Facilitators and Instructors
Kate Arms, J.D., CPCC, ACC, is a leadership and life coach at Signal Fire Coaching, writer, and teacher. As a coach, she specializes in helping gifted, sensitive, and creative people harness their many passions and sensitivities and use that energy to thrive. She runs Thrive with Intensity and developed the Side by Side Model of Healthy Relationships.
She is the parent of four gifted kids, three of whom are twice-exceptional and a different three of whom are triplets. Her parenting journey has included periods of reluctant homeschooling and advocacy within public and private school systems. Her current writing projects are focused on healthy interpersonal relationships at home and work and how to have effective high-stakes conversations. She has presented at the Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted conference, been featured on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand and Embracing Intensity, and is a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator.
Jen Merrill is a writer, blogger, flutist, and gifted family advocate. The mom of two boys, she homeschools her twice-exceptional teen while happily sending his brother off to high school every morning. She is a music educator by trade, with degrees in music education and flute performance. Her book, If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, struck a nerve with families who then suspected Jen was living in their closet. Her second book, on the needs of gifted parents and self-care, is in progress. In addition to writing on her long-time blog, Laughing at Chaos, she has published articles in the Understanding Our Gifted Journal, the 2e Newsletter, and Huffington Post.
Jen has presented at the National Association for Gifted Children conference, the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children conference, and the Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted conference. She is also on the Board of Advisors for the Untapped Potential project. She is a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator.Her goal is to support parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, because they are the ones doing the heavy lifting and are too often ignored, patronized, and discredited.
Christiane (Chris) Wells, Ph.D., is an educational psychologist who studies parenting stress in parents of twice-exceptional (2e) children. Growing up identified as a gifted child, Chris struggled with asynchronous development and underachievement, realizing only later in life that her differences did not mean that she was defective. She is a writer who has experienced positive disintegration several times in her life: she published an autobiography, No Guarantees, when she was 20 years old, and subsequently spent several years in mental health treatment where her intensities were misunderstood.
Chris has studied Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration as a student of Michael M. Piechowski. Her archive of his works (and other works related to TPD) can be found at christianewells.com. She was a social worker in the field of child welfare before beginning her study of Dabrowski’s theory. Originally from Connecticut, Chris lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with her husband and son. She is currently the director of qualitative research at the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development in Westminster, Colorado.