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Positive Disintegration Paperback – January 10, 2017
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Dabrowski's theory is not only interesting but even exciting in its breadth and depth of its implications. The ubiquity of psychological symptoms has always confounded a simple descriptive psychopathological approach to mental illness. Dabrowski's theory gives these symptoms a role in normal personality development that is consistent with their broad distribution as shown by epidemiological studies and as felt by those aware of the problems in themselves and in those around them."
Jason Aronson, Harvard Medical School
About the Author
Kazimierz Dabrowski, M.D., Ph.D., (1902 - 1980) was born in Poland. He received his medical degree from the Forensic Medicine Department of the University of Geneva in 1929, and earned his Ph.D. in psychology, as well as a second medical diploma, from the Adam Mickiewicz University in 1931. Dabrowski was a very prolific scholar; his publications number in the hundreds in Polish, including some twenty major books. Dabrowski's titles in English include: Personality-shaping Through Positive Disintegration, Mental Growth Through Positive Disintegration, and Psychoneurosis Is Not an Illness.
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Elements of the theory turn out to be naturally adjunct to gifted education, particularly in regards to the "overexcitability" dynamic (descriptors of several different high sensitivities). While overall personality development is the actual thrust of Dabrowski's proposals, some of them have been adapted to development in gifted education. If you have an interest in gifted education, a direct study of Dabrowski can certainly help your background understanding of advanced development.
Positive disintegration is unique among personality development theories in emphasizing that trauma, anxiety, neurosis, and even some forms of psychosis represent an opportunity for higher development through fragmentation of a person's existing psychic structures. We've all seen anecdotes of positive, seemingly improbable growth after traumas and stress, likely even experienced this ourselves. We've all had negative episodes and events in our lives, and in Dabrowski we can better understand the unexpected developmental value these can have for us. In this latter light, I have to admit a positive bias toward Dabrowski since I have become familiar with the theory and especially with its implications for my own life experience and development. The theory has a quite universal application, so you may likely find that same value in this book and others by Dabrowski as I have.