ABOUT JEN’S WORK
Jennifer is a psychologist, coach, mentor & trainer who provides courses, assessments, and personal and professional development guidance for gifted people and the professionals who support them. She is the founding director of InterGifted – a worldwide personal and social development community. Her work is dedicated to raising awareness about giftedness, training professionals who support gifted people, and helping gifted individuals better understand their unique minds through assessments, education and personal development. She writes on these topics for Rediscovering Yourself’s blog, and InterGifted’s blog. You can also learn about her work on healing gifted trauma via her podcast Conversations on Gifted Trauma. Since 2018, she has added ecological self-awareness and climate response advocacy to her areas of specialty, which you can learn about and get involved in via her project I Heart Earth.
Jennifer’s studies and contributions have followed the traditionally gifted non-linear path. Originally trained in psychology, classical music, and coaching in the U.S. (Master in Counseling, Bachelor in Music and Psychology, Diploma in Life Coaching), she decided to carve out a non-conventional path, coming to settle (for now) in Europe, first Italy and now Switzerland with her husband. She has worked in business, entrepreneurship, teaching, coaching and guidance in different ways since her early 20’s. Her work and reflections have been highly influenced by her mentors and the teachings of masters of various disciplines, among others the Dalai Lama, David R. Hawkins, Eckhart Tolle, Erich Fromm, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Daniel Kahneman, David Chalmers, and Kazimierz Dabrowski.
In 2015, Jen founded InterGifted in order to help gifted people around the world connect. She has written extensively on self-development for gifted people. In addition to the blogs she writes for (listed in section above), she is in the process of working on two books about giftedness: a theoretical book called Intense Minds: Mental Complexity and the Construction of the Self, which aims to open up to a productive dialog on the positive evolution of self through the model of gifted cognition; and a personal memoir which follows her challenging journey of growing up gifted.
TRAINING, MENTORING, SUPERVISION
for Helping Professionals Who Support the Gifted Population
I am passionate about supporting coaches and other helping professionals dedicate their work to supporting the gifted population. I train coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, and social workers on the fundamental complex dynamics of gifted cognition and guide them to best support their gifted clients. You can learn about my group training sessions here or contact me below to explore individual training, mentoring or supervision sessions.
ASSESSMENTS FOR GIFTED ADULTS
Giftedness is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Within giftedness there are levels and flavors; and if anything else is added to giftedness, such as ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities or other similar conditions, giftedness can be very hard to fully understand. Even if one has an IQ score that “proves” one’s giftedness according to that measure, the intelligence that makes one good at IQ testing is far from the whole picture of one’s “giftedness profile”.
Assessment sessions with me are designed to help you look at the full picture of your giftedness (or possible giftedness, if you’re not sure yet): including your level and areas of giftedness, and any second exceptionalities you have and how that affects your expression of giftedness. If you have an IQ score, that can be a helpful data point for us to include in our analysis, but we are looking at a picture larger than just logico-mathematical intelligence. We are looking at a more holistic picture of how your mind takes in and organizes the world, and how that translates into your unique gifted perception, expression, challenges and opportunities.
Assessments can be done in one two-hour session; many people like to take two to three two-hour sessions in total, so that we can look more deeply into how your giftedness combines with your unique personality style, culture, family culture, educational opportunities or lack thereof, and so on, to get a more complete picture. However, one session is sufficient for a basic understanding of your level and areas of giftedness.
Many people want to continue coaching or mentoring sessions following the assessment session(s), and for that, I connect assessment clients with coaches from my InterGifted Coaching Network. Most like to join my InterGifted Peer Community or Highly, Exceptionally & Profoundly Gifted Group in order to connect with their gifted peers from around the world and learn more about themselves and giftedness through healthy mirroring and community participation. Essentially, in my work, I’m dedicated to helping you find the right ongoing support for living out your giftedness in the most fulfilling way possible for you, and for many that starts with an assessment.
MENTORING & COACHING
for Highly, Exceptionally & Profoundly Gifted Adults
The jumping off point for mentoring and coaching highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted adults is never predictable: maybe it’s a pressing life question they’ve been unable to answer on their own, progress on personal development or a major project, healing from trauma, or a need to discover and understand their very unusual minds – or some combination of these and more.
Sessions are non-linear and follow where the client’s mind takes us, with guidance from me to marry meta perspectives and micro practice. It is common, but not mandatory, that sessions last several hours. They also often happen in spurts – one or several in a row followed by a pause while insights are integrated. Highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted adults learn in meta-steps, thus a non-linear partnering which adapts to their need for comprehensive and in-depth understanding, uncommon speed and unusual thinking style is needed. If you don’t know whether you are highly, exceptionally, or profoundly gifted, read my article here or consider scheduling an assessment session to explore the question with me.
