What is a systems approach to treatment, why is it critical to working with gifted and 2e individuals and their families, and why is it a foundation of our practice?



Our clinicians draw upon their social work and education backgrounds and training, employing systems theory in order to understand the dynamic interrelations between individuals, families, institutions and societies. We view our clients as a system with internal and external "moving parts" and influences, and we seek to identify how that system functions, what aspects of that system have a negative, or positive impact on our clients and understand how we can cause or preserve positive change in that system. Due to the complexities and variations of 2e individuals, and characteristics that may change in different environments, a systems approach to treatment that is individualized to the client's needs is the most comprehensive and inclusive treatment modality... and it is the core element of our service provision.


Our practice provides a strength-based approach to counseling using techniques that incorporate research-based models including elements of Social Thinking (M.G. Winner) and Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (R. Greene) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). The cornerstone of our treatment framework is a focus on client strengths and abilities.  


Support groups, available onsite and online target topics and issues that address the unique challenges that families of gifted 2e individuals deal with across all environments: home, school and community.  Monthly 30 minute parent support groups are offered free of charge to parents and caregivers of children and adolescents participating in our social cognition groups.


Monthly online SENG SMPG groups are offered through Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy, Inc. (TECA). SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) SMPG (SENG Model Parent Groups) are topic driven and designed for parents of both gifted and 2e children and adolescents. The group follows SENG's A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children available at amazon.com. To register for an online support group visit TECA's website at teca2e.org.


In our work with gifted and 2e children and adolescents we have found that more than a deficit, there is an asynchrony in social/emotional versus intellectual intelligence, which results in an inability to consistently implement acquired social skills. We don't teach social skills in our practice, we support the development of social cognition, infusing research-based methodologies into a talent-development model to encourage successful social thinking and problem solving through interest-driven group project work and mentoring.  All groups are supervised by a clinical social worker and co-facilitated by experienced teachers and social workers. Groups for ages 5 - 12 are also supported by teen mentors.


As clinicians and consultants we are very clear and transparent about the services we provide, including our work with schools and programs on behalf of our clients. We are educational consultants with the knowledge and expertise to inform and advise with regard to best practices for the social, emotional and academic supports for gifted and 2e students. We are not legal advocates, however we are able to refer our clients to legal advocates and attorneys who specialize in educational advocacy and have advocated on behalf of gifted and 2e individuals, and we work closely with those professionals on behalf of our clients.


Our clinicians have presented lectures and workshops on gifted and 2e related topics at local and national conferences. We have also published articles on the subject of 2e. Culling from our personal and professional experiences with giftedness and twice exceptionality, the practice hosts onsite psychoeducational workshops and events pertaining to gifted and 2e relevant topics several times a year. We also provide offsite informational and professional develop workshops for schools, parent groups and other agencies.


Onsite evaluations and assessments, including neuropsychological evaluations are offered at our Sea Cliff office location. Onsite evaluations are provided by Peter Pramataris, Psy.D. of Pramataris Associates. Dr. Pramataris has worked in collaboration with our practice for several years and has extensive experience with assessment and evaluation of gifted and 2e individuals. In addition to our onsite services, we are also able to refer families to offsite services providers who are experienced with assessment and evaluation of both gifted and 2e individuals.


Weekend and after-school programs in areas of interest and talent are available through our TDC (Talent Development Cooperative) programming. We offer a mixed media art studio, music collaboration, homework and tutoring programs. We also offer a Strategy Game club, Dragons on the Cliff where gifted and 2e children and adolescents can socialize through strategy board and role play games, including Dungeons & Dragons with like-minded peers. Contact us for more information about our weekend, after-school and evening programming. 


Telephone inquiry/screening calls are provided free of charge. Calls are limited to 15 minutes and will serve to determine whether or not the practice can provide requested services based on the inquiry. Kindly note that based on the complexity of social, emotional and academic needs that are typical of twice exceptional individuals, the practice cannot make assessments and/or provide specific  recommendations or accommodations without a formal intake and in-person meeting. 

School does not end in the school building for students who are twice exceptional. There are many moving parts involved in 2e, and the impacts are expressed across all environments.
— Lisa Zaretsky