GIFTED COACHING & MENTORING FAQs

Mentally speaking, gifted people often work more by “skip-stepping” and “meta-thinking” through ideas and feelings rather than going linearly via step-by-step logic. In working with a gifted coach or mentor who understands - and shares - this statistically uncommon mental pattern and rhythm, gifted clients often find relief for being able to move at their own pace while simultaneously being understood by their coach/mentor. Gifted clients also benefit immensely from the insight provided by their coach's/mentor's knowledge of the mechanisms and structure of the gifted mind. Gifted coaching and mentoring are both a logic process - learning how one's gifted mind works and how to use it well, and an emotional process - feeling safe to be and explore one's gifted self in the presence of a gifted professional who understands.

Working with a gifted coach or mentor also helps combat misdiagnosis. Since giftedness often masquerades as other issues, such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and so on, gifted people risk being misdiagnosed. Working with a gifted coach or mentor allows you to sort through what is due to your giftedness, what is due to other potential factors, and how you can best thrive based on your unique intelligence and mental health profile.

No. At present, we are limited to coaching and mentoring. We can, however help you locate a gifted-knowledgeable therapist if you are having trouble finding one. Just email us at support@intergifted.com.

Most generally speaking, coaching and mentoring are forward-looking and creative toward building a future, while therapy is backward-looking and therapeutic toward healing your past. Oftentimes, therapy is a process that prepares one to fully engage in the coaching or mentoring dynamic, as it is easier to take constructive action when past wounds are healed. Another way of looking at the difference between the approaches is that therapy is aimed at bringing one back to "neutral" (healthy), while coaching and mentoring is aimed at thriving.
The difference between coaching and mentoring is a bit more subtle, but essentially, a coach is keeping you accountable toward your goals whereas a mentor is a resource for wisdom along the path that you are walking. In general, coaching is usually the most effective modality for clients who are new to personal or professional development; and mentoring is usually the most effective modality for those who are at more advanced stages of their personal or professional development journey.
Our coach Miriam van der Valk has written a beautiful article on our InterGifted blog exploring the difference between the approaches. And you may appreciate reading this article on the differences between coaching and therapy as well.
If you are unsure of which approach is right for you, email us and we can help you sort through the question, and make fitting recommendations.

First and foremost, we require that all the coaches in our network be themselves gifted and have gone through their own giftedness discovery and integration journey. More formally, we require that they have training in three areas: basic psychology principles, coaching techniques, and working with gifted populations. Mentors can have less stringent training in psychology and coaching, but they must have commensurate professional support experience as a gifted person, as well as gifted-specific training. Some of our coaches are licensed psychologists (though currently we do not offer therapy as a service), and many of our coaches/mentors have followed extensive (year-long) training with our founder Jennifer Harvey Sallin via her training courses, as well as ongoing individual training, mentoring, and supervision sessions. Many of our coaches and mentors have advanced degrees in additional domains such as philosophy, music, mathematics, linguistic computing, management, business, physics, fine arts, and public policy; this often plays a part in their multidimensional ability to work with our clients. We hold a high standard for the coaches and mentors on our team and we are proud of the group of more than 22 gifted support professionals we can recommend you to.

Many of our clients come to us after having worked with one or more non-gifted helping professionals, which while somewhat beneficial, did not succeed in helping them understand the complex functioning of their minds and did not ultimately get to the heart of the matter. A helping professional who is not aware of the pattern and experience of gifted cognition may not grasp the profound roots of the complex self- and relational theories their gifted clients create, and thus may not offer help at the level of complexity and intensity at which the help is needed. Cognitively speaking, gifted clients sometimes quickly “outgrow” non-gifted therapists or coaches whose reasoning speed and comprehension differ significantly from their clients'. This “cognitive mismatch” has been known to lead gifted clients to feeling stifled or even betrayed by the same professional that was initially helpful; sometimes leading a gifted client to conclude that either they, their coach/therapist/mentor, or the coaching, mentoring or therapeutic process itself is (or sometimes all three are) flawed. This can at times initiate a kind of self-defeating cycle of skepticism for the gifted person: they need help, but become skeptical of the possibility of receiving it.

Our network was founded to help make these challenges easier to resolve, both by providing easier access to gifted coaches and helping professionals, and by helping gifted clients to know how to seek and find appropriate help from a gifted coach or mentor whose approach and level of cognition are a good match to their own.

Send us a message with a bit about you, your giftedness discovery journey, what you're hoping to accomplish or discover via coaching or mentoring, and your budget and location, and we will help you schedule a free intro session with one (or more) of our coaches/mentors.

The number and frequency of sessions depends on your needs, goals and budget. Some clients wanting to evaluate or learn about their giftedness take only one or a few sessions. Others who desire ongoing support for career change, relationships, parenting, trauma recovery, ongoing mentoring, or other more complex goals take ongoing sessions for months, or sometimes even years.

Yes, and we will help you throughout that process. Many times, gifted clients are working on several themes at once or consecutively (such as entrepreneurial or career goals, self-care goals, and parenting goals) and want to work with more than one coach or mentor at any give time. You can also work with our coaches and mentors consecutively, depending on your needs, budget and timeline. We help you create a customized plan to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your coaching/mentoring efforts, and to help you continually find the support you need in the various aspects and phases of your life.

Our coaches/mentors will let you know if they feel that some or all of your needs fall into the scope of therapy rather than coaching, and they or our support team will assist you in connecting with a gifted-knowledgeable therapist that fits you well. If you feel you want to start with therapy, send us an email at support@intergifted.com and we will assist you in finding a therapist who fits you. This service is free of charge.

Many of our clients like to start with a qualitative giftedness assessment, as it provides a clear look at your unique cognitive profile and opportunities, and includes customized coaching/mentoring or other recommendations. If you're unsure, consider having a free intro session with one of our coaches/mentors to explore what it might be like to engage with us, and we can help you make a plan step-by-step. Just sent us an email at support@intergifted.com and we'll be happy to explore the options with you.

Our coaches and mentors all work via Skype or phone for anyone around the world, including kids, couples, and families. We also work in person, when possible, in which case many of us have our sessions in casual and comfortable settings, such as in cafés or during walks in nature. For those who prefer writing to talking, many of our coaches also offer written sessions (via email or chat).

No. Our coaches collectively offer sessions in the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Polish, Finnish and Swedish.

Since our coaches/mentors are all over the world, costs range from 75 USD per hour to 225 Swiss Francs per hour. Please let us know if you have a specific budget limit when you contact us, so that we can be sure to recommend the best fitting coach to you, including from a financial perspective. Though some of our coaches work via pre-paid session packages, most of our coaches charge by the session only and have flexible rates for clients in financial difficulty.

Our coaches and mentors are sensitive to financial limitations and some of us can offer flexibility, depending on your situation. Send us a message and let us know about your situation and budget limits, and we'll let you know if we may be able to accommodate you. In any case, if coaching or mentoring is strictly out of your budget or if you prefer to start with a less costly option, joining one of our courses/workshops or partner projects, our InterGifted Community or a peer group is a great option. They are not coaching or mentoring, per se, but they do connect you to many well-meaning and fellow gifted peers around the world, and the discussions are very constructive, enriching, encouraging and motivating. We'd be happy to have you!

We are always welcoming gifted coaches and other helping professionals to be part of our network. If you don't have training specific to helping gifted people, we provide that. Email us with your background and we'll have a chat to see if we're a good fit.

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