Introduction to the West Coast Office of the Gifted Development Center
By Linda Powers
Leviton MA, MFT
Most of us make decisions
out of fear, there is a powerful alternative and it doesn't take forever to
learn and apply.
to the webpage of the West Coast operation of the Gifted Development Center (www.gifteddevelopment.com)
of Denver. Located primarily in Granada Hills (the northern most suburb of Los
Angeles County), I offer a variety of services for the gifted and their
families. I also travel frequently between Los Angeles, San Francisco and
Seattle. Dr. Linda Silverman, GDC director and founder (author of Upside Down
Brilliance) is intermittently available to provide her expertise on a
case-by-case basis. As of August, 2007, we will also be offering full service
IQ testing, including both quantitative and qualitative assessment protocols.
In addition to
assessment, I provide ongoing consulting, coaching, and psychotherapy for the
gifted of all ages; this often includes my "Whole Child Assessment," my
individualized program of qualitative assessment and a type of family therapy
I've synthesized from the techniques of Virginia Satir and other systems and
communication theorists; this way of providing support and guidance was
developed specifically to address the unique needs of gifted children and their
families. The result is a unique and highly effective cognitive/behavioral/
experiential therapy that is particularly well suited to meet the special
requirements of the gifted population.
The main difference
between this and traditional therapy, however, is that it is an ever-changing
co-creation process. The gifted, unlike most people who come in for therapy or
coaching, generally start with some degree of awareness, and already have
developed relatively complex internal coping processes--some productive and some
I have noticed that most gifted people are comfortable using logic and analysis
to solve problems. They come to therapy having already tried any number of
unsuccessful logical solutions on their own or with therapists who didn't
understand the gifted process. When they arrive in my office, many have hit a
wall, or become involved in circumstances that are out of control; often they
feel overwhelmed, confused, or depressed. They may doubt their giftedness, or
their talents, or their worth; they may not be able to narrow their goals or
have lost faith in their ability to achieve what they believe they want. Often
they've seen other therapists and been unimpressed, frustrated at being
misunderstood, or shocked at how easily they could manipulate the therapist.
Frequently, therapists unfamiliar with the special needs and unique requirements
of the gifted viewed their gifted processing styles as pathological, not
understanding that hypersensitivity or asynchronous development is normal when
viewed through the lens of giftedness. These disappointing past experiences with
uninformed therapists can be especially disturbing if there were past hurts
related to not being understood or accepted.
As the director of this "West Coast Branch of the GDC" I wanted to introduce
myself in a way that would provide more than just my credentials and experience,
which can be found elsewhere on this site. But, as a gifted adult who has
raised three gifted children, I believe that it is really my life experience,
observations and intuitive abilities that have prepared me to provide
transformational experiences for the people who seek my services; additionally,
my core values of integrity, kindness, love and respect allow me to touch, and
inspire my clients.
Generally the first step towards helping people create the lives and
relationships they want involves some kind of assessment. This can include
quantitative and standardized tests, such as IQ or personality tests; or a
variety of qualitative experiences, such as interviews, history-taking, and
discussion. My role is to help people and families co-create their chosen path
toward developing authentic, purposeful and fulfilling lives. This process is
individualized based on the unique needs of the individual, couple or family.
Some attend weekly meetings; others (particularly if driving a great distance)
attend monthly sessions, sometimes on consecutive days. The gifted therapy
process is neither linear, nor standardized, because the gifted gain insight and
address problems on their own schedule, often in leaps and bounds; relief of
symptoms can be immediate or progressive.
Leviton M.A. M.F.T.
Director, Gifted Development Center- West
P.O. Box 33993 Granada Hills, CA
Bus. Cell: (818) 203-5987