Some employers like creative, enthusiastic employees. A gifted person can be a major source of inspiration within his or her environment. Other employers prefer adjusted, methodical employees, leaving little room for the gifted to be ‘different.’ Nauta & Ronner Photo: LAX by Lynne Azpeitia

What's terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.  Doris Lessing

What's terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.
Doris Lessing

One member of our group, Lynne Azpeitia, is a psychotherapist and coach who specializes in working with gifted and creative adults, When she gives her feedback, we all listen intently because she’ll point out to us certain behaviors we are exhibiting that are typical of gifted people.
— Chellie Campbell
The greatest compliment that was ever paid to me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.
— Thoreau

True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents.
John W. Gardner

A leader’s job is to help people have a vision of their potential.
— John Porter

Email Lynne or give her a call to have a conversation about the benefits of Coaching or Therapy for Gifted Adults

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Carl Jung

The sun teaches to all things that grow their longing for the light. But it is night that raises them to the stars.
— Khalil Gibran
Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down.
— Kobi Yamada

The Unique Challenges of Gifted & Creative Adults

Gifted Adult Challenges, Problems & Difficulties

An article by Lynne Azpeitia

Gifted, talented and creative adults face unique challenges, problems and difficulties while living their lives because  of their high intelligence, overexcitabilities and multiple abilities. 

Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults need:

  • multiple sources of stimulation for their curiosity, talents and abilities

  • a safe environment in which they can fully be themselves

  • to feel understood, accepted, respected and valued by others

  • to understand themselves, their needs and their gifts

  • to be involved intellectually, emotionally, artistically with others who think, feel and act as they do

  • a variety of outlets for the expression of their interests, talents and abilities

  • to have and build supportive connections

  • to develop ways to further personal, professional and creative growth and development

  • to identify, understand and meet their intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs throughout their lives

  • to understand the problems and challenges they face when their intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs are not identified, understood or met adequately.

When the intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs of Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults are denied or are not identified, understood or adequately met, gifted adults are at high risk for a variety of personal, relationship and career challenges, problems and difficulties.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller

When the daily lives and relationships of gifted adults do not include enough opportunities for the utilization of their multidimensional gifts, talents and abilities, Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults will experience a variety of ongoing personal, relationship and career challenges, problems and difficulties.

Life persists in the vulnerable, the sensitive-they carry it on. The invulnerable, the too heavily armored, perish. Elizabeth Taylor

When the conditions listed above do not exist, gifted adults will also suffer greatly. 

They will most likely experience high levels of stress, anxiety, agitation, depression and depletion. Major bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings are also not uncommon.

Helping professionals who are not informed about giftedness and the specialized needs and experience of the gifted can make, and have made, difficult and challenging situations even more stressful for gifted adults.

Books For & About Gifted Adults for Gifted Adults & Helping Professionals

Because the developmental trajectory of gifted and creative adults follows a different pattern than that which occurs in the general population therapists, coaches and helping professionals need specialized learning and training to adequately meet the needs of gifted adults who seek out their help and expertise.

When Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults receive advice and services that are appropriate for the general population, their condition and symptoms worsen, they do not improve and oftentimes they will be blamed or blame themselves for their worsening condition or lack of improvement. 

Contact Lynne About Her Services for Gifted Adults

Advanced and asynchronous development, overexcitabilities and multipotentiality all require specialized knowledge, interaction and intervention for a successful outcome.

It is important for gifted and creative adults to be supported and helped by coaches, therapists and others who are genuinely knowledgeable about giftedness and how to interact with gifted people or by those who are willing to learn.

 It is also important that the professional working with a gifted person be in the same IQ range because every 10 to 15 IQ points is a different world. 

If the IQ is more than 30 points apart, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to share the same perceptual and processing perspective and experience—this will then create even more problems and difficulties.

When gifted, talented and creative adults are involved intellectually, emotionally, or artistically with others who think and act as they do, have a safe and understanding environment in which they can fully be themselves, and have supportive connections their sense of well-being, happiness and self esteem increase--so does their creativity and productivity.

Here are many of the books I recommend to my gifted clients.

Gifted talented and creative adults and others need to know and understand that unless gifted adults can relate to, believe in or love the activities they are engaged in, they will

  • most likely lose their equilibrium

  • become off balance physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.        

