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Counseling Gifted Students: A Guide for School Counselors

by Susannah Wood and Jean Peterson Springer Publishing Company
Pub Date:
Pbk 252 pages
AU$76.00 NZ$80.00
Product Status: Available in Approx 5 days
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& Academics:
Goes beyond academic considerations to address career development and social/emotional concerns


Created to fill a gap in both counselor education and gifted education, this is the only up-to-date text to provide a concise and practical overview of counseling services designed specifically for gifted and talented students. Grounded in the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model for counseling programs, the book illuminates specific knowledge, awareness, and skills school counselors need to address concerns related not only to academics, but also to social and emotional development of this population.


The text delivers a theoretical and practical overview of gifted and talented education in the US and the responsibilities of school counselors as they pertain to this unique population. Going well beyond the common call to provide academic challenge, the book considers special characteristics of gifted and talented students as it examines the complexities of career development, college readiness, and concerns related to social/emotional development. It discusses how counselors can advocate for gifted students, lead efforts to match programming and needs, and collaborate with school staff and families. Vignettes depicting critical incidents and epitomizing needs are used to illuminate differentiated counseling approaches that support this student population. Each chapter highlights a key concept, and curriculum guidelines and resources for professional development support the text.


Key Features:


  • Interweaves school counseling and gifted education research and practice

  • Considers characteristics and counseling concerns associated with giftedness Is based on the ASCA model for counseling programs

  • Examines the complexities of career development, college readiness, and social/emotional development in this population

  • Highlights key concepts and includes vignettes of critical incidents



1. Counseling Gifted and Talented Students

Susannah M. Wood and Jean Sunde Peterson

2. Aligning Service to Gifted Students With the ASCA National Model

Susannah M. Wood

3. Characteristics and Concerns of Gifted Students

Jean Sunde Peterson

4. Diverse Gifted Students: Intersectionality of Cultures

Renae D. Mayes, SaDohl Goldsmith Jones, and Erik M. Hines

5. Theories That Support Programs and Services in Schools

Jean Sunde Peterson

6. Identifying Gifted and Talented Learners in Schools: Common Practices and Best Practices

Tamra Stambaugh and Susannah M. Wood

7. Working With Classrooms and Small Groups

Jean Sunde Peterson

8. Academic Advising and Career Planning for Gifted and Talented Students

Michelle Muratori and Carol Klose Smith

9. Personal/Social Counseling and Mental Health Concerns

Jean Sunde Peterson

10. Collaboration, Consultation, and Systemic Change: Creating a Supportive School Climate for Gifted Students

Susannah M. Wood

11. Empowering Parents of Gifted Students

Susannah M. Wood and Carrie Lynn Bailey

12. School Counselors as Leaders and Advocates for Gifted Students

Susannah M. Wood, Erin M. D. Lane, and Matthew J. Beck

13. Concluding Thoughts

Jean Sunde Peterson

Appendix: Resources by Topic and Type


"Drs. Susannah Wood and Jean Peterson have combined forces to move the field of school counseling forward in its work on behalf of gifted students… This subtle regularizing into appropriate school counseling practice is actually quite radical as is makes it clear that the time has passed to consider whether we should be concerned with the nature and needs of students with gifts and talents, but rather need to move to serving them as a requirement of our profession... And fortunately for all of us, the authors provide a clearly articulated roadmap for helping us live up to our professional responsibilities." --Tracy L. Cross, Ph.D.

"Despite the attention paid to diversity and inclusiveness, counselor education programs often overlook the gifted population, resulting in a training gap that complicates school counselors’ awareness of – and ability to appropriately respond to – the unique needs of gifted individuals. This book appears tailor-made to rectify that oversight. Wood and Peterson have created both a research-informed text counselor educators can seamlessly incorporate into their coursework and a practical manual school counselors may use to improve the services they offer their gifted and talented students." --Christopher Lawrence

"'Counseling Gifted and Talented Students in Schools: A Guide for School Counselors'… is an excellent balance between theory, research, and practical application. There is a consistent answer to the question of 'what do we do with what we know?' The editors make a compelling case for the importance of the text and for why school counselors must play an active role in the development of gifted students....

