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There are many facets to intelligence. The term “gifted” refers to children (or adults) who have an aptitude for intelligence and reasoning significantly higher than the norm. Typically, they must be 2 standard deviations above the norm to meet criteria on the full scale of a standardized intelligence test such as the Weschler or the Stanford-Binet tests. However, there are many forms of “giftedness”, and children can be gifted in areas such as: artistic abilities, kinesthetic (physical) abilities, intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, logical- mathematical abilities, verbal abilities, musical talents, naturalistic, visual spatial, just to name some. Some gifted children are what we call twice exceptional, meaning, despite their giftedness, they have a weakness or learning disability in one area or more of functioning. Every human is individual. It is the combination of our strengths and weaknesses that make us who we are. By understanding these strengths and weaknesses, we can find the best educational and emotional environment for them so that they maximize their potential.

Some qualities of gifted children include (but are not limited to):

  • Need for constant stimulation
  • Need to explore things in detail and depth
  • Love to learn
  • Early reading or math skills
  • Always asking “Why?”
  • Ability to perform above grade level on tasks
  • Mature sense of humor
  • Imaginative and creative
  • A good problem solver
  • Highly verbal; large vocabulary
  • Emotionally sensitive
  • High achieving and perfectionistic
  • Existential questioning
  • May get bored in school, underachieving
  • Learn new material fast
  • High energy


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Here are some common signs and symptoms associated with PTSD:

1. Intrusive Thoughts and Memories: Recurrent, distressing memories, flashbacks, or nightmares related to the traumatic event. The person may feel as though they are reliving the experience.

2. Avoidance Behaviors: Efforts to avoid reminders or triggers associated with the trauma. This may include avoiding certain places, activities, or conversations that remind them of the traumatic event.

3. Negative Changes in Mood and Thinking: Persistent negative thoughts, distorted beliefs about oneself or the world, persistent negative emotions such as fear, guilt, shame, or anger. The person may also experience a decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities and a sense of detachment from others.

4. Hyperarousal Symptoms: Feeling constantly on edge, easily startled, and having difficulty sleeping. This may manifest as irritability, hypervigilance, or an exaggerated startle response.

5. Emotional and Physiological Reactivity: Strong emotional reactions to reminders of the trauma, which may include intense fear, anxiety, or panic attacks. Physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, or trembling may also occur.

6. Cognitive and Memory Difficulties: Trouble concentrating, experiencing memory lapses, or difficulties with decision-making. The individual may have difficulty remembering important aspects of the traumatic event.

7. Changes in Relationships and Social Withdrawal: Avoiding social interactions, feeling detached from loved ones, or experiencing difficulties in maintaining close relationships due to emotional numbness or a fear of being vulnerable.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can vary in intensity and duration from person to person. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms after a traumatic event, it is advisable to seek professional help from a mental health provider who can conduct a thorough evaluation and provide appropriate support and treatment.


We think in images. Because of this, we often do not finish one train of thought before moving to the next (we already know what we are thinking, right?). Because of this, verbally articulating or processing or feelings and events, has been proven to help most people, regardless of with whom it is done. It helps the client organize his thoughts and feelings, and allows him to make sense of what he is thinking so that he may act accordingly. So, in some ways, “yes” therapy is like talking to a friend…. If your friends keep the focus on you, are unbiased, supportive, and very patient, as you discuss your issues for 50 minutes… then it is similar to therapy, but it is not the same.

The difference is that through the dynamic of the therapeutic relationship, therapy maintains focus on you. Therapists are professionally and specifically trained in helping you find and discover patterns in your life, how these patterns affect you, and how you can find direction and purpose to change those patterns. We support and encourage you. We help you identify your strengths to overcome difficulties, and help you develop coping skills. We teach scientifically backed methods to help you manage emotions, reframe cognitions, and better understand yourself. Because we are unbiased and an “outsider” to your life, it is sometimes easier to openly and honestly process your issues, without fear of being judged.

Examining and understanding how both painful and positive experiences have affected us helps us see patterns, how we relate to the world, and shapes who we are. If there are things we want to change, the best place to start is by looking at our history. Having said that, as adults, our lives are ultimately OUR responsibility and what we choose to do and how we choose to do it is all on us. The first step in this process is gaining awareness. The next is assuming responsibility and developing effective coping and problem solving skills. The last and most important step is practicing these newly learned behaviors and attitudes. These steps, although difficult, give us a sense of ownership of ourselves and empower us to self- actualize.

There are different schools of thought in Psychology offering various techniques and styles. Some therapies work by breaking down your defenses to rebuild them, while others modify skills and emotional tools that we already have. I believe that we all have defenses that we have built to protect our egos, and that those defenses have worked for us up until a certain point. When we decide that something isn’t working, therapy is a good place to develop a new skill. Let’s think that each defense mechanism is a brick in a wall. Instead of breaking the whole wall down at once, I believe that one brick can be taken down and replaced at a time, or just modified slightly for a better overall fit. That way, the strength of the wall is not compromised while fixing the areas that need reinforcement. For this reason, for me, focusing on your strengths is of utmost importance in the therapeutic process. Usually, by capitalizing on your strengths you can overcome weaknesses and make the changes you desire as you are ready.

In most cases this is totally irrelevant because it is not what the therapist wants that matters. Rather, it is what the client wants that is the topic of therapy. However, as therapists, we are trained to understand that things are not linear, nor always black or white. Often, unhealthy patterns emerge and become ingrained in families or couples, or within an individual. We understand that there are different perspectives. Confrontation (gentle prompts that reveal inconsistencies, patterns or discrepancies in behavior and values) is a normal part of the therapeutic process, one that is invaluable to the growth of the client. Once rapport is established, most clients will understand that the therapist is not judging, rather encouraging accountability and promoting insight.

Simply put, no. Not everyone can benefit from therapy. The purpose of therapy is to help the client better understand herself, find patterns that she wants to change, to gain ego strength and improve problem solving. This assumes that the client is willing to take responsibility for her life and wants to improve. This accounts for the vast majority of people seeking therapy. However, in some cases, such as those who are in therapy unwillingly or those with significant personality disorders, the motivation and desire to assume responsibility for current issues is missing. This prohibits change. In some studies, it has been shown to exacerbate symptoms and pathology by teaching “desired” responses in these pathologies (Millon, Simonsen, and Birket-Smith).

However, most people choosing to engage in the therapeutic process benefit from it and feel that it is a positive experience. Since “rapport between therapist and client” is of utmost importance, I always recommend changing therapists if you are not happy. Sometimes simple things such as culture, language barriers, or personality style affect the therapeutic process. There are many psychologists in the area and I usually have many others that I can recommend if the “fit” is not right. Finding the right therapist is a personal yet important decision.