Psychology of Gifted Adults, Part 1

in Gifted

Adults who have been called Gifted at some point in their lives often have only a vague sense of what comprises this aspect of their identity, and how it may have influenced their psychosocial development throughout their lifetime. In a series of three webcasts, I explore various facets of psychosocial development for Gifted individuals, and how these experiences can impact one’s sense of identity, and ultimately, one’s happiness. The majority of the video in these webcasts is drawn from a presentation originally given in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in July 2008, at the 50th anniversary reunion for the Louisiana Governor’s Program for Gifted Children (GPGC); and thus has a live interactive quality with that specific audience.

In the first webcast of the series (Part 1), available on this page, I present an overview of all three webcasts, some disclaimers and clarifications about the scope to be addressed, and provide some suggestions about the usefulness of psychology in general, and how that relates to Giftedness. I then present relevant components of three different theories of psychology and development (Erikson, Debrowski, and Linehan) which form the basis for information presented in the other webcasts in this series. Throughout, the theme of identify is explored in terms of these theories of psychology, from the perspective that through self-reflection the unique way in which Giftedness manifests in each individual can be incorporated as part of one’s identity. This recognition and integration can then lead to greater self-awareness, productivity, and happiness.

The second webcast in this series (Part 2) presents information about aspects of Giftedness other than intellectual prowess: emotional implications, social impact, formation of identity, male/female differences, etc. In the third webcast (part 3) I expand on Giftedness in the later stages of the lifespan, particularly the adult and elder years. This includes challenges for the Gifted person in the workplace, different ways Giftedness can manifest, and coping strategies often employed by Gifted individuals.
The second and third parts of this series are available as independently-downloadable webcasts, on other pages you will find in this section of the site. A summary of the entire presentation is included in part 3, along with a list of references and cited sources, including indications of where to find complete versions of the videos from which excerpts have been included.

While these presentations are based on research specific to the Gifted population, the information may be relevant to different degrees for anyone ranked in the top 10% of the population, in terms of intelligence. All original materials presented here are copywritten by Cal J Domingue, MFT, and should not be re-used or re-posted without express written permission from the author.

Video – Part One