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Living with Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults Paperback – 23 Oct 2009
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"Dabrowski's concepts of overexcitabilities and positive disintegration are helpful in understanding what might otherwise seem like inexplicable behaviors among some gifted children and adults." - Steven I. Pfeiffer, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Director of Clinical Training, The Florida State University "A detailed and insightful perspective on intensity throughout the lifespan. The section on adolescence should be compulsory reading for parents, teachers and counselors." - Professor Miraca U.M. Gross, Director: Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC), The University of New South Wales "... a wonderful exploration of the multi-faceted sensitivities/intensities of gifted children and adults.... It will assist parents, teachers, and clinicians to understand and nurture the complex combination of intellectual advancement and overexcitabilities ... and avoid tragic misperceptions and misdiagnoses." - Barbara Jackson Gilman, M.S.,Associate Director of Gifted Development Center, Author of Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children "This book is an ideal companion to Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration (2008). ... some nice examples of working with (not against, or trying to fix) intensity." - Leslie Forstadt, Ph.D., in Roeper Review "[A] great addition to a "gifted" library." - Christine Fonseca, author of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids "On the topic of emotional intensity and sensitivity... Living with Intensity [will] be helpful to you in terms of offering concrete strategies to use." - Center for Talent Development Director, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius "Living With Intensity has served as the guiding tome for our work with gifted children at our K-8 school. It has framed for our faculty the central paradigm of our work- beginning with the rich inner life of the gifted child and building powerful learning opportunities and programming that engages their deep, natural interest in the world from there. For educators and parents working with our complex and brilliant children, there may not be a single work as important as Living With Intensity." - Eric Robertson, Ed.S, Head of School, Mackintosh Academy, Pamela Andreas Campus
From the Inside Flap
"Living with Intensity is both a pleasant and instructive reading. It undoubtedly succeeds in its declared aim of making 'highly complex material accessible without diluting its essential concepts' (p.265). Using a language that is easy to follow and being filled with illustrations and practical suggestions, this book is essential for all parents, teachers and counselors 'dealing' with giftedness and intensity." -Vlad Glaveanu, Editor, Europe's Journal of Psychology
"The application of Dabrowski becomes clear for counselors, teachers, and parents. Nice examples of working with (not against, or trying to fix) intensity. This book is an ideal companion to Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration (2008). -Leslie Forstadt, Ph.D., Roeper Review
"This book is a lifesaver for the gifted population...it presents a clear and concise overview of their inner and outer worlds, how they think and process, how they can and cannot express themselves, what is needed in their environments in order for them to thrive and offer up their unique and needed contributions to the world...I couldn't put it down because of the affirming recognition I felt in this book...the book offers enormous breakthroughs for anyone in this category who may have been living in the shadows of constant criticisms or living on the fringe for their 'differentness.'" -Kendra Kett, Author of The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight
"Living with Intensity provides something for everyone who lives or works with gifted children and adults. With chapters devoted to clinical work with the gifted, family dynamics, issues affecting specifically adults who are gifted, and research studies and applications, Daniels and Piechowski have provided a noteworthy and even essential contribution to the field of giftedness." -Dr. Susan Berry, Psychologist who works with gifted children and their families, Glastonbury, CT
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This book is a fantastic introduction to this subject for highly able teenagers and young people. It has an informal tone and short, easy to digest chapters with lots of recommended resources for further reading, so you don't feel like you're being preached to or overwhelmed by a self-help book. The main focus of the book is the ways "giftedness" can impact you in your daily life and particularly your education, and how to harness these intensities to improve your academic and personal development. Reading the chapter on procrastination was a real eye-opener for me: I've always been frustrated by my habit of last minute work, and it put into words the underlying feelings that fuel this.
I'd highly recommend this to any young person who is wondering about their own, or a friend's, "giftedness". It would also make a fantastic gift to any child/relative/friend who has an immense learning potential but is struggling to make the cookie-cutter education system work for them as individuals.
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In recent years, I have developed extreme social anxiety... No matter what I say or do, it always seems wrong. Every time I talk to a stranger, I later repeat the conversation in my head, thinking of all the things I said that were embarrassing, or lamenting that I talked too much or that I took the situation too seriously. I feel so ashamed that I vow never to talk to anyone ever again, but eventually I do and the cycle repeats.
Now this book... I originally bought this book as a parenting resource, but instead, I cried reading the first two chapters as I remembered every time in my life that people have told me that I am too sensitive, I talk too much, I talk too fast... No matter what I do, I am just TOO MUCH. When I confide in loved ones about the way I feel, they tell me that I should see a psychologist... I agree with them. I do need help... but who would I go to? How would I explain what is wrong with me? How would they even begin to help me? I've spent a great deal of time researching these questions... and finally, this book gave me the answers.
If any of these experiences resonate with you, please please please read this book.
Definitely and "intense" book.