Episode 44: Complexity, Intensity, and Multiple Perspectives

Chris Wells & Emma Nicholson with guest Matt Zakreski

Release date: October 12, 2023

In episode 44, Chris and Emma talked with Dr. Matt Zakreski, a clinical psychologist specializing in neurodivergence and giftedness. Matt discussed his personal connections with his work as a psychologist in the gifted field and his experiences being gifted and ADHD. We discussed topics such as neurodivergence, personal growth, and giftedness, and Dr. Matt shared personal stories and insights.

Matt talked about embracing complexity and multiple perspectives and told us that he supports autonomy in the path to self-discovery. This means letting people come to their own place of understanding. We don’t have to live in a world of black and white. We can live in a world of unique and infinite complexities.

We talked about helping people develop self-efficacy and self-determination. Matt said we’re shaped not only by what happens to us but how we respond to it, and he shared that he sees personality as an ongoing process of development. We discussed misdiagnosis and moving away from the medical model. Speaking of kids in school, Matt said that he believes in the productive struggle rather than a pointless and painful struggle. There’s got to be a direction.

Dr. Matt shared the origins of what made him such a strong ally for the LGBTQ+ community. He said we’ve got to make more spaces open for people to come as they are, and when that happens, everybody wins. There are no downsides to letting people be their most authentic selves and get the support and accommodations that are required and necessary to facilitate their growth. We agree wholeheartedly. Listeners are encouraged to approach the complexities of the world with an open mind.

Bio: Matthew Zakreski, PsyD is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with neurodivergent (gifted, 2e, ADHD, Autism, etc.) people and has presented over 200 times all over the country and internationally. He is the co-founder and lead clinician at The Neurodiversity Collective.

Links from this episode

The Neurodiversity Collective (Dr. Matt’s website)

You can find Dr. Matt on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Failure is Fun…damental (YouTube)

Falling in Love is Hard on OEs (YouTube)

When Emotional Intensity and Cognitive Rigidity Collide (PDF)

From The G Word’s GTN Awareness Week: Sex Education For Gifted Kids + LGBTQ Panel with Matt, Chris, Church, and Ilan, hosted by Marc Smolowitz.