55 episodes

What can be positive about disintegration? Join us for an exploration of positive disintegration through conversation and shared stories. It’s a framework for understanding a variety of intense experiences that often look and feel like mental illness, but which can also be viewed as building blocks for creating an authentic personality.

www.positivedisintegration.org

Positive Disintegration Podcast Emma Nicholson and Dr. Chris Wells

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 32 Ratings

What can be positive about disintegration? Join us for an exploration of positive disintegration through conversation and shared stories. It’s a framework for understanding a variety of intense experiences that often look and feel like mental illness, but which can also be viewed as building blocks for creating an authentic personality.

www.positivedisintegration.org

    Voice as a Mirror of Inner States

    Voice as a Mirror of Inner States

    In episode 52, Chris and Emma talked with Laura Stavinoha, who offers singers and speakers coaching and counseling about the voice and personal development through her company, Use Your Voice. Laura is the author of the book Voice: A Multifaceted Approach to Self-Growth and Vocal Empowerment and editor-in-chief of the Dutch Positive Disintegration website. She will join us in Denver this summer to present her work at the 2024 Dabrowski Congress.
    The human voice is a tool for communication, and a reflection of our inner state. Laura discusses how the voice can provide insights into our emotions, stress levels, and personal development. She says our voice is connected to the nervous system and can be influenced by our emotions. When we experience feelings such as nervousness, excitement, or anger, our voice can undergo changes. This connection between emotions and the voice is well-known, as many of us have experienced our voices trembling or becoming shaky when we are anxious or stressed.
    We talk about the role of overexcitabilities in the voice. Overexcitabilities are heightened sensitivities and intensities that can manifest in different ways, including in the voice. For instance, individuals with psychomotor overexcitability may have rapid speech patterns or a tendency to talk compulsively. Individuals with imaginational overexcitability may experience rapid shifts in thoughts and ideas during conversation.
    Laura describes how the voice can be a symptom of the conflicts and tensions that arise as we strive for personal growth and self-actualization. These conflicts can manifest in our voice—e.g., feeling constricted or unable to express ourselves authentically. Dynamisms are inner forces that can manifest as inner conflicts and tensions that arise during the process of positive disintegration. These conflicts can be reflected in the voice, through hesitations, inconsistencies, or changes in tone.
    Laura explains that the autonomic nervous system influences the voice in the same way it influences other bodily functions like heart rate and breathing. Regulating the nervous system through practices like meditation or yoga can have a positive impact on the voice. The human voice can provide valuable insights into our inner state. It can reflect our emotions, stress levels, and personal development. By paying attention to our voice and working on its development, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and enhance our communication with others.
    Highlights
    00:03:34 How Laura discovered the theory
    00:07:34 Laura’s path to authenticity
    00:14:23 The importance of purpose
    00:17:00 Reflection on developing one’s voice
    00:18:39 Do you like the sound of your own voice?
    00:22:33: Chris’s voice issues
    00:27:11 Tension and the voice
    00:28:28 When Laura’s voice failed her
    00:30:28 OEs and the autonomic nervous system
    00:34:26 How OEs manifest over time
    00:37:12 Jamie’s case and ADHD
    00:39:45 Overexcitability and neurodivergence
    00:42:00 TPD as a liberating theory
    00:43:54 Coexistence of unilevel and multilevel dynamisms
    00:47:03 Voice as an indicator of well-being
    00:51:09 Going beneath the surface
    00:55:05 Doing the developmental work
    00:56:51 TPD and polyvagal theory
    Overall, working on the voice goes beyond simply improving vocal techniques. It involves understanding the connection between the voice and the nervous system, addressing underlying emotional and psychological factors, and developing a holistic approach to voice development.
    Resources from this episode
    Use Your Voice (Laura’s website)
    The book Voice: A Multifaceted Approach to Self-Growth and Vocal Empowerment by Laura Stavinoha (Amazon)
    Voice Problems as Signs of Positive Disintegration (Laura’s 2022 Congress presentation on YouTube)
    Positieve Desintegratie (in Dutch)
    2024 Dabrowski Congress page. Registration opens later this week!
    Connect with us
    Positive Disintegration [Substack]
    Visit the Dabrowski Center website
    Positive Disintegration Podcast

