Brennan and Piechowski. This study presents a theoretical framework for personal growth leading to self-actualization, and case studies of individuals engaged in such growth. Maslow’s description of self-actualizing people and Dabrowski’s theory of emotional development are brought together for this purpose. We show that self-actualizing people can be found by means of an instrument for assessing levels of emotional development. People who are assessed at or near Dabrowski’s Level 4 meet the criteria of self-actualizing growth. The degree of self-actualization can be assessed with the intensive interview guide developed for this purpose. The interview guide successfully met the objectives of this study. We have found that our self-actualizing individuals share a number of characteristics in common. They have a similar outlook and concern for humanity and its future. They have intensity, energy, and the persistence to work toward high ideals and a capacity to inspire others toward similar ideals. In their life histories, they share childhood giftedness, emotionally difficult and disruptive life experiences, and intense life-affirming experiences.