Session 3

Clinical Presentations and Diagnosis of Gifted Individuals

Joanna Haase, Ph.D., MFT

This session will focus on how the unique emotional and psychological issues common to

gifted individuals are frequently misunderstood, mis-diagnosed and ultimately mistreated.

Throughout this session, participants will understand the intersection of gifted “characteristics”

and psycho-pathology and how it affects both diagnosis and treatment strategies. Cultural

interpretation of gifted “characteristics” will also be discussed with special consideration given

to how those interpretations can be especially detrimental to English language learners (ELL)

and underserved populations.

Building on session 1, we will explore how Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration

along with an understanding of “super-stimulabilities” can be used to help conceptualize the

gifted experience, and how that experience can lead to existential depression, clinically

significant anxiety disorders, and/or eating disorders at very young age.

With a more comprehensive understanding of Dabrowski in mind, this session will then turn

its focus to helping the clinician understand the differences between what are often thought to

be over-excitabilities (super-stimulabilities) by those familiar with giftedness, actual

psychological disorders (i.e. ADHD and ODD) and symptoms and signs of twice exceptionality

(individuals who are both gifted and have a learning disability). We will also discuss how

sensory processing disorders, auditory processing disorders and visual processing disorders