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Bright Star - Black Sky: A Phenomenological Study of Depression as a Window Into the Psyche of the Gifted Adolescent - SENG

Bright Star - Black Sky: A Phenomenological Study of Depression as a Window Into the Psyche of the Gifted Adolescent - SENG | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
This qualitative study investigated the lived experience of the depressive state of ten gifted adolescents. In-depth unstructured interviews were conducted, transcribed and analyzed to reveal the essence, structure and meaning of the depressive state for each of the subjects. The analysis revealed a complex stratum of influences fueling the depressive experience. At the core of the experience is the gifted teen's absolute need for knowledge forcommunion and for expression. The analysis revealed that the gifted adolescent is at risk for varying degrees of depression when any or all of these needs are stymied. In particular, meeting communion needs - for meaningful spiritual and emotional exchange - proved problematic for the gifted teen who is often isolated because of extraordinary innate cognitive and emotional complexity. The results from this study have strong implications for specific developmental support and for appropriate therapeutic intervention.
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"The occasion to restructure the self through heightened awareness and self-knowledge, differing forms of creative expression and a deeper communion is suggested by this study"
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Gifted Movie Clip - Principal (2017) | Movieclips Coming Soon

Gifted Movie Clip - Principal (2017) | Movieclips Coming Soon | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Gifted Movie Clip – Principal (2017): Check out th
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everyday dialog in a family with a gifted child
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Smart Sensitive Men Are In Trouble

Smart Sensitive Men Are In Trouble | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Smart sensitive men are in trouble. You know what I'm talking about. What do you do with all that emotion? All that empathy? All that awareness? How do you handle your grief? Your love of art or po...
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

a new idea, Rainforest mind. I'm going to do some more reading on this site, but I like this article which was the first I found at Your Rainforest Mind.

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Catching Fireflies and Blowing Dandelions: Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities

Catching Fireflies and Blowing Dandelions: Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it

http://chermerecafe.blogspot.com/2009/06/dabrowskis-overexcitabilities.html

 

Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities

 Are you afflicted with or affected by Overexcitabilites?

from the article Overexcitabilities in Gifted Children - by Leslie Sword

Overexcitability is a sensitivity of the nervous system, an expanded awareness of and a heightened capacity to respond to stimuli such as noise, light, smell, touch etc.

The term ‘overexcitability’ conveys the idea that this stimulation of the nervous system is well beyond the usual or average in intensity and duration.

Michael Piechowski, who worked with Dabrowski, explains the overexcitabilities as an abundance of physical, sensual, creative, intellectual and emotional energy that can result in creative endeavours as well as advanced emotional and ethical development in adulthood. He says that the overexcitabilities feed, enrich, empower and amplify talent.

Overexcitabilities are assumed to be innate: a genetic predisposition of the nervous system to respond more and more intensely to life's stimuli. This causes those with strong overexcitabilities to have more intense than usual experiences of life.

Overexcitabilities appear in five forms:

Psychomotor - surplus of energy: rapid speech, pressure for action, restlessness impulsive actions, nervous habits & tics, competitiveness, sleeplessness.

Sensual – sensory and aesthetic pleasure: heightened sensory awareness eg sights, smells, tastes, textures, sounds, appreciation of beautiful objects, music, nature, sensitivity to foods and pollutants, intense dislike of certain clothing, craving for pleasure.

Intellectual – learning, problem solving: curiosity, concentration, theoretical & analytical thinking, questioning, introspection, love of learning and problem solving, moral concern, thinking about personal and social moral values.

Imaginational – vivid imagination: creative & inventive, a rich and active fantasy life, superb visual memory, elaborate dreams, day dreams, love of poetry, music and drama, fears of the unknown, mixing of truth and fantasy, great sense of humour.

Emotional – intensity of feeling: complex emotions, extremes of emotion, empathy with others, sensitivity in relationships, strong memory for feelings, difficulty adjusting to change, fears and anxieties, inhibition, timidity, shyness, self-judgment, feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, heightened awareness of injustice and hypocrisy. 