The editors, Susannah Wood and Jean Sunde Peterson, are nationally recognized for their work and commitment to the counseling needs of gifted students... Their insights, respect for the school counselor, and commitment to the growth of students is evident throughout the text… This is a text that will be most useful to counselor educators, school counselors and parents… Wood and Sunde Peterson have made a significant contribution to both counseling and gifted education." -- Nicholas Colangelo, Ph.D.

"…a complete handbook for understanding and meeting the needs of gifted students… This book gets to the essence of the "whole" gifted student and how critical it is to foster not only intellectual and academic growth, but health identity developmental and mental well-being." -- Dan Peters, Ph.D; Licensed Psychologist; Co-founder/Executive Director, SUMMIT CENTER

"Counseling Gifted and Talented Students in Schools is a complete handbook for understanding and meeting the needs of gifted students. Combining conceptual foundation, research, and relatable vignettes, Drs. Peterson and Wood teach us everything we need to know about… understanding the unique developmental needs of gifted students. This book gets to the essence of the "whole" gifted student and how critical it is to not only foster intellectual and academic growth, but health identity developmental and mental well-being." -- Dan Peters, Ph.D; Licensed Psychologist; Co-founder/Executive Director, SUMMIT CENTER


Susannah M. Wood, PhD is currently an associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education at the University of Iowa. She is also a faculty partner with the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talented Development, where she provides professional development opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students, and practicing educators related to the social and emotional concerns of gifted students. She has received the University of Iowa’s collegiate teaching award in 2012 and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) award for outstanding teaching in 2015. Her research interests encompass preparing school counselors for practice, with a particular focus on serving the gifted population in collaboration with other educators and helping professionals. Dr Wood’s research has been published in such peer-reviewed publications as Gifted Child Quarterly, Roeper Review, Journal of the Education of the Gifted, Journal of School Counseling, Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, and Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy. In 2015 Dr. Wood co-edited a special section in the Journal of Counseling & Development dedicated to counseling the gifted individual. With Dr. Tamra Stambaugh, she co-edited the book Serving Gifted Students in Rural Settings: A Framework for Bridging Gifted Education and Rural Classrooms (Prufrock Press). She regularly presents at the American Counseling Association convention the National Association for Gifted Children convention, and at conferences of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES).

Jean Sunde Peterson, Ph.D., professor emerita and former director of school counselor preparation at Purdue University, was a classroom and gifted education teacher for 24 years and was involved concurrently in teacher education prior to graduate work in school counseling and counselor education at The University of Iowa. A licensed mental health counselor with considerable clinical experience with gifted youth and their families, she is a veteran consultant and presenter nationally and internationally and conducts school-based workshops on social and emotional development of high-ability students, academic underachievement, bullying, parenting gifted children and adolescents, cultural values related to selection for gifted-education programming, prevention-oriented counseling curriculum, and listening skills for educators—all of these related to her research and clinical work. She has been an active researcher and author in her second career, publishing 9 books, 45 refereed journal articles, 44 invited book chapters, 16 articles in practitioner journals, and countless articles in other professional publications. Her research has been presented in journals such as Journal of Counseling & Development, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Professional School Counseling, Roeper Review, Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for Specialists in Group Work, and Counselor Education and Supervision. Her Talk with Teens books (Free Spirit) are used in many countries and are often on resource lists for youth work. Specific to working with gifted individuals are Models of Counseling Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults (Prufrock Press) and The Essential Guide to Talking with Gifted Teens: Ready-to-Use Discussions About Identity, Stress, Relationships, and More (Free Spirit). She served two terms on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children, has received 9 national awards, and received 12 awards at Purdue, evenly divided among research, teaching, and service.