Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive


How to Find a Psychotherapist Who Loves Your Rainforest Mind

photo from Morgan Sessions, Unsplash, CC

photo from Morgan Sessions, Unsplash, CC

How do you find a psychotherapist who isn’t overwhelmed by your fast talking, fast thinking, complex emotions, difficult questions and multiple sensitivities?

How do you find a psychotherapist who isn’t frightened by your uncanny ability to notice when s/he’s distracted or slightly out of whack?

How do you you find a psychotherapist who isn’t fooled by your articulate insight, your wit and your idealism; a psychotherapist who sees beneath the surface to the deep pain and shame that suffocates you?

How do you find a psychotherapist who knows the difference between giftedness and ADHD, OCD, and bipolar disorder?

How do you find a psychotherapist who can understand your long, complicated, nonlinear, out-of-the-box explanations and experiences?

How do you find a psychotherapist who is energized and not drained by your intensity and who gets your sense of humor?

How do you find a psychotherapist who’s also been a client and who knows the importance of his or her own continued self-examination?

Here’s how:

  1. Be willing to “shop around” for a while until your intuition says “yes” unequivocally.
  2. Look for a psychotherapist who also has a rainforest mind.
  3. Bring this blog post and other relevant posts and articles on giftedness to a first meeting. See how the person responds to your request that s/he read up on the topic.
  4. Check out this list of professionals around the world who specialize in giftedness, from Lisa Conrad’s blog. And this list from Noks Naut. Here’s a comprehensive database from Davidson Institute.
  5. Know that you might need to see professionals in different modalities for a more comprehensive approach. (bodyworkers, acupuncturists, energy healers, doctors, naturopaths, herbalists, astrologers, etc.)
  6. Look for people who are trained in depth psychology (psychodynamic, internal family systems, somatic experiencing, object relations, Jungian, EMDR, and others) and who feel that it’s important to look at your family of origin as part of the healing process.
  7. Ask the therapist about his/her own personal counseling process and how s/he manages stress and self-care.


Know that your therapist will not be perfect. S/he will occasionally get overwhelmed and out of whack. Get lost in your long, complicated, nonlinear, out-of-the-box explanations and experiences. But, if you’re with the right person, s/he will own up to it. Admit the mistakes. And, still, won’t stop loving you and your fabulous rainforest mind.


To my blogEEs: What suggestions do you have on how to find a good therapist? What questions do you have? I love hearing from you. Your comments benefit our whole community!


Top Ten Reasons Why Smart People Procrastinate

booksTop ten reasons why you procrastinate:

10. You’re really good at it.

9. You have no idea how not to procrastinate. Your entire academic career was built on it.

8. You can still get an “A” or produce something that impresses your coworkers.

7. Time pressure will make something dull a bit more interesting.

6. You’re overwhelmed by many things, including your own curiosity and creativity.

5. You delude yourself into believing that you do your best work under pressure.

4. You won’t disappoint anyone because their expectations will be lowered. You won’t disappoint yourself (as much) because your expectations will be lowered.

3. You’ve always been told that you’re so smart.

2. If you take plenty of time and fail, then your true stupidity will be revealed.

1. Perfectionism.

Can anything be done about this? Are you destined to live out your life as a prodigious profligate perfectionistic procrastinator?

Yes. And no. In that order.

Here’s what I suggest. Small steps. Nothing overwhelming or intimidating.

Start here:

You’re likely to love this post from the blog Wait But Why.

Then go here for more details from the same very funny procrastinating blogger.

Finally, you’ll be ready for a wonderfully comprehensive practical guide. This book.

And just so you know, a pattern of procrastination isn’t easy to change. Here’s why: “Confronting and changing long-held assumptions about you and your family can be unnerving and disorienting. This is why procrastination is so hard to overcome. It’s not simply a matter of changing a habit; it requires changing your inner world.”*

But it’s worth it.

“However, as you access capabilities and parts of yourself that have been held back by procrastination, you can derive great pleasure in claiming your whole self.”*

*Jane Burka & Lenora Yuen, Procrastination


To my blogEEs: Tell us why you procrastinate and if you’ve found any resources or techniques that have helped you deal with it. And thank you, as always, for commenting and sharing.


Imagine a World Where Gifted Kids Don’t Have to Wait

Photography by Servando from Flickr cc

Photography by Servando from Flickr cc

It all started in first grade when you eagerly finished the entire workbook in one night. You thought your teacher would be pleased. She was not pleased. You were told to sit and color the pictures and WAIT until the other first graders caught up with you.

Then there was the time they were teaching addition and you had been doing complicated calculations in your head since you were four. You were told to WAIT. You were too young to learn fractions.

When you were eleven, you were dying to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X but you were told to WAIT. That was the book everyone was required to read in high school.