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Quick Bite: Gift-a-Palooza

    Quick Bite: Gift-a-Palooza

    In episode 51, Chris and Emma shared the news that they are presenting at a virtual summit, Gift-a-Palooza, and discussed their plans for the session. This is also the first episode where we’ve included outtakes at the end. We hope our errors and laughter are as amusing for you as they were for us!
    Gift-a-Palooza will be the first time Chris and Emma team up for a presentation. Their session is “Navigating the Tides of Change: Positive Disintegration in Gifted Adults,” and it’s happening on Saturday, February 3, from 4:15-5:30 pm EST. The full conference dates are February 1-4, 2024, and there’s a fantastic lineup with something for everyone in the gifted community.
    From the hosts, Dr. Michael and Julie Postma of Gifted & Thriving: “This 4-day celebration is dedicated to helping individuals and families in our Gifted & Multi-Exceptional community move from a place of surviving to thriving—by coming together to share and explore our experiences, challenges and joys! This year, we're bringing together 45+ top experts for an array of engaging discussions, live Q&As and special events for educators, families, adults, health professionals and other community members!”
    If you want to join us, please consider signing up with our affiliate link. The cost is $139 USD for all access.
    Links from this episode
    Click here to sign up! (Affiliate link: https://www.giftedandthriving.com/a/2147748168/TznuMaEi)
    Gifted & Thriving (website)


    Get full access to Positive Disintegration at www.positivedisintegration.org/subscribe

    • 21 min
    Giftedness and Personality

    Giftedness and Personality

    In episode 50, Chris and Emma talked with Dr. Deborah Ruf, author of the award-winning book 5 Levels of Gifted. In 2023, she released a follow-up book called The 5 Levels of Gifted Children Grown Up: What They Tell Us. Our conversation highlights her expertise in studying giftedness and personality across the lifespan.
    We started the episode by asking Deborah to share her journey, and learned how she was first introduced to Dąbrowski’s theory in the early 1990s. Her dissertation study included the theory of positive disintegration, which she has worked with for many years. We discussed how she incorporated the theory into her work while exploring the complexities of giftedness, including its intersection with personality types and life circumstances.
    Our personalities have a profound impact on our relationships with others as well as with our own self-understanding. Chris shared a few quotes from The 5 Levels of Gifted Children Grown Up during our discussion, including this one about the importance of the environment on development:
    “It is not the high IQ or intellectual level that causes personal problems for many of our most intellectually gifted people. It is the ongoing presence of a poor environmental “fit” during their childhood. The better the fit, the better the social, emotional, and any other kind of well-being outcome measure, they will have.” (Ruf, 2023)
    Overall, this episode underscores the multifaceted nature of intelligence and personality, shaping our interactions, self-perception, and adaptation to various environments. Embracing and understanding ourselves can lead to personal growth and improved relationships with others. We highlight the importance of adopting multiple lenses and frameworks to reach a fuller understanding. As complex individuals with diverse backgrounds, strengths, and environments, we require various perspectives to deepen our understanding, heal from past experiences, and develop.
    Deborah emphasized that personality tests are not fixed and can change as we evolve. Personality tests offer insights into our current state, and by taking them multiple times, we can observe our growth and understand how different factors and periods in our lives impact our moods and responses.
    Highlights
    00:02:30 - Dr. Ruf's Journey to Dabrowski's Theory
    00:05:42 - Personal Growth and Weaving Theories
    00:08:29 - The Challenges of Funding Research
    00:13:45 - Personality Matters
    00:19:55 - An Example of Self-Understanding
    00:23:20 - The Need for Multiple Perspectives
    00:26:26 - Impact of Personality on Life Choices
    00:32:41 - Importance of Environmental Fit for Gifted Individuals
    00:34:48 - Round Pegs in Square Holes
    00:39:25 - Environmental Fit Issues Continue in Adulthood
    00:42:15 - Transcending Psychological Type
    00:43:57 - The Intersection of Giftedness and Personality
    00:48:17 - Levels of Giftedness
    00:56:45 - The Issue of Multiple-Exceptionalities
    00:59:35 - Understanding and Overcoming Trauma
    01:04:39 - Apologizing Without Excuses
    01:06:09 - The Complexity of Personal Identity and Labels
    * A transcript of this episode is available on our website.
    Resources from this episode
    The 5 Levels of Gifted Children Grown Up: What They Tell Us (Amazon)
    5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (Amazon)
    Keys to Successfully Parenting the Gifted Child (Amazon)
    Gifted Through the Lifespan (Dr. Ruf on Substack)
    Five Levels of Gifted (Dr. Ruf’s website)
    Karen Nelson’s 1989 paper from Advanced Development Journal
    Conversations on Gifted Trauma podcast
    Personality Page (The price is now $6.99 per test, but worthwhile for those who are interested)
    Connect with us
    Positive Disintegration on Substack
    Visit the Dabrowski Center website
    Facebook
    Instagram
    The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel
    Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook
    Dabrowski Center and Positive Disintegration Podcast Community on Facebook
    The Tragic Gift blog by Emma
    Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Quick Bite: Battling Socialization

