas, in what percentile? How many other children can be expected to perform similarly? In the absence of specific information about how their intellectual abilities compare with those of others, gifted children and their parents usually underestimate the children's abilities or assume their intelligence to be "just average." When a child assumes that he or she is "just average," but consistently receives higher marks and consistently performs age level tasks with ease, then that child begins to search for other explanations for his or her superiority. Children who believe their superiority is purely the result of hard work are in danger of becoming perfectionistic, just as they are in danger of becoming "elitist," as pointed out earlier.
If a gifted child assumes that his or her superiority is the result only of effort, rather than some combination of effort and ability, it is likely that the child will begin to see other children as not expending effort, and not living up to expectations. A child who holds other children in contempt for their lack of effort grows up to be an adult with impossibly high standards for others as well as a warped sense of his or her own capabilities.
On the other hand, a child whose gifts are identified early, and who has specific explanations of his or her abilities ("About 95 children out of 100 can't read as well as you do"; "Your math ability in 7th grade is about equal to the average 12th grader"), is likely to feel comfortable with those gifts. He or she is also more likely to have more realistic expectations of average peers, while having somewhat higher expectations of him- or herself in age-level tasks.
Extrinsic Motivation: Although they are rarer than believers in "the hurried child" syndrome would have it, there are parents and teachers who have made the mistake of setting up systems of rewards or punishments for every conceivable achievement or behavior. Gifted children whose abilities have been shaped by ever-increasing contingencies and who have been pressured into performing for points, grades, and awards soon lose a sense of ownership of their talents. An overemphasis on rewards can lead to less creative, more automatic behavior. A gifted child can develop perfectionistic behavior when he or she responds to all situations as an opportunity to gain "points." Although lacking in creativity, the work of the gifted perfectionist is always precise, correct, and full of detail in order to get the hoped-for reward. Gifted perfectionists generalize their perfectionism to relationships, hobbies, and even religion so that they seem to be trying to get an "A" in marriage, leisure, or spirituality.

Strategies for Change
Miriam Adderholt-Elliott, in her book Perfectionism: What's So Bad about Being Good (1989), offered many helpful explanations for the origins of perfectionism in gifted children and ways of bringing about change. A program of behavior change for gifted perfectionists, dubbed by one of our clients "Slob for a Week," is one of my favorite techniques arising from the Guidance Laboratory for Gifted and Talented. By teaching perfectionists how to role play a "slob," the technique may help them to undo some of their more rigid behaviors; to empathize with the plight of non-perfectionists; and to learn indirectly the value of setting priorities on tasks. When guided with the right proportion of humor and seriousness, this technique can help the perfectionist to gain some new insights into his or her habits. In addition, many perfectionists learn that when they are able to give up their obsession with precision, details, and outside evaluation, they are better able to focus their energies on issues of real concern to them. One client who used the technique said, "When I gave up being perfect I rediscovered excellence in the thing I really care about-my creative writing." Other approaches to perfectionism include rational-emotive therapy (RET) (Ellis & Harper, 1975) and Gestalt therapy (Perls et al., 1951). RET attacks the irrational belief that one must be perfect in all things at all times and replaces it with more logical beliefs. Gestalt therapy "loosens" rigid, compulsive behaviors through humorous frustrations of the client's attempts to be the "perfect client."

Problems in Relationships
What kinds of problems in relationships are unique to gifted and talented individuals`? Although gifted people experience the same societal expectations as other men and women, they do have special problems in friendships and intimate relationships that are related to their special talents. Terman and Oden (1935) found that the majority of gifted children and adolescents were well adjusted and popular with their classmates. Although the Terman subjects married later than average Americans, they tended to have very stable marriages and well-adjusted families. Hollingworth (1926) found that the great differences in intellect between highly gifted and average peers created difficulty in establishing friendships for this group. Kaufmann (1981), who also studied the highly gifted (the Presidential Scholars) found that they often received less recognition than their less gifted peers. She also found that Presidential Scholars married very late compared to the national average, and were virtually childless. Problems in relationships among the gifted may be related to several issues.

Peer Relationships: Webb et al. (1982) reviewed the major problems gifted and talented students have in peer relationships. Many difficulties gifted students have in peer relationships relate to their uneven development. Often, gifted young people's intellectual development outstrips that of their same-age peers to the point where they become "group deviants": they are simply too different intellectually to be accepted by their age-mates. Webb et al. suggested that gifted children need several different peer groups that fit their different physical, intellectual, and social levels of development. They also pointed out that what adults consider to be satisfactory peer relationships may be very different from what the gifted child considers to be satisfactory. Pressuring gifted children to "fit in" makes them feel as if they must hide their gifts and their true selves. Too often, adults assume that a gifted child lacks social skills when the actual case is that the child has social skills, but chooses not to use them.

Intimate Relationships: Some difficulties in intimate relationships for the gifted are simply the result of demographics. Availability of appropriate partners becomes more problematic the greater the intelligence level or the rarer the talent. In American society, men tend to marry their intellectual equals or their intellectual inferiors. As a result, there may be fewer gifted men available for gifted women. Another perspective is that if shared interests and values are an important basis of marriage, gifted men and women may have to search longer for partners who share their unusual or unique interests and possibly more intellectually oriented values. Problems in intimate relationships for gifted people also have their roots in childhood socialization and expectations. Gifted girls, in particular, receive mixed messages about relationships. Until adolescence, they are generally rewarded primarily for achievement behaviors. As adolescence approaches, however, girls are rewarded more for their success in relationships and less for success in the classroom (Kerr, 1985). Therefore, many gifted young women become conflicted, unsure as to whether relationship goals or academic goals should be primary. Gifted young men also seem to respond to their socialization with unrealistic expectations; despite the overwhelming number of women entering and staying in the job market, a majority of gifted young men don't want their future wives to work (Fox, 1976). Male-female stereotypes; which are harmful to people in general, may be very harmful to gifted young men and women whose dreams for themselves, and whose needs in relationships don't conform to social norms for men and women. Finally, gifted people experience problems in relationships when they generalize achievement-oriented behavior to relationships. That is, when a gifted individual evaluates and selects partners in terms of which one will seem to others to be the greatest achievement, problems result. Individuals who generalize achievement-oriented behaviors need help in learning to separate accomplishment from intimacy. Webb et al. (1982) and Kerr (1985) provided a number of suggestions for strategies for guiding gifted young people in the area of relationships. At the Counseling Laboratory for Talent Development, the Role-Stripping exercise was modified to help gifted students examine the roles and relationships that hold the greatest significance for them. By setting priorities to their roles, and processing the results, gifted students are able to explore the meaning of their relationships and to receive counseling with regard to conflicts.

It must be remembered that gifted individuals encounter all the psychological disorders experienced by the general population. Whether the incidence of psychological adjustment problems is higher or lower among the gifted than among the general population is still a subject of much debate. Nevertheless, common problems such as depression and anxiety among gifted clients should never be considered separately from giftedness. It is often said that a child is a child first, and then gifted; but this misses the mark in that intellectual giftedness and its attendant isolation and stresses are so often part of the problem. Delisle (1986) showed the dangers of ignoring the stresses of giftedness in his essay on suicide and the gifted. Therefore, the counselor who wishes to help the gifted must first make a sincere effort to understand the special characteristics of that population. He or she must be willing to try creative strategies for intervening in the concerns of gifted young people. An understanding of the needs of the gifted and talented throughout the life span, together with a readiness to synthesize new approaches, makes it possible to help bright young people fulfill their promise.

ASSIGNMENT 6: Due September 28: Internship Update

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