  • have nagging doubts about themselves, their abilities and their competencies

  • engage in self blame and self doubt

  • overwork and have a tendency to burn out

  • not enjoy life, work or relating

  • have a tendency to isolate themselves when their usual practice would be to be more social

  • suffer from feelings of not doing enough or being enough

  • escape into other activities but experience no relief from doing so.

Gifted, talented and creative adults are a precious resource and need to learn about themselves and their specialized needs and requirements—and find ways to fulfill them adequately.

I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.   Frances Willard

There are many ways gifted and creative adults can learn about meeting their needs, psychotherapy, coaching, reading, gifted groups and classes, internet, and many others. However, without the right education, help and support in this area many gifted, talented and creative adults will continue to struggle and suffer needlessly.

Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults need to identify, understand and meet their intellectual, creative, social and emotional needs—and the world will be a better and much happier place for all.

Imagine, for a moment, a world where Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults and their specialized needs are understood, respected, valued and included.

That’s a world I’m looking forward to. How about you?

Lynne Azpeitia, MFT
3025 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404 

Encouraging, supporting and guiding gifted adults to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.

To schedule a session, begin coaching or arrange a free phone consultation, Email Lynne or call 310-828-7121

Contact Lynne About Coaching & Counseling Services for Gifted Adults

Coaching, Counseling & Consulting Services Also Available by Phone & Skype

Interested in reading more? Click here for books for Gifted Adults


Lynne Azpeitia 
 The Gifted Adult Coach

If you are only now beginning to recognize your giftedness, you may find yourself trapped between two identities: the ordinary self that habitually and unquestioningly yields to the expectations of others, and the gifted self that must have time and freedom to devote to your talents.
— Mary Rocamora

For me, every day is a new thing. I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did. And I get the sweats. I go in and start working, I'm not sure where I'm going. If I knew where I was going I wouldn't do it. Frank Gehry

To schedule a session or arrange a free phone consultation, Email Lynne or call 310-828-7121

Sometimes gifted individuals hide who they really are in order to better fit in, and thus (unfortunately) underachievement and “dumbing down” are common tactics of this population. It can take tremendous energy to open up and be yourself in a world that appears to prefer your camouflage to your real skin. I say, be bold, be brave—and be yourself!
— Gifted Identity Project
Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Mark Twain

Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Mark Twain

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.
— Linda Hogan
For whatever reason, intellectually gifted children are, more often than not, held back in their learning to conform to the pace of other children in their class. In Australia the practice is so explicitly recognized that It even has a special name: “cutting down the tall poppies”.
— Miraca Gross

Understanding Very, Very Smart People
Samuel Kohlenberg, LPC
Being smart is really hard. There may be people with high IQs who have an easy time in life; relationships are simple, work and school are a breeze, and they long ago addressed the existentialist questions that some of us might carry with us until the very end. I wish them well, and what follows is not about them.
...Trying is a skill. If you’re so smart, why aren’t work and school easy all of the time? If you have had a lifetime of being able to intuit your way through school or work, it also means that you have a lifetime of not cultivating the skill of tryingMore...

Giftedness is Heart & Soul
Annemarie Roeper

The traditional model of education tends to look at human beings as basically driven by cognition. It focuses more on that which is testable, on that which can be learned and reproduced. It sees the human being primarily as rational and logical. It sees education as a linear process leading to achievement. It sees giftedness as high achievement and the highly gifted as the highest achievers. An alternative model of education called, "Self Actualization and Interdependence" (SAI), sees education as a global, all-encompassing process of growth. It sees giftedness in an emotional context in which the cognitive is included. This perspective changes every aspect of education including the goal of education, assessment, curriculum and community structure, and is reflected in the view of the highly gifted.…More

Be Yourself, Get on With It
Steve Rapson
There are four elements to a singer/songwriter's act: Songwriting, Singing, Playing, & Everything Else. You know what the first three are. Everything Else is what most performers neglect. It's part of your act that can make up for shortfalls in the other three. Everything Else is what an audience sees and hears the moment you come in to view or are announced. It is your gait as you walk to the stage, how you carry yourself, where you look, who you look at, the expression on your face. The ease, or lack thereof, with which you.....

Schopenhauer on What Makes a Genius and the Crucial Difference Between Talent and Genius Maria Popova                                         Schopenhauer’s central premise is that talent achieves what others cannot achieve, whereas genius achieves what others cannot imagine. This vision of a different order, he argues, is what sets geniuses apart from mere mortals, and it arises from a superior capacity for contemplation that leads the genius to transcend the smallness of the ego and enter the infinite world of ideas. More...