    Quick Bite: Battling Socialization

    In episode 49, Chris and Emma delve into the topic of socialization. We discussed how our understanding of socialization has evolved and how it plays a role in personal growth. We emphasized the deliberate nature of multilevel development and that individuals must actively and consciously engage in the process. Simply going through life on autopilot or relying on automatic responses and behaviors is not enough. We must be intentional and self-created in our individual approaches to personal growth.
    We shared insights on the fluid nature of socialization and how it intertwines with the development of dynamisms in our lives. We reflected on the impact of socialization on personal growth and the challenges one must face. Sometimes, the heart does not want to let go of certain beliefs, even if the mind cognitively understands that they may not be beneficial. This emotional attachment to certain beliefs can be a challenge to overcome in the journey of personal growth.
    We emphasized the importance of self-reflection and critical examination of our motivations and beliefs to understand the extent to which others have influenced them. By doing so, we can better understand ourselves and make more conscious choices in our lives. We discussed the importance of developing confidence in one's own path and not relying on external validation. We also acknowledged that external feedback can serve as a reminder or a prompt to check one's compass and ensure they are heading in the right direction.
    Connect with us
    Positive Disintegration on Substack
    Visit the Dabrowski Center website
    Facebook
    Instagram
    The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel
    Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook
    Dabrowski Center and Positive Disintegration Podcast Community on Facebook
    The Tragic Gift blog by Emma
    Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@gmail.com
    Please consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Find Positive Disintegration Merch
    If you enjoyed this episode on Apple or Spotify, please remember to click on the stars and leave a rating or write a review. Thank you! www.positivedisintegration.org/subscribe

    • 21 min
    Piechowski's Insights on Positive Disintegration

    Piechowski's Insights on Positive Disintegration

    In episode 48, Chris and Emma talked with Dr. Michael M. Piechowski, close collaborator of Dr. Kazimierz Dąbrowski and a scholar in the field of gifted education. Michael’s work has expanded our understanding of the theory of positive disintegration and the qualitative experience of giftedness.
    We covered many topics in this episode, from Michael meeting Dąbrowski in Edmonton in 1967 to his retirement from Yunasa last summer. We learned about Michael’s early work with the theory and conducting research, the transition from science to counseling and pursuing a second doctorate, rethinking the levels of development, and understanding the importance of the unilevel and multilevel processes.
    Michael talked with us about the research he did with Dąbrowski that provided a foundation for his work. We learned about the creation of his original Overexcitability Questionnaire, his second dissertation, Formless Forms, and his two papers from more recent years called Rethinking Dąbrowski’s Theory. We discussed why he felt it was necessary to rethink the levels and what case material was applied to this work.
    This episode was recorded at Michael’s home during Chris’s visit to Madison, Wisconsin, and the format is conversational. We learned more about what Dr. Dąbrowski was like as a person and how to pronounce his name correctly. Michael also talked with us about what areas of research he’d like to see replicated or built on in the future.
    Highlights from Episode 48:
    00:02:59 Meeting Dąbrowski in Edmonton
    00:06:18 Summer 1968 at Esalen
    00:09:22 Science and counseling are different
    00:10:46 Multilevelness research with Dąbrowski
    00:17:14 Formless Forms
    00:25:51 Rethinking levels of development
    00:34:17 Bandura’s mechanisms of moral disengagement
    00:42:09 Levels as universes
    00:46:42 Future areas of research
    00:49:00 What Dąbrowski was like
    00:51:03 The need to replicate Lysy’s study
    00:53:20 Yunasa
    Extended show notes are available for paid subscribers.
    *There is a transcript available for this episode on our website.
    Links from this episode
    Visit the Piechowski Archive on the Dabrowski Center’s website
    Michael’s book Mellow Out is available via Royal Fireworks Press
    Michael is co-editor of Living with Intensity and Off the Charts.
    He is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Educational Advancement.
    Michael mentioned co-creating Yunasa with two of his dear friends who have also been podcast guests: Episode 19 with Stephanie Tolan and Episode 35 with Dr. Patty Gatto-Walden.
    Chris has written posts about Michael with links and photos to accompany this episode, including:
    Who is Michael M. Piechowski?
    Celebrating a Lifetime of Resilience, Scholarship, and Influence
    My Experience of Being a Student
    Major works that were mentioned:
    Michael’s 1975 monograph
    Formless Forms
    Lysy & Piechowski (1983)
    Rethinking Dabrowski’s Theory: I. The Case Against Primary Integration (2014)
    Rethinking Dąbrowski’s Theory II: It’s Not All Flat Here (2017)
    Michael’s ResearchGate Profile
    Episode 18 with Rachel Fell
    Episode 36: Fostering Gifted Growth at Yunasa
    Connect with us
    Positive Disintegration on Substack
    Visit the Dabrowski Center website
    Facebook
    Instagram
    The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel
    Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook
    Dabrowski Center and Positive Disintegration Podcast Community on Facebook
    The Tragic Gift blog by Emma
    Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@gmail.com
    Please consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Find Positive Disintegration Merch
    If you enjoyed this episode on Apple or Spotify, please remember to click on the stars and leave a rating or write a review. Thank you!