When you scored in the 99th percentile in reading and math and could easily work two years above grade level, it was decided that you shouldn’t skip a grade. You needed to WAIT until you were more emotionally and socially mature, even though you were capable of contributing confidently to discussions with your parents’ friends.

You wanted to know about death and God. You were told to WAIT until you were a grownup because you wouldn’t understand.

You’re still waiting.

Your colleagues at work take hours to conclude what you knew last week.

Your boss wants you to calm down and slow down and not share your ideas just yet. Maybe next week.

You’ve completed all of your assigned work for the day and it’s only 1pm.

Your supervisor says she’ll get back to you with the answers to your questions. She never does.

You’ve learned everything you can about your job and now the tasks are frustrating and boring.

You wonder when you can share the fascinating article you read in the New Yorker while friends talk about recipes and reality TV.

You have so much to say about so many things but you have to find the right time to speak so that you don’t overwhelm your partner, friends, relatives, children and pets with your enthusiasm, sensitivities and ideas. (Well, OK, maybe your pets aren’t overwhelmed.)

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

In his book, The Boy Who Played With Fusion, Tom Clynes wrote:

Waiting was the most common response when Tracy Cross of the college of William and Mary asked thirteen thousand kids in seven states to describe in one word their experience as gifted children.”

Thirteen thousand kids. Waiting.

Imagine a world where gifted kids don’t have to wait. A world where you can be yourself. Imagine the possibilities.

I want to live in that world.


To my blogEEs: Tell us about the times that you or your kids have had to wait. What was it like? How did you cope? And for the skeptics among you, I understand that patience is important and there are times when we all need to wait. And, yet. This is about WAITING. You know what I’m talkin’ about. And thank you, as always, for reading and sharing.


“Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting…” Extreme Giftedness

photo from Tom Clynes

photo courtesy of Tom Clynes

“Since the first moments of his existence, Taylor has complicated, confounded, and chaoticized nearly every detail of his family’s lives.”

So says Tom Clynes, author of the recently released and captivating book– The Boy Who Played With Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting And How to Make a Star.

Taylor Wilson, a profoundly gifted child, built a working nuclear fusion reactor at the age of 14.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Stop right there.

Just because you didn’t achieve nuclear fusion at 14 or even at 48, does not mean that you aren’t gifted. You probably, like Taylor, did complicate, confound and chaoticize your family’s life. At least some of the time. Am I right?

Rainforest minds (gifted minds) don’t all become obsessed with science or produce astonishing achievements.

But many do have “manic, metastasizing curiosity” like Taylor–along with a sense of wonder, idealism and a desire to make the world a better place.

Giftedness isn’t one-size-fits-all. The rain forest is ridiculously complex. Taylor is clearly in the genius category and so he is, as Clynes describes him, “scary-smart.” You may not be so scary. Reading Taylor’s story, will be both inspiring and educational no matter where you fall on the continuum.

What makes this book unique is that Clynes combines a compelling “coming-of-age narrative” with articulate well-researched advocacy for gifted kids. He’s a fresh, knowledgeable and welcome voice, especially for those of us who’ve been speaking out on this topic for years.

Here are some of the questions he addresses:

“…what does it take to identify and develop the raw material of talent and turn it into exceptional accomplishment? How do we parent and educate extraordinarily determined and intelligent children and help them reach their potential?”… “And how do we shift the course of an educational culture that has, for the past several decades, underchallenged the children it once regarded as its best hope?”

I’d say these are the important questions.

Not only that. Those of you who are parents will appreciate hearing about the numerous challenges Taylor’s parents faced and how they handled them. And it may soothe your own fears to realize that it could be worse. Chances are, your child isn’t storing radioactive materials in your garage.

Taylor’s parents had to learn how to respond to his irrepressible enthusiasm for learning and for blowing stuff up. “Taylor has always been obsessed with things…Whatever he got interested in, he just went crazy with it, nonstop. Even getting him to eat was a big trick. Sometimes it still is,” said Kenneth, Taylor’s dad.

The Author--Tom Clynes; photo courtesy of Tom Clynes

The Author–Tom Clynes; photo courtesy of Tom Clynes

And you’ll read how they struggled to provide him with an appropriate education, as do many parents of the rainforest-minded. Taylor’s parents wing it. Rather well.

Taylor Wilson and Tom Clynes give us all a little more hope. Clynes provides his “recipe:”

“…parents who are courageous enough to give their children wings and let them fly in the directions they choose; schools that support children as individuals; a society that understands the difference between elitism and individualized education, and that addresses the needs of kids at all levels.”

Taylor’s story just may get us there.


To my blogEEs: I didn’t plan to write two book reviews in a row, dear readers. It just happened. I hope you’ve found them helpful. Let us know about the books you’re reading that have inspired you. And tell us if you read The Boy Who Played With Fusion. You’ll be glad you did!

This post is part of a collection of great posts from parents of gifted kids and professionals. Click on the link or the image to read more!