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Making Sense of the Gifted Experience

by | Jun 12, 2018 | 2 Comments

{Video below}

Some people want to go to Disneyland. I want to go to the Dabrowski Congress.

What the heck is the Dabrowski Congress and why is it a big whoop? Don't worry I'm going to tell you.

If you are receiving this blog post, you are likely gifted or you would not have taken interest in it the first place. If you are gifted or believe you have a child who is, you need to know Kazimierz Dabrowski. Dabrowski was a Polish psychiatrist and psychologist who developed the Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD). TPD  is a cornerstone of gifted personality development. I can honestly say that this theory has changed my life and I am not alone.

Dabrowski's theory provides an explanation for the intense manner in which we live life. You may have heard of "overexcitabilities." The direct translation from Polish to English is actually "superstimulatability" which I find to be more descriptive.

So you know those times when you are voraciously researching something and forget to eat or go to the bathroom? That is Intellectual Overexcitability - hyperfocus rooted in intellectual stimulation. If you are 50 years old and still get a rush from dressing up for Halloween each year, that is likely Imaginational Overexcitability.  If the flavors and textures of your lunch provide a pleasurable, sensory experience that others just don't seem to understand, that is Sensual Overexcitability. 

Dabrowski found correlations between high intelligence and the experience of internal anxiety and tension. In Dabrowski's TPD, the tension is between our lower and higher selves. Our lower selves are driven by instincts and insecurity, while our higher selves are motivated by empathy and abiding values. Internal angst provides fuel for advancement in personality development, leading to compassion, integrity, and altruism.  

The theory is complex and multi-faceted and I could never do it justice in a short blog post. So today, I am sharing a video I filmed last September which offers the forest fire as an analogy. Just as the forest has to erupt in fire to renew itself, the less evolved parts of the self have to perish to make way for the growth of a more conscious, more evolved self. The forest fire illustrates the necessity of internal struggles in order to advance to a deeper level of consciousness. An understanding of this theory can guide us in teaching our children about the importance of difficult emotions.  

You can learn more about the theory through books, such as Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration by Sal Mendaglio.

To really experience the flavor of the theory, meet the major proponents and researchers, and learn the latest information about TPD, please join me and giftedness experts Susan Daniels, Danae Deligeorges, Michele Kane, Susan Picard, Michael Piechowski, Linda Silverman, and others at the Dabrowski Congress July 12 - 14 at the Chicago Marriott Naperville. This year's theme is Developmental Potential and the Complexity of Change. You will learn about application of TPD to our children, ourselves and our current world climate. www.dabrowskicongress2018.com

Would love to see you there! 

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2 Responses to “Making Sense of the Gifted Experience”

  1. Paula Prober says:

    Great summary of Dabrowski’s theory, Tina. Thank you.

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