Here are some more examples from the article Overexcitability and the gifted by Sharon Lind

Overexcitabilities are inborn intensities indicating a heightened ability to respond to stimuli. Found to a greater degree in creative and gifted individuals, overexcitabilities are expressed in increased sensitivity, awareness, and intensity, and represent a real difference in the fabric of life and quality of experience.

When feeling emotionally tense, individuals strong in Psychomotor OE may talk compulsively, act impulsively, misbehave and act out, display nervous habits, show intense drive (tending towards "workaholism"), compulsively organize, or become quite competitive.

They derive great joy from their boundless physical and verbal enthusiasm and activity, but others may find them overwhelming. At home and at school, these children seem never to be still.

Those with Sensual OE have a far more expansive experience from their sensual input than the average person. They have an increased and early appreciation of aesthetic pleasures such as music, language, and art, and derive endless delight from tastes, smells, textures, sounds, and sights.

But because of this increased sensitivity, they may also feel over stimulated or uncomfortable with sensory input. When emotionally tense, some individuals high in Sensual OE may overeat, go on buying sprees, or seek the physical sensation of being the center of attraction

Others may withdraw from stimulation. Sensually overexcitable children may find clothing tags, classroom noise, or smells from the cafeteria so distracting that schoolwork becomes secondary. These children may also become so absorbed in their love of a particular piece of art or music that the outside world ceases to exist.

Those high in Intellectual OE have incredibly active minds. They are intensely curious, often avid readers, and usually keen observers. They are able to concentrate, engage in prolonged intellectual effort, and are tenacious in problem solving when they choose.

Other characteristics may include relishing elaborate planning and having remarkably detailed visual recall. People with Intellectual OE frequently love theory, thinking about thinking, and moral thinking. This focus on moral thinking often translates into strong concerns about moral and ethical issues-fairness on the playground, lack of respect for children, or being concerned about "adult" issues such as the homeless, AIDS, or war.

Intellectually overexcitable people are also quite independent of thought and sometimes appear critical of and impatient with others who cannot sustain their intellectual pace. Or they may be become so excited about an idea that they interrupt at inappropriate times.

Imaginational OE reflects a heightened play of the imagination with rich association of images and impressions, frequent use of image and metaphor, facility for invention and fantasy, detailed visualization, and elaborate dreams.

Often children high in Imaginational OE mix truth with fiction, or create their own private worlds with imaginary companions and dramatizations to escape boredom. They find it difficult to stay tuned into a classroom where creativity and imagination are secondary to learning rigid academic curriculum.

Emotional OE is often the first to be noticed by parents. It is reflected in heightened, intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions, identification with others' feelings, and strong affective expression.

Other manifestations include physical responses like stomachaches and blushing or concern with death and depression (Piechowski, 1979). Emotionally overexcitable people have a remarkable capacity for deep relationships; they show strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things. They have compassion, empathy, and sensitivity in relation-ships.

Those with strong Emotional OE are acutely aware of their own feelings, of how they are growing and changing, and often carry on inner dialogs and practice self-judgment.

Children high in Emotional OE‚ are often accused of "overreacting." Their compassion and concern for others, their focus on relationships, and the intensity of their feelings may interfere with everyday tasks like homework or doing the dishes.

****************
So, do you recognize any (or all) of these Overexcitabilities in yourself or your children?

I remember seven years ago when I first read about Dabrowski's Theories on Overexcitabilities, it was a huge event in my life. It was validating to read that these behaviors and feelings I had had my whole life were "normal" for a small subset of people. That knowledge helped me take steps down the path of self-acceptance. I felt that I was weird and wrong for feeling things, everything, so much more than other people seemed to.

Next time I will post about Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration and how having Overexcitabilities is a Good Thing. He theorized that people who are overexcitable can more readily progress through higher stages of personal development.  Posted by Cher Mere at 11:59 AM
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

I recommend checking out this blog post - it has a beautiful description of over-excitabilities -- Inspiring!

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I Don’t Belong Here

I Don’t Belong Here | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

Giftedness and feeling like an imposter - thanks BraverBelieve - Great Blog on giftedness in children and adults.

