Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

ABOUT ME

Featured Image -- 794I’m Paula Prober–a licensed counselor and consultant in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in counseling gifted adults and youth (in the state of Oregon, USA) and I consult with parents of gifted children and with gifted adults internationally.

Before becoming a therapist in 1992, I was a teacher in the public schools and I worked with gifted children in grades 1-8. I’ve been an adjunct instructor with University of Oregon and a guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University and a presenter at multiple conferences and webinars. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Advanced Development Journal. My book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016 by GHF Press.

I see counseling as a journey that supports an individual’s healing, growth and self-actualization. My philosophy is based in attachment and psychodynamic theories that hold that painful experiences in childhood greatly affect self-image, confidence and the ability to have healthy relationships. I use a variety of counseling methods that include talk, internal family systems, journaling, guided imagery, body-centered approaches and mindfulness. Clients can then reconnect with their creativity, self-confidence and spirituality so that they may live fulfilling lives of meaning and purpose.

In my consultations, I help parents understand their gifted children and I provide resources and strategies for helping these kids navigate challenges such as schooling, intense emotions, perfectionism, underachieving, and more. When consulting with gifted adults, we look at identifying the gifted traits and at how to navigate and appreciate the sensitivities, intensities, challenges and benefits of rainforest-mindedness.

Because the label “gifted” is often controversial and confusing, I developed the analogy of the rainforest mind. Many very smart folks don’t identify themselves as gifted. If the analogy speaks to you, I hope that my blog posts will help you better understand the complexities of your creative, sensitive, passionate, and smart self. And that my ideas will help you live like the thriving rain forest– in balance, peace, grace and beauty, and in support of all beings on the planet.  IMG_1250_2

Find me also at twitter.com/paulaprober, and facebook.com/paula.prober.  You can also listen to me talk about rainforest minds on this podcast. If you’d like to get in touch with me privately or if you’d like more details about either my counseling or consulting, please fill out the contact form below. Thank you.

21 thoughts on “ABOUT ME

  1. So glad I found your blog! 🙂

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  2. Thank you so much, Paula. I am a little overwhelmed after reading all of your posts in one sitting. I will definitely be sharing your blog with all of my rainforest friends and family members.

    With sincere gratitude (and joy, and a big hug),
    Mary Pat

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  5. So I just googled something about multiplication and a post from your blog showed up on Google and I was reading it and saying, “yes, this is very similar to what I’ve gone through…” and then I started looking around and I was led here, where I read your About Page and was like “This person seems like I great blogger!” and then I scrolled down and saw I was already here back in June – so funny how stuff like that happens! You’re blog has really grown since the last time I was here! Weird dejavu moment for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just came across your blog early this morning and read all of it. I cannot seem to get over the fact that you know all this about rainforest-minded people. I don’t understand how you knew people like this existed. Now I’m thinking everyone is like this, but at the same time I know not everyone is like this. How could you be certain when you have said yourself that you identify as partially rainforest-minded. How were you so sure that people would identify with this idea of a rainforest mind? Did you ever believe you were making all this up in your head? I’m convinced of the authenticity of a rainforest mind but I want to understand how you became so sure; what were you looking for? Were you even looking? How did you put all your findings together and compose this conclusion? Perhaps an autobiography is on the way? Because until this morning, I thought I would never find another person like me. So many questions Paula. You have gained a fan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Joseph! I love your questions. The short answer is “I’ve met a bunch of them.” (Lucky me.) The longer answer is that my first career was in teaching (6th grade) and colleagues told me that my teaching style would work well for gifted kids. I didn’t know what a gifted kid was at the time but I ended up getting a teaching job working with gifted middle schoolers. Then, when I was 39, I got my counseling degree and decided to specialize in working with the gifted because I’d learned by then that they had particular differences that could make life challenging in ways that most people wouldn’t understand. Somewhere in there I thought of the analogy of the rain forest to describe giftedness. People were so uncomfortable with the word ‘gifted,’ I needed to find a better way to explain it. I really have to admit that I love the metaphor! It just fits in so many ways. I wasn’t sure that people would identify with it, but, it seems they have.

      I started the blog a year ago because I needed to find some sort of creative outlet. And I wanted to reach a larger audience. Blogging seems to fit my writing style well (it’s fun) and I’m so happy to be able to provide you rainforest-minded darlings with some help and some hope.

