100 Words of Wisdom from Melinda Stewart

                                                                           First published in SENGVine, November 2014​

Please hear me! What happens when there are no words to express anguish so deep, sorrow so profound, nor fear so paralyzing that all reason stops? For the gifted, who feel more things more deeply than words can sometimes hold, the unspeakable can become actions; “symptoms” perhaps. Writer’s block, cutting, school refusal, selective mutism, eating disorders, compulsions, and substance abuse are all examples of actions that can sometimes hold the uncontainable. We must never fail to try first to understand their purpose before we attempt their extinction. Sometimes our job is simply to translate and contain the voice of the heart.

Melinda Stewart, MSW

Educational Counseling, Tutoring, Psychotherapy

(978) 302-5940

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.

Professional Background
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. .

About Melinda