Counseling Gifted and Talented Students

Nicolas Colangelo

This monograph provides research-based information on the counseling needs of gifted and talented students, as well as effective counseling approaches to meeting those needs. The counseling needs of gifted students has had limited attention over the years compared to issues of identification, programming, and equity. Most educators and parents recognize that behind the exceptional ability are youngsters with complex social-emotional needs who are similar to other youth. In addition, they have needs quite unique to their giftedness and how this giftedness is accepted in their immediate environment, as well as the broader society. While this monograph is written with the counselor in mind, I believe it is relevant to all teachers, administrators, and parents who are continuously in the role of counselor.


Colangelo, N. (2002). Counseling gifted and talented students (RM02150). Storrs: University of Connecticut, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

Counseling Gifted and Talented Students
Nicolas Colangelo


  1. Gifted students are typically as well adjusted as other peers. Meeting their cognitive needs often meets simultaneously their social-emotional needs.
  2. Gifted students do not have lower or more inflated self-concepts than other students in their age group.
  3. Gifted teenagers view giftedness as a positive characteristic when they think about academic performance. They sometimes see giftedness as a negative characteristic when dealing with peers.
  4. Underachievement in schools by gifted students (performance below expectations) is a manifestation of a combination of social-psychological tensions.
  5. Although gifted students are not prone to suicide in any greater numbers than other students in their age group, counselors need to recognize signs and to actively intervene for any student who seems to be at risk.
  6. School counselors need more specific training on the affective needs of gifted students.