Counseling for Gifted Kids and Adults

Specializing In Giftedness

At TheraThrive, we specialize in counseling gifted adults, teens and children. Our Clinical Director, Dr. Grace Malonai, has lived in the world of giftedness her entire life, has studied it, and has conducted research on gifted parents (Gifted Identity Project). We understand the quirky natures, the immense talent, and the many challenges associated with giftedness. Let us help you become more at ease with your gifted traits, including high sensitivity,  overexcitabilities and 2e issues (twice exceptional), whether you are a gifted adult who needs support and understanding, a parent seeking help, or just curious for more information.

Gifted Drive, Gifted Intensity

Gifted people often have a deep, inner need to make a difference. This need is so deep and so large that it can take over one’s thoughts, shape one’s values, and create a drive that does not quit. Gifted people also tend to feel intensely—so intensely that they can get lost in their feelings, or delve so deep into particular sensations that it is hard to see something else, the larger picture. This intensity can be both wonderful and extremely painful.  Likewise, perfectionism is a trait commonly associated with giftedness.

Gifted teen with his mother

There Is a Difference

Counseling that is specifically designed for gifted, highly sensitive or exceptionally bright children, teens or adults is different than typical counseling because the foundations beneath the problems are different.


  • Did you find out your child is gifted and you need help?
  • Is your child struggling in school, even though she or he is very smart?
  • Does your child have asynchronous development, where he or she seems much older in some aspects and much younger in others?
  • Does your child or teen worry excessively, or is he depressed about matters that seem well beyond his years?
  • Is your child extremely sensitive, reactive or intense?
Gifted teen

Gifted, But Not Feeling It

Gifted children, teens and adults often dumb down, which means they hold back or dim down their brightness in order to better fit in at school or social situations. This might not even a conscious decision, because it can be an adaptive instinct, an unconsciously crafted tool for the purpose of getting along easier in a world where you feel different. Gifted people sometimes do this so well, or for so long, that they no longer believe they are smart, and they don’t feel smart.

Thrive In a Supportive Environment

Imagine feeling that special, competent feeling that comes with understanding and meeting the needs of your gifted child or teen—or yourself! When we work with gifted children, teens and adults, we are careful not to make assumptions about people just because they are gifted. We see our role as working collaboratively with you, so that together we come to understand underlying problems, and explore potential needed tools, skills and solutions. Once identified, we practice these in a safe and caring environment. For children, therapy usually involves play, art, or music for processing emotions, which can help them learn to identify and express feelings in meaningful, healthy and safe ways. The guidance and supportive environment we provide is ideal for learning positive coping skills. Gifted teens and adults find counseling to be a safe and accepting place for self-expression, being real, and to learn and practice self-management techniques, communication and social skills, or whatever else is needed. Allow yourself the opportunity to talk openly with a well-informed, supportive, experienced counselor who really gets gifted. Working with gifted families is our passion, and we would love to work with you!

Insight and Perfectionism

Gifted children and adults sometimes take their perfectionist ideals to a level that is so high, it might be impossible to attain. That is how come gifted people tend to be so hard on themselves (and perhaps they can be hard on others as well). In general, gifted people of all ages, can be incredibly insightful, and benefit greatly from a counselor who understands giftedness, and who strives to understand them for who they are. Everyone deserves to thrive.


Healing, a sense of freedom, relief, lightness—these are how gifted people often explain how they feel when they come to better understand themselves fully and holistically. Learning about your own traits, strengths and challenges, and aspects of giftedness, as well breaking free from limited or unrealistic expectations, can open up your world—or your child’s or teen’s—to greater self-assuredness and freedom to be really you.

Gifted girl


There are many differences between gifted development and typical development, because the neurological development is different. This is sometimes called neuro-atypical development. (Read more about giftedness and gifted traits)