introduction: As my work with gifted and talented people began
to reveal patterns of identity struggle and conflicts, I sought
a way to organize our inquiry into what they thought and how they
felt about their giftedness.
I observed 12 discrete systems that inform the
identity structure of every gifted person -- everything from what
they tell themselves to what they're told by their families, friends,
educators and so on. I then applied four constructs that I view
as the underpinnings or processes involved with the formation of
identity to each of the systems.
The result was a grid
of systems and constructs, a structure that inspires client
participation as much as it parses their responses. During an interview
about their giftedness, I identify the quality of each construct
for each system in the client's life. At the end of the interview,
I have completed the grid, and the client and I begin work on designing
the appropriate interventions.
There is nothing like the Gifted Identity Formation
Model. There are no other frameworks available to counselors that
account for the variances they encounter when counseling the gifted.
I first published a description of the Gifted Identity
Formation Model and its application in the article "In Search of
the Gifted Identity," which appeared in the February 1998 "Roeper
Review" (vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 222-26).
here to read the Roeper Review article online.
Click here to download the
article in Adobe Acrobat, a file you can print on letter-size
(The Acrobat Reader software is available for free from the Adobe
company web site. Download
it here. )
to quickly view the grid in a pop-up window.
In response to questions from colleagues, I've
also written several suggestions for conducting client interviews
based on the Model's grid of identity systems and constructs.
Click here to read
the suggestions online.
Click here to download the suggestions
in Adobe Acrobat format.
Click here to see a directory of other
articles I have written about issues involving the gifted and