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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.7.2 Existential group work: Meeting affective needs for the gifted

Group work can allow gifted students opportunities to share and discover the universality of their affective needs and expressions. Gifted students need guidance in dealing with their emotions, gaining responsibility, and discovering their own direction and purpose in life. Existential philosophy addresses finding purpose. Existential group work can provide an environment that is uniquely suited for the gifted as they can engage in abstract thinking, complexity, and ambiguity while exploring emotions and dealing with life issues. This presentation provides information of how existential group work has been beneficial for the gifted as they meet their affective needs.


Paula Christensen
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
United States

Dr. Paula Christensen is an Associate Professor at Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches. She teaches graduate courses at NSU in gifted education, counseling, and student affairs in higher education. She is a National Certified Counselor with a strong background in counseling with gifted children and adults and teaching middle school gifted students. Dr. Christensen has also engaged in research studies regarding the processes of gifted students reaching their potential. Her passion for reading and for gifted students has led to a wonderful blending of studying both.


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