Brains on Fire: The Multinodality of Gifted Thinkers
Brock Eide and Fernette Eide

There is the abundant available evidence that gifted children show enhanced sensory activation and awareness. Gifted brains are essentially "hyper-sensitive," and can be rendered even more so through training. Not only are the initial impressions especially strong, but also the later recollections are often unusually intense or vivid. Because vivid initial impressions correlate with better recollection, gifted brains are also characterized by increased memory efficiency and capacity. These memories are not only especially intense and enduring memories, but they are also frequently characterized by multimodality, involving memory areas that store many different types of memories, such as personal associations, different sensory modalities like color, sound, smell, or visual images, or verbal or factual impressions. This multimodality means that gifted thinkers often make connections in ways other people don't. They frequently have special abilities in associational thinking (including analogy and metaphor) and in analytical or organizational skills (through which diverse associations are understood and systematized). More...

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and The Importance of Imagination 
J.K. Rowling
....Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew......More

Chellie Campbell
Once a month, I hold a Money Mastery Network mastermind group...they are all incredibly talented, smart, creative entrepreneurs as well as loving, kind, and caring friends. I’ve run this group for probably 15 years or so, and people tend to stay for years at a time. Since I don’t take more than 12 people, I always have a waiting list. One meeting, Lynne and Sandra were talking about how they waited for their space for a long time, and when the call came “there’s a space if you want it” they jumped at it. Whoever is participating in the group at any particular time, it is always magical. The deep love and support we have for each other allows each member to be completely authentic, share freely from the well of their creativity, work out problems, cry over tragedies, and get the most intelligent, loving feedback imaginable...More

Managing the Blessing & Burden of Being A Gifted, Talented & Creative Adult
Lynne Azpeitia
"Sometimes when you climb a mountain, the oxygen is a little thin.”

Being a Gifted, Talented, and/or Creative adult can be a challenge. There are so many things that you want to do (and are capable of doing) that it can be overwhelming to figure out what to focus on first…
And there’s also the trouble of dealing with people who are jealous and don’t really understand you, which can lead to even more challenges in relationships or at the workplace. If this is you and you’ve been going through a season of struggle, support is on the way. There are healers who have trained their entire careers to be there for you when times get tough. Our guest today is one of them. Lynne Azpeitia joins us to talk about how to create a focused, balanced, and goal-oriented daily routine that puts Self-Appreciation at the forefront, and is created with your unique needs in mind. Join us for some love, laughs, and “ah-ha” moments as we explore how you can "Manage the Blessing and Burden of Being a Gifted, Talented, and/or Creative Adult". More…


Developing Personal Talent: Decisionmaking & Self-Regulation
Sydney Moon
Two key skills for personal talent are decisionmaking and self-regulation.  Personal talent, defined as an “exceptional ability to select and attain difficult goals that fit one’s interests, abilities, values, and contexts,” may help explain these puzzling phenomena. Individuals with personal talent know themselves well, make good decisions, and have the skills needed to accomplish their goals. They are resilient and self-disciplined individuals who have developed high levels of context-specific personal talent, which allows them to balance multiple, competing, challenging goals such as working in a demanding profession while successfully parenting, training for a triathlon, or pursuing a hobby...More

The Writing Problems of Visual Thinkers
Gerald Grow

Visual thinkers have difficulty organizing expository prose because their preferred mode of thought is fundamentally different from the organization of expository prose. Prose is organized by story, focus, sequence, drama, and analysis -- none of which is native to the visual thinker. The writing of a visual thinker is like a map of all the possibilities; a verbal thinker writes like a guided tour …More

An Interview with Dr. Mark Goulston: Listening to Gifted Children and Adolescents 

Question by Michael Shaughnessy: Mark, as a psychiatrist, what challenges do you encounter when working with gifted children?
Answer by Mark Goulston: Gifted children have a great deal of trouble tolerating boredom, repetitiveness and lack of challenge. They also often have trouble paying attention to something that they don’t think they’ll need in their future if they have a clear idea of what they want to do when they get older, based on their gifts.
Question: What do you see as their particular social and emotional needs? Answer: They often have trouble listening to people who are not as quick, smart and bright as they are or who are talking about things that don’t interest them. As a result they can appear distracted, impatient or irritable when put in those situations. Such behavior and attitudes are nearly always seen as being negative by teachers and other adults. More