Helpful Theories

This page gives you an overview of the basic theories that are found most practical and often used in supporting high-able children, teenagers and young adults within the PowerWood Community.

The notion of Silverman (2005) of high-ability as an asynchronous development is very helpful in understanding and coaching high-able children and teenagers,  and this has been defined by the Columbus Group.

Also very helpful and practical have been the theory and in particular several concepts that are part of  Kazimierz Dabrowski’s  Theory of Positive Disintegration, which describes how a person’s development grows as a result of accumulated experiences.

High-Ability is ‘Asynchronous Development’

The notion of Silverman (2005) of high-ability as an asynchronous development very helpful in understanding and coaching high-able children and teenagers,  and this has been defined by the Columbus Group as follows:

The Columbusgroup came in 1991 with the following definition of high-ability:

  • High-Ability is ‘asynchronous development’ in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm.
  • This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity.
  • The uniqueness of the more-able renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.

Here you can read more about asynchronous development with some examples how it may affect children.

Suffering has Real Life Advantages

Also very helpful and practical have been the theory and in particular several concepts that are part of  Kazimierz Dabrowski’s  Theory of Positive Disintegration, which describes how a person’s development grows as a result of accumulated experiences.

Most used concepts from The Theory of Positive Disintegration:

  • ‘True personality’ (personality ideal) must be based upon a personal system of values and norms consciously chosen by you based on your own individual personality ideal.
  • ‘Developmental Potential’ to describe the forces needed to achieve autonomous personality development including innate abilities and talents, ‘overexcitability’ and the ‘third factor’.
  • ‘Overexcitability’, the innate ability to react more strongly to sensory input.
  • ‘The Third Factor’ is the strength of our ability to drive ourselves toward autonomy.
  • To grow personally crises and ‘disintegrations‘ are needed, usually provided by life experience. These disintegrations can be positive if we can achieve positive and developmental solutions to the situation.
  • Autopsychotherapy’ investigating yourself and becoming more and more aware of everything, also the negative, that goes on within yourself while creating a growing non judgemental and acceptant mind map of yourself and becoming more and more aware of your true personality. According to Dabrowski without intense and painful introspection and reflection, development is unlikely. Psychoneurotic symptoms should be embraced and transformed into anxieties about human problems of an ever higher order.

Concepts used that are spin-offs of The Theory of Positive Disintegration:

  • ‘The Gap’ that creates negative feelings: pain, suffering, aloneness,, self-doubt, sadness and inner conflict. We only have them because we are conscious about ‘The Gap’ between who we are now and the person we want to be. The energy of those feelings is the drive to grow step by step to our self chosen personality ideal.
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