SENGinar: Gifted Adults and Trauma
Time & Location
About The Event
Gifted adults present unique, diverse and complex combinations of cognitive functioning, emotional processing and behavior in therapeutic settings. All too often, mental health professionals have little to no training in identifying or treating gifted clients. Among gifted adults, misdiagnosis and dual diagnosis are more common because the presentation of symptoms may differ for this subpopulation from the general population, despite the same psychopathology. In the area of trauma, diagnosing and treatment planning for gifted adults brings forth another layer of complexity as the gifted child and the gifted adult does not experience trauma in the same way as their peers.
In fact, their ability to thrive after trauma, in terms of schooling and professional development, may mask the functional impairment that results from post-traumatic stress disorder or other trauma-related disorders. In this presentation, we will explore the concept of resilience as it relates to giftedness and trauma exposure, with a broader definition of trauma than what is currently in the DSM-5 to provide a more culturally humble perspective in this webinar. This exploration will follow with a discussion about how the gifted adult, and survivors, develops differently from their peers and how those differences impacts their risk for mental illness and stability in adulthood. Further concepts we will investigate include asynchronous development and how today’s career paths leave little room for gifted, resilient adults to function at their full potential while still prioritizing their necessary self-care.
Understanding the intersection of trauma and giftedness in the development of adults professionally and personally is crucial for proper mental health treatment and higher education curriculum development, along with campus programs.
About the Presenter:
Tiffany Chhoum, MSW, MPH, CDP-T, LSWAIC is the owner of Lucy in the Sky: Therapy for the Gifted, a new, private practice in Thurston County, offering services locally and online for mental illness, addiction and neurodiversity to adults. She was tested and labeled as gifted at age 4 and retested at age 12, which resulted in her skipping grades and ending up at Virginia Tech by age 15...6 months later she was a dropout. The damage of intense pressure throughout her childhood lead to more challenges, including teen homelessness. By age 19, Tiffany returned to school and completed four degrees in four disciplines from the University of Washington as a first generation college student. Her challenges shape her commitment to gifted adults across the life spectrum.
Mrs. Chhuom won the Husky 100 for her mentorship of students, served on the Pride Foundation Scholarship Committee for 3 years, was the Social Media Marketing Manager for Microsoft Health, and spearheaded the first data sharing agreement across 20 state and federal agencies to prevent child injury in Washington state. With her 2nd year as as the Western Washington Representative for the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Social Work (NASW), Tiffany continues to mentor students and professionals when she is not meeting with therapy clients, providing ethics consultation to telemental health providers or fighting for increased disability advocacy in higher education settings. Her newest venture, EthTech, is aiming to change the way we talk about technology, ethics and healthcare in the State of Washington and eventually, across the globe.