      So there’s my autobiography! Another version is on my website: http://www.rainforestmind.com. But it says most of what I’ve written here. Very happy to have you as a fan. Please continue to ask your questions.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wait how do I fix it, how do I stop ? How can I first just enjoy living with one focus without a multitude of projects. I already take Adderall and I still have 7 project around the house not including the ones on my truck or my full time job in sales, or the business I launched last year but haven’t done anything with or…

    Ok, sorry I wrote this and it took nearly an hour for me to build up the courage to send it.

    I’m Michael I thought I was smart I took and IQ test sometime ago and got a decent 165. But, I think it was off or maybe it was the luck of the guess over the math questions. Honestly, though I’ve felt stupid and in constant need of reassurance throughout my life. It possibly stems from middle school when my principle told my mom in front of me, that I was “too stupid to graduate high school and make it into college.” Well needless to say I’ve done both, actually I just barely graduated high school but I graduated college with nearly a 3.0. Actually I had my first poem published in High School “The Sun Rises at Night”, developed a hybrid gas/electric car out of a remote controlled car in electronics class in 1994/1995, graduated the fire academy, served 8 years in the military, worked as a writer, film producer and sports producer, machinist, broker, seller, account manager, customer service manager, started numerous businesses such as (3rdpartyseller.com) and well countless other avenues. This is not to say that I’ve ever stuck around long enough to do anything with them. Oh ya I’ve also learned Russian, Spanish and French to a conversational level as well as basic Chinese and have forgotten nearly it all. So I can definitively say I know my brain doesn’t function like “normal” people, one because I can learn something to an expert level then forget completely about it moving on to something else. I can’t seem to settle on a career. In fact I walked away (like walked out on) a job last year with the Government that took nearly two years to get. I was finishing up the polygraph and just decided I’d catch an earlier flight home, I was bored with it I had just accepted the position but heck it’d been two years I was ready to move on. Obviously there where several other things ie: my wife had some major issues as well as my father at the time just being diagnosed with cancer.

    Here’s the deal my wife and I are expecting our first child a little baby girl and honestly I’m scared to death. I don’t want her to go through these same struggles as I have. I don’t want my “multipotentiality” as you say to affect my abilities to be a great father. I don’t want that same multi-projected mind to be afraid of being trapped in a career or field that I hate, as I am now. I guess I’m just writing this to hear my own thoughts, because I’ve tried so many things and had so many different successes in many different fields but with a rainforest mind comes financial instability. I came to understanding of loving to learn new things that this is just who I am as a man but soon it will no longer be just my wife and myself. I will be a father, a protector, a shoulder, a provider, a point of comfort, love, acceptance, and joy. All while still trying to find my career, the point of center that allows me at least a portion of happiness in my daily job. How do I balance cutting down my trees to provide while still nourishing my soil. Maybe I just need to “grow up peter pan” and stop learning computer programing at night, I need to give up the idea of working for myself and just conform to just one.
    Is that possible?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael. I’m so glad you found the courage to write and send this. I’ll share a few thoughts with you. First, if you haven’t yet, read through my blog. You ought to find some answers in the other posts and in the resources. I’d recommend that you read The Gifted Adult by Jacobsen and Refuse to Choose by Sher. The book by Sher addresses multipotentiality specifically. You might start with that one. Also, Free Range Humans is good. I appreciate your desire to be responsible as you become a father. It might mean that you find a career path that will provide a steady income and has enough variety and intellectual stimulation so you stay interested. And you don’t need to stay in one career all of your life. Lots of people make career changes later in life. So you don’t have to feel trapped in a job that doesn’t feel just right. You can also find ways to get stimulation outside of your job through other activities that allow you to nurture more of your interests. Thanks for sharing and for reading my blog! Welcome.

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  9. I am so happy i found this blog… my hubby and kids think I’ve lost it (not new fir them) because i am sitting here laughing and crying all at the same time. Trying not to overwhelm myself and obsess over your blog 🙂 can you point me to an entry that may help me finally get my stuff together? My mind and my house are currently unorganized and i need, NEED, to get it together.

    Thank you so very much

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Lex! I don’t think I’ve written a post on how to get organized. I’ll have to think about that one. But, hopefully, there will be some tips here and there that’ll help. I’ve only been writing my blog for about 2 years and there are only about 70 posts so you might be able to get through all of them before your family starts complaining!

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  13. Can you explain “rainforest mind”?

    Liked by 1 person

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