By Niña Abonal, MA, Program Manager
Each year during the month of May, organizations like National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health America, raise awareness and highlight the importance of mental health through local events, media, and health screenings. The unfortunate reality is there is a growing number of Americans who are living with mental illness or have been impacted by trauma. This, in turn, can significantly affect their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Mental health organizations, like NAMI, work to support, educate, and advocate for policies that assist children, families, and communities.
As an organization, IEA is also dedicated to serving the holistic development and needs of gifted youth by recognizing that they have important aspects of themselves, including intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical. These unique facets of gifted youth must be met for them to find balance in their lives and actualize their full potential. We know that some of these young people are more vulnerable to facing social and emotional challenges that stem from being gifted and trying to navigate a world that doesn’t readily accept or understand them.
In support of National Mental Health Month and to acknowledge the importance of mental well-being among our gifted youth, we’ve compiled a list of mental health professionals and organizations who understand and have experience working with gifted families and communities.
Licensed and SENG-certified psychologist, Dr. Vula Baliotis, is based out of the Los Angeles area and specializes in working with gifted, creative, and highly sensitive youth and their parents. She offers psychotherapy and consultation for children and parents and assessment for twice exceptionality, learning disabilities, and emotional, social, or behavioral difficulties.
CFC utilizes a connection-based model that provides more comprehensive services for families, with independent professionals ranging from psychotherapy to parent education to neuropsychological assessments, from physical health and educational therapy to occupational therapy, and more.
The Center for the Gifted, located in Philadelphia and led by Dr. Suzanne Schneider, was established in 1983 to meet the needs of gifted people of all ages. Services include counseling and psychotherapy, gifted identification, vocational interest testing and guidance, and workshops and publications focusing on the needs of the gifted population.
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. They work to deliver the highest standard of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals, and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most.
Gloria Sandford MA, LMHC specializes in Marriage and Family Therapy and has worked with a variety of issues concerning adults, children, marital issues, families, and support groups. She is a professional member and trained Parent Facilitator of and a Certified Lifespan Integration therapist.
The Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted provides psychotherapy and educational consulting to support the overall development of exceptionally and profoundly gifted people. Located in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, their practice implements the Integral Practice for the Gifted model which addresses all aspects of the gifted individual: intellectual, emotional, moral, spiritual, social and physical.
Gunn Psychological Services is a group of professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality psychological services and referrals, including developmental, psychoeducational, and intellectual giftedness assessments, as well as individual, family, couples and group therapy.
Linda Powers-Leviton is a licensed Marriage, Family and Child therapist who specializes in counseling for the gifted. Since 1974, she has developed and taught programs to help parents and educators best reach children with learning and emotional challenges. Her expertise with the gifted population, particularly twice-exceptional youth, has prepared her to offer a unique specialized program to address the needs of this community.
As a clinical psychologist in practice for over 30 years, Dr. Post specializes in gifted adults and adolescents. Through private practice, she offers individual, couples, family and group therapy for adults and adolescents; consultation and supervision for treatment professionals; and educational consultation services for gifted children and adolescents.
Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)
SENG is a national organization which seeks to inform gifted individuals, their families, and the professionals who work with them, about the unique social and emotional needs of gifted persons. SENG supports programs that foster in gifted individuals the mental health and social competence necessary for them to be free to choose ways to develop and express their abilities and talents fully.
Summit Center provides educational and psychological assessments, consultation, and treatment for children, their parents, and families. Summit works with all kids – including those who are gifted, those with learning challenges, and those who are twice-exceptional.
Terry Bradley is a gifted education consultant specializing in the social and emotional aspects of giftedness. Her services include a full-day workshop training for school personnel and mental health professionals on facilitating discussion groups for gifted K-12 students; a professional development training on the affective needs of the gifted; and a presentation for parents on what to know when raising gifted youth.
Tyler Institute provides high-quality mental health services by qualified professionals to children, adolescents, adults and families. Anne Tyler, its founder, is devoted to helping children, adolescents, families and adults work through mental health challenges in order to live up to their potential and manifest their talents and strengths in a more vibrant way in everyday life.
Dr. Patricia Gatto-Walden, Ph.D
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Patty has provided individual, couple, family, and group counseling to gifted and profoundly gifted individuals across the life span, from very young children to people in their elder years. Her therapeutic orientation is holistic with a relationship focus.
For additional resources, visit our online Gifted Resource Center (GRC) which contains an ever-growing and robust listing of over 800 resources appropriate for gifted learners from pre-k through high school.
Want to share a resource? Email GRC@educationaladvancement.org or comment below!