Episode 24: Through the Lens of Youth

**Content warning**: Please be aware that this episode contains sensitive topics such as depression, disturbing mental imagery, and suicidal ideation. In episode 24, Chris and Emma were joined by Lance Johnson, a college student from Colorado who studies Dabrowski’s theory. Chris and Lance first met in 2019, and they’ve spent many hours together talking about the theory over the past few years.

Episode 23: Explorations in Gifted Diversity

In episode 23, Chris and Emma were joined by psychologist Jennifer Harvey Sallin, founder of InterGifted, a worldwide community and support organization for gifted adults. This conversation is a celebration of gifted diversity in adulthood! We talked about what giftedness can look like in adults, how it manifests, and the great range of diversity within giftedness. Jen shared her model of giftedness with us, which describes the areas of giftedness, and shows how everyone’s ‘gifted profile’ can look different.

Episode 22: Nonviolent Communication

In episode 22, Chris and Emma talked with Bob Yamtich, a coach who uses Nonviolent Communication to build poise, joy, self-connection, and choice. We talked about Nonviolent Communication with Bob, as well as empathy, needs, and strategies. We discussed shared connection and living in a shared reality, as well as connection requests. This is a primer in NVC with someone who lives it and uses it as a coach.

Episode 21: GTN Awareness Week

In episode 21, Chris and Emma were joined by Marc Smolowitz, a director, producer, and executive producer who is currently in post-production on THE G WORD, a feature-length documentary that aims to be the most comprehensive film ever made on the topics of gifted, talented, and neurodiverse education across the United States. We were happy to talk with Marc and help celebrate THE G WORD’s second annual Gifted / Talented / Neurodiverse Awareness Week. GTN Awareness Week included a great selection of panels and programming from October 24-28, 2022.

Episode 20: Values

This episode wraps up year one of our podcast! It has been a privilege to share Dabrowski’s theory with our audience, and we want to thank you for listening and becoming a part of our community. In episode 20, Chris and Emma explored the values that guide the Dabrowski Center, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the Theory of Positive Disintegration through advocacy, education, and innovation.

Episode 19: The Challenge of Levels

In episode 19, Chris and Emma were joined by Stephanie Tolan, an author and long-time advocate and champion of the gifted. This episode was inspired by Stef’s chapter in the book Living with Intensity called “What We May Be: What Dabrowski’s Work Can Do for Gifted Adults.” We’ve had enough feedback from listeners to know that we needed to take a closer look at the theory’s levels of development and that we needed to push back a little on the established dogma.

Episode 18: Engaging Transformation

In episode 18, Chris and Emma were joined by Rachel Fell, a coach, consultant, educator, and guide working with creatives, thinkers, leaders, and groups to create perspective change that achieves real-world results. The focus of this episode was on disintegration, giftedness, neurodivergence, and trauma. We discussed nervous system differences, definitions of trauma, and the importance of embracing the process.

Episode 17: The Highs and Lows of Positive Disintegration

In episode 17, Chris and Emma were joined by Elizabeth Mika, a Polish-born psychologist and expert on the Theory of Positive Disintegration. Elizabeth shares how she first became interested in Dabrowski’s theory as a teenager in Poland, how it inspired her to go into the field of psychology, and her journey into working with the theory once she immigrated to America. Our conversation covered a wide range of topics, focused on the ‘lows and highs’ of Dabrowski’s levels, from the sub-levels of unilevel integration to the Fourth Factor and drive for self-transcendence. We talk about the dangers of narcissism and its various forms, the role of positive maladjustment, and how self-reflection and inner transformation is the first step in making the world a better place.

Episode 16: Overexcitability and Openness to Experience

In episode 16, Chris and Emma were joined by Dr. Shelagh Gallagher, for a discussion of overexcitability (OE) and openness to experience (OtE), based on her paper which compares the two frameworks. Shelagh is an independent consultant in gifted education and President-Elect of the National Association for Gifted Children. We discussed the controversy in the field of gifted education about OE and OtE, and the value both frameworks can provide in informing us about the gifted student experience in education.

Episode 15: Creativity and Authenticity

In Episode 15, Chris and Emma were joined by Melissa Bernstein, co-founder of Melissa & Doug Toys and author of LifeLines. We learned about Melissa’s inspirational journey to self-acceptance and living authentically after spending decades of her life suffering from existential depression and angst. Melissa discovered Dąbrowski’s theory in her late 40s and described the relief she felt from learning about overexcitabilities as a framework for understanding her lifelong intensity and sensitivities.