First published in SENGVine, November 2014
Melinda Stewart, MSW
Educational Counseling, Tutoring, Psychotherapy
I am passionate about working with people for whom the "usual" isn't enough. I have worked with gifted children and adolescents in a variety of professional and informal settings for over 35 years. I am on the editorial board of SENG and am trained as a SENG parent group leader. My current writing focuses on the normal psychological development of highly gifted people, especially children. I counsel adults, adolescents and children from diverse backgrounds, including intellectual, neurological, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity.
Those who are "many ages at once" present a challenge that I particularly enjoy.
I am recently retired from my position as Director of Counseling at Groton School. where I directed a small staff that was responsible for the mental health needs of all students. Additionally, I trained and advised the Peer Counselors, directed the health education curriculum and taught psychology. I served as co-chair of the crisis team and worked in partnership with both the Health Center and the Academic Support team. I served on the faculty-trustee diversity committee and co-authored the school's diversity policies, as well as the anti-bullying policy, the acceptable use policy and the medical leave policy.
I am the founder and former director of Voyagers, Inc., a homeschooling cooperative with a mission of serving gifted children.
As an educator, I have taught history, Latin, literature, and psychology to students from elementary through the amorphous border between gifted high school and college levels. I have trained medical professionals, school administrators, teachers, students and parents. I have created education plans, both inside and outside traditional schools, for countless young people with special needs, special talents or asynchronous development.
I have been on staff at the Stone Center at Wellesley College and McLean Hospital. In both these programs, I developed substance abuse treatment and prevention programs and presented educational programs to a variety of audiences from local churches to the US Department of Education. At the Stone Center, I was the coordinator of Project WAIT, a substance abuse prevention program for young women that was distributed across the country and featured in MS Magazine.
Licensed as an Independent Clinical Social Worker in Massachusetts, I am a graduate of Wellesley College and Smith College School for Social Work where I was awarded the Eleanor Clarke Thesis prize for my work in Addiction and Trauma. I have advanced clinical training in psychodynamic therapy, substance abuse counseling, trauma therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), parent guidance and cross-cultural counseling. I am a frequent presenter on topics relating to gifted education and counseling. I have written and presented extensively on giftedness as it affects normal child development; counseling adolescents from diverse backgrounds, including intellectual, neurological, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity; women and addiction.
Originally from Oklahoma, I am married and have lived with my family in Massachusetts for many years. I am the mother of two grown children who were homeschooled through high school and for whom "the usual" has never been enough. .