About my Work
Coaching with me is focused on supporting clients in the construction of a working understanding on what it means to be gifted, and how to lead a healthy and joyful life as a gifted human. I focus on a “creative” approach tailored to support clients in “creating” the lives they want to lead. This can incorporate many areas such as gaining a fundamental understanding of one's (gifted) experience, developing a regulatory selfcare and/or creative practice, or finding the necessary resources to move forward, and how they can be acquired in a constructive way. Our work can be applied to many different challenges and areas: knowledge of one’s giftedness and how it impacts one’s life, workplace, relationships with self or others, creative expression, or even in more existential domains. Knowing and navigating the integral aspects to leading a healthy life, such as personal needs of the individual, connection to life, and individual values, alongside self-discovery, self-actualization and development isn’t usually an easy task for anyone. Doing so as part of a minority who has different needs and challenges than the majority of humans on the planet can at times seem near impossible, especially if one is alone and without guidance. This is why I focus on providing a basic framework that gifted adults can utilize to orient themselves, discover their creative authenticity, and advocate for themselves in meaningful ways.
I focus particularly on work with gifted creatives, gifted men, and gifted adults wishing to work on relational aspects of their life. While not being an exclusive focus, these clients are very close to my heart as their personal development work centers around topics whose development I hope to witness in our culture and time (gender, creativity, and relational frameworks).
You can find some more specific Information about my rates, frequencies and other logistics here.
Assessments for Gifted Adults
Giftedness is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Within giftedness there are levels and flavors; and if anything else is added to giftedness, such as ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities or other similar conditions, giftedness can be very hard to fully understand. Even if one has an IQ score that “proves” one's giftedness according to that measure, the intelligence that makes one good at IQ testing is far from the whole picture of one's “giftedness profile”.
Assessment sessions with me are designed to help you look at the full picture of your giftedness (or possible giftedness, if you're not sure yet): including your level and areas of giftedness, and any second exceptionalities you have and how that affects your expression of giftedness. If you have an IQ score, that can be a helpful data point for us to include in our analysis, but we are looking at a picture larger than just logico-mathematical intelligence. We are looking at a more holistic picture of how your mind takes in and organizes the world, and how that translates into your unique gifted perception, expression, challenges and opportunities.
Assessments can be done in one two-hour session; many people like to take two to three two-hour sessions in total, so that we can look more deeply into how your giftedness combines with your unique personality style, culture, family culture, educational opportunities or lack thereof, and so on, to get a more complete picture. However, one session is sufficient for a basic understanding of your level and areas of giftedness.
Many people want to continue coaching or mentoring sessions following the assessment session(s), and this can be either with me, or I connect them with a coach from the InterGifted Coaching Network that fits well with their profile. Most like to join the InterGifted Peer Community or Highly, Exceptionally & Profoundly Gifted Group in order to connect with their gifted peers from around the world and learn more about themselves and giftedness through healthy mirroring and community participation. Essentially, in my work, I'm dedicated to helping you find the right ongoing support for living out your giftedness in the most fulfilling way possible for you, and for many that starts with an assessment.
Working with gifted creatives
The overlap of giftedness and creativity has been observed and studied by many, perhaps most closely by Dabrowski in his study of the positive disintegration process. Being a passionate creative myself, I have experienced many of the possible connection points firsthand - particularly the healing and transformative power creative work can have, for which artistic skill or professional ambitions are neither relevant nor necessary.
Utilizing our creativity constructively doesn’t have to mean creating paintings or playing music. It can have many other outlets, such as writing, programming, logic, gaming or physical movement, to name just a few. Through guiding others in their process, I have expanded my understanding of the complex road map one has to navigate in life when these two traits (giftedness & creativity) sit at the foundation of one’s being:
- Making a living as a creative.
- The social and/or cultural stigma of being an artist or creator.
- Fitting space for creativity inside a busy lifestyle.
- Utilizing the power of creative expression for self-reflection, health development, and well-being.
- The unique perspective of a gifted artist.
- Letting the creative drive/need/hunger come alive after being suppressed by one’s social or cultural environment.
- Impostor syndrome, and the sensation of not being "good enough".
- The communicative and relational challenges of a gifted creative, and how to overcome them.
- Learning, teaching and practicing as a gifted creative.
- The gifted life challenges with a strong creative drive.
- Restless discovery and multi-potentiality (not sticking to one modality, but feeling a need/drive to explore everything).
If gifted creativity is a relevant topic for you, you might also enjoy my article on Creativity, Perfectionism & Self-Love. Many people also join the InterGifted Creatives Group to connect to other gifted creatives, and to share and discuss their work.
Working with gifted men
The question of “What does it mean to be a man?” has always been with me. Over time, it has changed shape and gained complexity. In my process of growing up, I found myself not agreeing with most of what culture or my family told me about being a man. Yet I also did not know how to define what it did mean to me, nor what being a male partner or friend in romantic as well as non-romantic relationships meant. “How can one be a man without compromising one's own authenticity, sovereignty, and one's needs and values?” This question became the core drive of my own process, my research and eventually my work in coaching.
When we bring in giftedness, and/or twice or multiple exceptionalities, it gets even more complex. From my own experience and my work, I know that it can be confusing, frustrating, and scary, especially when no one seems to talk about it. I talk about my own process in more depth in my article Gender & Giftedness: Toward a Human-First Model of Self-Expression.
If you're looking for good mirroring and healthy discussion on the topic of being a gifted man - and what kind of gifted man you want to be - consider working with me in the generative and safe atmosphere of coaching.
If this is an interesting topic for you, you might also like my article on Self-Leadership for Gifted Men.
Merlin is a trained & certified coach and mentor with InterGifted. He focuses his work on raising awareness about giftedness, helping gifted individuals better understand their unique mental make-up, and translating that into constructing satisfying lives and relationships.
His professional background spans many other areas in traditional gifted, non-linear fashion. Among those are being a professional artist and composer, media production, teaching on individual and university level, entrepreneurship, music production & publishing, martial arts & self defense, community building, fine crafts, and experience in the video-game industry.
Fields of study and personal interest cover neuro-psychology, music, media, art, living with autism & twice exceptionality, technology, relational & social studies and behavior, alternative lifestyles for creatives, nature, fantasy, storytelling, and some others.