Due to high demand, I am currently unable to take new coaching clients; however I have trained and mentor coaches within my InterGifted network who are themselves highly to profoundly gifted, and specialize in the support of highly to profoundly gifted adults. Feel free to reach out to me for a personalized referral.
LOGISTICS & COSTS
Individual training and mentoring sessions are 250 Swiss Francs per hour; assessment sessions of two hours are 725 Swiss Francs. They are held virtually by Skype/zoom/phone, or in person in and around Arbon, Switzerland; in English, French or Italian. Email coaching and mentoring are billed at the same hourly rate. I currently have a waiting list of about 6 months for individual assessment and training/mentoring sessions. If you prefer to have an assessment sooner, or if my fees are prohibitive for your budget, you can schedule with one of the InterGifted assessors I have trained. For gifted coaching, you can explore my team at InterGifted and contact me for a personalized referral.
Why would a person need gifted-specific support?
Gifted clients range from being somewhat to extremely intense and complex – intellectually, creatively, emotionally, existentially, physically, and sensually. In family, society and work where tradition and pre-defined roles often set the standard, they can feel uncomfortable, misunderstood, or existentially panicked at the extreme. They are known to be motivated by their intense curiosity and need for continual learning, challenge, change and understanding; thus professional support that focuses on extrinsic motivation, external rewards, and traditional goals misses the mark in terms of helping a gifted client to connect to his or her own intrinsic motivation and inner sense of purpose.
Gifted-specific support works at (or near) gifted clients’ level of cognition, shares their complexity of mind, and helps them channel their intensity, complexity and drive toward self-actualization. By self-actualization, I mean: meaningful existence, based on and driven by one’s self-chosen values and unique way of being in the world. Gifted-specific support helps clients make choices that continue to generate opportunities to fulfill their complex needs over the long term, and stretch their minds and capacities even further. Gifted-specific support educates and validates clients’ intense minds, and ultimately gives them back full access to their own potential. Learn more about giftedness and self-actualization in my article on Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration.
You work with highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted people. Why such a minority population?
Because of the rarity of highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted people (1:>1,000 to <1:1 million, respectively), it is a particular challenge for this population to find the right kind of support. Statistically, they are almost out there all on their own. But they are people who deserve to get help when they need it and have support that encourages, inspires and challenges them. I struggled for years to find this support, so I understand the importance of it, and am honored to be able to provide it.
I’m not sure if I’m highly, exceptionally or profoundly gifted. How can I know?
Highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted people think in meta-matrices (as opposed to the multi-step skipping of the mild and moderately gifted, or the linear step-by-step logic of non-gifted thinkers). They see paradoxes, puzzles and patterns everywhere, with any answer about anything generating a new series of questions. There never seems to be ground to stand on, since all knowledge is only temporary. There are huge pluses to this type of mental mapping, such as intellectual speed and capacity (as well as the fun of having so much thought to entertain oneself with); but there are also some pretty major challenges that come with it, such as fitting in socially, slowing down enough to produce transmittable work, and dealing with the mental storms that often come with such intensity of mind. Read more in my High, Exceptional and Profound Giftedness article or consider scheduling an assessment with me.
I’m not highly, exceptionally or profoundly gifted. Can I still work with you?
If you are mildly or moderately gifted want to support gifted people as a coach or helping professional, yes! Tell me about your goals and we can see if we are a good fit to work together. If not, I will be happy to provide you a personalized referral to one of the coaches in my InterGifted Coaching Network.
JEN’S RECOMMENDED READING
- Alain de Botton: Status Anxiety
- Joan Chittister: Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light
- Boris Cyrulnik: Resilience: How Your Inner Strength Can Set You Free from the Past
- The Dalai Lama: notably An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life, The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, and The Art of Happiness at Work
- Susan Daniels & Michael M. Piechowski: Living with Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability and Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults
- Norman Doidge: The Brain that Changes Itself
- Carol Dweck: Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential
- Elio Frattaroli: Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain: Becoming Conscious in an Unconscious World
- Erich Fromm: notably To Have or To Be and The Art of Loving
- Neville Goddard: Feeling is the Secret
- Robert Greene: Mastery
- Richard J. Haier: The Neuroscience of Intelligence
- David R. Hawkins: notably Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
- Gay Hendricks: Five Wishes
- Jon Kabat-Zinn: notably The Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series
- Willem Kuipers: Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon
- Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow
- Krishnananda Trobe: notably Stepping Out of Fear
- Adam Phillips: Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life
- Paula Prober: Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth
- Steven Pressfield: Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work
- David Shenk: The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Talent, Genetics & IQ
- David A. Sousa: Brainwork: The Neuroscience Behind How We Lead Others
- Marylou Kelly Streznewski: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable and Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
- Eckhart Tolle: notably The Power of Now