The Gifted Identity Formation Model: In search of the gifted identity, from abstract concept to workable counseling constructs

Knowing one’s giftedness and having a well-developed sense of identity as a gifted person are crucial for the development of the self. Many gifted people struggle with their giftedness, what it means to be gifted and how to develop that potential because there are few models available to assist in the identity development and counseling of gifted people. Moreover, identity itself is often viewed as an abstract concept, making the task of bridging this concept to pragmatic applications highly challenging.
The Gifted Identity Formation Model, presented here, helps bridge the theoretical with the practical, includes identity and its formation as crucial variables in the counseling process and uses identity as the baseline for intervention. The model aids with assessment and helps deliver counseling related interventions that explore and strengthen the identity and identity formation of gifted people, in turn enhancing the health and development of the self.

Bright Star — Black Sky: A Phenomenological Study of Depression as a Window Into the Psyche of the Gifted Adolescent

This qualitative study investigated the lived experience of the depressive state of ten gifted adolescents. In-depth unstructured interviews were conducted, transcribed and analyzed to reveal the essence, structure and meaning of the depressive state for each of the subjects. The analysis revealed a complex stratum of influences fueling the depressive experience. At the core of the experience is the gifted teen’s absolute need for knowledge forcommunion and for expression. The analysis revealed that the gifted adolescent is at risk for varying degrees of depression when any or all of these needs are stymied. In particular, meeting communion needs – for meaningful spiritual and emotional exchange – proved problematic for the gifted teen who is often isolated because of extraordinary innate cognitive and emotional complexity. The results from this study have strong implications for specific developmental support and for appropriate therapeutic intervention.

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