Episode 42: Dynamisms, Personality Ideal, and Inner Work

Chris Wells & Emma Nicholson with guest Catherine Zakoian

Release date: September 25, 2023

In episode 42, Chris and Emma continued the conversation with Catherine Zakoian, MA, NCC, LPC, a counselor and consultant from Boulder, Colorado, and author of Raising Gifted Children: A Practical Guide for Parents Facing Big Emotions and Big Potential.

We started the discussion by asking Catherine to talk about how the dynamisms show up in her clinical practice with gifted children. She shared insights from asking kids to use symbols to identify the different parts of themselves and helping them work through and resolve inner conflicts. Catherine also discussed the tension children can experience about the world around them, reconciling their desire to do good in the world while also feeling repulsed by the state of it.

Self-reflection and goal-setting can be beneficial for children. It provides them with an opportunity to think about their ideal self and who they want to be. By guiding children through the reflective process, they can develop an emerging personality ideal and gain the practice of self-reflection. We discussed the delicate work of acknowledging a person's past experiences while helping them navigate their identity. We emphasized the importance of not dismissing or invalidating someone's past but rather acknowledging and validating those experiences.

Catherine brought up the fact that Chris has been learning Polish, and Chris shared a little about how and why that happened. Names that came up in this episode included Immanuel KantJoseph Chilton Pearce, and Peace Pilgrim. Note that we recorded this episode before Frank Falk passed away in April, which is why we talked about him as we did toward the end of the episode.

The Fourth Factor was mentioned, a term that comes from Elizabeth Mika, but we didn’t go into it in depth. Listen to Episode 17 with Elizabeth for more.

Bio: Catherine Zakoian is a licensed and national certified counselor in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. For the past 22 years she has specialized in counseling gifted, (2e), and profoundly gifted children, teens, adults, families and organizations. She is the author of Raising Gifted Children: A Practical Guide for Parents Facing Big Emotions and Big Potential.

Links from this episode

Raising Gifted Children: A Practical Guide for Parents Facing Big Emotions and Big Potential by Catherine Zakoian

Lumineux Institute (Catherine’s website)