Gifted Young Adults


Dr. Kohlenberg’s area of clinical focus centers around exceptionally and profoundly gifted 15-25-year-olds of superior intellectual intelligence. Young adults with abnormally high intelligence face issues that are seldom studied and rarely understood. Sam has been successfully working with this population as an area of clinical focus since 2013. He has watched profoundly gifted people grow and develop, engage conflict and transition, navigate trauma and crisis.

The average shoe size for American males is 10.5. Some people have larger feet, some people have smaller feet, and then, there are some who wear size 16. A size 16 foot does not fit well in a size 10.5 shoe. Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average. This makes gifted teens and adults, by definition, outliers. The world in which we live caters more to the average than to the outlier. Whereas someone with larger than normal feet can find a specialty shoe, finding a world that fits for the gifted can be a bit more challenging. Let’s work together to find a better fit.

Giftedness can be better described as a set of traits rather than a list of achievements. These traits have more to do with capacity than accomplishment and do not guarantee success or an easy life.  In fact, sometimes these traits can lead to great difficulty. Some define giftedness as asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive ability and heightened intensity combine to create an inner experience and awareness that are different from the norm.


Learn more about how gifted are different. Many have found this article from 2017 helpful.