    Get full access to Positive Disintegration at www.positivedisintegration.org/subscribe

    • 59 min
    Harry Potter and the Path of Positive Disintegration

    Harry Potter and the Path of Positive Disintegration

    In episode 47, Chris and Emma talked with Katy McDaniel and Emily Strand from the Potterversity podcast. Katy is a professor of history at Marietta College, and Emily is a professor of religious studies at Mt. Carmel College of Nursing. Emma is the technical director for Potterversity, so her worlds collide in this conversation.
    We kicked off the discussion by learning more about how the Potterversity pod used to be called something else. It was renamed because of the comments made by the creator of Harry Potter in 2020, which led to the whole team rethinking and realigning their values. We talked about the difficulties of loving art while grappling with problematic artists and authors.
    Values in the Harry Potter series were a major part of this episode, and we discussed multiple scenes and characters through the lens of positive disintegration. We engaged in a thought-provoking conversation about the significance of difficult emotions and their contribution to personal growth and transformation. We acknowledged the societal pressure to constantly pursue happiness and challenge the notion that something must be wrong if one is not always happy. Embracing powerful and challenging emotions is essential for personal development and transformation.
    The Harry Potter books do not promise a life devoid of troubles or a fairy-tale ending. Instead, it presents a narrative of alchemical transformation, where characters undergo loss and face challenges, ultimately emerging as something greater. Positive disintegration was explored in this episode as the process of breaking down and reconstructing one's values and sense of self. This transformative journey often entails experiencing difficult emotions such as guilt, shame, ambivalence, and concern for others' opinions. By breaking free from societal scripts and expectations, akin to the characters in Harry Potter, individuals can foster personal growth and authenticity.
    Overall, the episode underscores the importance of embracing difficult emotions and experiences as catalysts for personal growth and transformation. It challenges the societal expectation of constant happiness and highlights the value of navigating challenging periods to achieve personal development.
    Links from this episode
    Potterversity podcast
    Potterversity Episode 39: Considering Cockroach Clusters: Food in the Wizarding World - Part Two
    Potterversity Episode 40: Unpacking Petunia
    Emily’s website
    Potterversity: Essays Exploring the World of Harry Potter (Pre-order now in stock!)
    Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma
    Connect with us
    Positive Disintegration on Substack
    Visit the Dabrowski Center website
    Facebook
    Instagram
    The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel
    Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook
    Dabrowski Center and Positive Disintegration Podcast Community on Facebook
    The Tragic Gift blog by Emma
    Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@gmail.com
    Please consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Find Positive Disintegration Merch
    If you enjoyed this episode on Apple or Spotify, please remember to click on the stars and leave a rating or write a review. Thank you! www.positivedisintegration.org/subscribe

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

KeyElementsPhoto ,

Valuable Lessons & Conversations

This is a wonderful theory presented by two passionate people, with thoughtful and insightful conversations with a large variety of people. I’ve learned so much from each episode, and look forward to diving deeper into this positive outlook on outward facing struggles.

cetrep ,

Enlightening, Inspirational and Thought-Provoking

The Theory of Positive Disintegration is discussed and made understandable through each and every podcast segment with Emma, Chris and their guests. Each guest, as well as both Emma and Chris, have life stories that are relatable, and that support, inform and validate. Whether you or a family member is gifted, experiencing overexcitabilities, or moving through a positive disintegration, you will find this podcast highly enlightening.

Michelle VanCura ,

TPD deserves a spotlight

As an avid podcast listener, I’m always on the lookout for podcasts with a great format that discuss theories I’m interested in (and TPD has always been on the top of the list). The structure of this podcast is absolutely thought-provoking while bringing unique and tangible insights out of its guests. As a gifted education professional myself, I love hearing thoughtful people discuss what inspires their work. The hosts are relatable and honest with balanced approaches to controversial information. They are extremely hard workers bringing an astounding mix of humility and confidence to everything they do. Thank you for providing an online hub where fans of Dabrowski can geek out!

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