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How to interact with the introverted…

Click to see the picture and write a comment...
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

lots of things coming out these days about introverts - I love this simple guide ... introverts love people, and introverts get lonely too ...

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Dabrowski’s Theory and Existential Depression in Gifted Children and Adults

Dabrowski’s Theory and Existential Depression in Gifted Children and Adults | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
When people undergo a great trauma or other unsettling event—they have lost a job or a loved one dies, for example—their understanding of themselves or of their place in the world often disintegrates, and they temporarily "fall apart," experiencing...
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more on existential depression

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You Know You're the Parent of a Gifted Child When... | Hoagies' Gifted

You Know You're the Parent of a Gifted Child When... | Hoagies' Gifted | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
You Know You're The Parent of a Gifted Child When... All those stories you think no one will believe, of things our kids say and do far too early, with way too much grace and aplomb!
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

always enjoy these ....

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Ridiculous Things I Heard Today | Hoagies' Gifted

Ridiculous Things I Heard Today | Hoagies' Gifted | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Ridiculous gifted education tales told by parents, teachers, administrators and more. Sure to bring you peals of laughter, or tears of sorrow
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

parents of gifted kids .... common ground here!

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The Power of a Networked Teacher Illustrated

The Power of a Networked Teacher Illustrated | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
A wonderful visual depiction of how educators can tap into their networks to expand and continually improve their teaching practice from a trove of rich resources. Illustrated by Langwitches, the image refers to Alec Couros’s original post exploring question, “What does the network mean to you?”

Via Anne Whaits
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Leslie Minton's curator insight, July 17, 2013 11:49 AM

Great visual of how networks are created to support how best to utilize them in education.

Josi Sierra's curator insight, July 18, 2013 5:36 PM

Conectados somos mas ;-)

Lara Strickland's curator insight, August 13, 2013 8:06 AM

Depicts exactly what I am exploring at the moment as part of my #H812 studies and MA in Online and Disctance Education.  Chosen however not to 'network' Facebook as I tend to use it socially rather than professionally.

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Creative Thinking Articles and Techniques by Michael Michalko » Blog Archive » Creativity Means Seeing the Same Things You See Every Day with New Eyes

Creative Thinking Articles and Techniques by Michael Michalko » Blog Archive » Creativity Means Seeing the Same Things You See Every Day with New Eyes | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
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The Impact of Giftedness on Psychological Well-Being - SENG

The Impact of Giftedness on Psychological Well-Being - SENG | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
by Maureen Neihart There is evidence to support two contrasting views about the psychological well-being of gifted children; that giftedness enhances resiliency in individuals and that giftedness increases vulnerability. There is empirical and theoretical evidence to support both views. It is clear that giftedness influences the psychological well-being of individuals. Whether the psychological outcomes for gifted …
Debbie McJimsey's insight:
Long, but worth the read: "the research suggests that the psychological well-being of a gifted child is related to the type of giftedness, the educational fit, and the child’s personal characteristics such as self-perceptions, temperament and life circumstances."
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EXCEPTIONAL MINDS | A Story from the Forthcoming Documentary THE G WORD

Big Minds is a very special Micro-school in the San Francisco Bay Area for Twice Exceptional (2e) children. In this video -- EXCEPTIONAL MINDS -- we meet Melanie…
Debbie McJimsey's insight:
Cannot wait for this documentary! I think it will go a long way in opening up the conversation about giftedness - especially for the parents who feel so alone in their experience of parenting a gifted/2e kiddo.
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Impostor Syndrome and Gifted Students

Impostor Syndrome and Gifted Students | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Why do highly capable people feel like they aren't as great as others think? This is known as Impostor's Syndrome and is rather common among high achievers.
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

Great personal account of Imposter Syndrome. Includes a brief list of things to do to help, including suggestions for parents and teachers ... love the request to teachers of gifted kids ... "stay close ..."

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On Books And Feeding Yourself

On Books And Feeding Yourself | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
I do not eat nor read leisurely. I eat and read like I suspect that maybe every book and grain of sugar is saving my life.
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

Great example of Dabrowski's! Cross posted this on my shelf for Counseling as well as Gifted-Gate

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Debbie McJimsey's curator insight, January 26, 2015 11:30 AM

The author's description of her experience with books I think illustrates very well Dabrowski's Over-Excitabilities. I think I will be referring to these descriptions in my next SENG class.

