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  • Writer's pictureFiona Murray

Why Gifted People Need To Know About Positive Disintegration

Dabrowski had a theory of adult personality development based around the idea that in order to make progress it was necessary to go through stages of integration and it is not possible to reach the next stage of development without first experiencing the disintegration of the one you are currently at.

This has relevance for those who experience some degree of giftedness because Dabrowski thought that people with an increased developmental or creative potential were more likely to experience episodes of positive disintegration.

Gifted and creative people are thus more likely to break away from social norms and develop their own way of being in the world where their own guiding values are what they use to make decisions. The disintegration of a life based on societal norms can thus be a positive disintegration as it allows these individuals to live more authentic and fulfilling lives.

So how can you tell if the idea of positive disintegration might be helpful to you?

Well, look at your experiences:-

Do you experience daily life more intensely and to feel the extremes of the joys and sorrows of life profoundly?

Do you have a strong value system which is often not reflected by those around you?

Do you use your talents to serve others more than yourself?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions you may fit the gifted/creative profile.

Now think about your life so far, have you experienced any of the 5 levels of positive disintegration?

Level 1 - You conform to society’s expectations.

Level 2 – You begin to question why things are as they are.

Level 3 - You start comparing yourself and the world against the way you think things should be.

Level 4 – You decide you cannot go back to the way things were and start to take decisive action aligned with your new values.

Level 5 - You help others on their journeys of positive disintegration and live a life fully aligned with your values.

If you recognise any of this it might be time to check out Dabrowski’s theory and if you are struggling at any of the levels then know that therapy can help.

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