 

Description of Dabrowski's is presented nicely here: http://chermerecafe.blogspot.com/2009/06/dabrowskis-overexcitabilities.html - though refers to gifted children, I think applies to adults as well (I identify with several and I'm 43!)

 

And, for more normalizing and celebrating - we can always look to Living with Intensity: http://www.greatpotentialpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Living-with-Intensity-preview.pdf

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Gifted Kids Aren’t Going to “Be Fine” | I was thinking…

Gifted Kids Aren’t Going to “Be Fine” | I was thinking… | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it

Trying to make sense of this loss ...

Debbie McJimsey's insight:

       I have been feeling so saddened by the death of Robin Williams.  I often use Robin as an example when helping families understand giftedness and the over-excitabilities ...I show videos and I help these families to get excited about what our children can achieve ... even if they live in a world of imagination and intensity. Since Robin's death, I've had some emails and texts from families that have worked with me and attended SENG classes where we get into this stuff -- they are just connecting with me, trying to make sense also ... I am still processing what this means to me, to the families I work with, to future SENG groups.  I haven't come to a conclusion, but for sure I know I am definitely more fearful. 

           I've been spending some time seeing the response to his death in the gifted community (James T Webb Facebook posts on Existential depression have been illuminating). Here is an example of one of the articles that resonates with me.  I really like the comments on this one - one commenter suggests that these articles are missing the other part of the equation. That was important for me to read .... 

             The take away for me ... from this article, as well as the comments that follow the article - is that we can help foster resilience and using those creative and clever minds to help tackle the very problems that are caused by those creative and clever minds.

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Language and Resistance: Am I Gifted, Bright, Normal or Dull, and Does it Even Matter?

Language and Resistance: Am I Gifted, Bright, Normal or Dull, and Does it Even Matter? | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Many people with beautiful minds hide it under a bushel basket. This stems not only from a longing for acceptance in a society that values egalitarianism, but also from resistance to facing the pro...
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An Interview with James T. Webb: Searching For Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment and Hope | Education News

An Interview with James T. Webb: Searching For Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment and Hope | Education News | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

Q & A with Dr. Webb on his latest book

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How Depression Serves Us.

How Depression Serves Us. | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
How Depression Serves Us.
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I think this article, and the comments are definately worth reading - interesting point of view

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A Response to the

A Response to the | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Well, notice that everyone-is-gifted never initiates a conversation. No one comes up to you in the lobby and says,
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

I run into this comment a lot when I talk to friends and colleagues and tell them that I specialize in working with Gifted kids and their families. I'm going to collect a few of these responses, and share them at SENG Parent groups.

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Millions join the education free-for-all on the internet

Millions join the education free-for-all on the internet | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it
Free online courses allow anyone, regardless of educational qualifications, to study whatever they like

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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iPassIELTS's curator insight, July 19, 2013 4:04 AM

Great news for university students worldwide!

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12 Principles Of Mobile Learning

12 Principles Of Mobile Learning | Counseling and Gifted-GATE | Scoop.it

Via Beth Dichter, Dennis T OConnor, Stewart-Marshall, Anne Whaits
Debbie McJimsey's insight:

lots more on this topic

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danahawkins's comment, August 8, 2013 10:34 PM
The curation comment is interesting... I think it's fantastic that students are able to gain these skills without the assistance of a teacher, but ultimately if they veer off the path or have been misguided, they will always need a facilitator to not only show students the tools but also give them some best practice ideas.
Viljenka Savli (http://www2.arnes.si/~sopvsavl/)'s curator insight, August 13, 2013 2:13 AM

A new approach to learning and teaching concerns students' selflearning and assessing and of course techer's coaching. More about main principals in this article...

Mary Kate Lavin's curator insight, February 6, 2014 2:39 PM

This describes the 12 principles of mobile learning.  It describes not only how to use technology in classes but also the reasoning behind using it.