Advanced Development Journal

This special collection of works was produced in response to repeated requests for a book on issues of adult giftedness that can be used by counselors and therapists with their gifted clients and by gifted adults themselves to help them with their own self-awareness. This is a very popular volume. This edition brings together many of the leading articles published since the inception of Advanced Development. A number of new articles on the topic of adult giftedness are also included. This collection is divided into four sections:

  • What it means to be gifted  
  • Emotional development of gifted adults
  • Issues of gifted women and families
  • Counseling and therapy with gifted adults

Is authenticity an ideal state of being or an ongoing process? If our goal is higher level development, what is higher and better in the moral sense and how do we know? Why does authenticity, so familiar and personal, always seem to elude us? Our search for the authentic self is not new, yet there may be more obstacles in our way today than ever before. In the 21st century, being authentic has become one of our greatest challenges.  Volume 6 deals with the issue of “Becoming Authentic” and offers some insights from a variety of perspectives ranging from the philosophical to the practical. In addition, Laurence Nixon argues that the inner struggle reported by many mystics corresponds to that experienced in Dabrowski’s higher levels of personality development, and Stephanie S. Tolan offers a new view of psychomotor overexcitability and how it might be more common to the gifted than previously believed. This issue was guest edited by Nancy B. Miller.

The main theoretical focus of this issue is the Relational Model, originally called “Self-in-Relation Theory.”  The Relational Model developed as a collaborative effort of a group of clinicians at the Stone Center for Developmental Studies and Services at Wellesley College. We have adapted three of the original working papers from this cooperative enterprise. The first, “Self-in-Relation: A Theory of Women’s Development,” by Janet L. Surrey, provides a basic foundation in this theoretical perspective. Next, Jean Baker Miller, the leader of this group, presents “Growth through Relationships.” Judith Jordan completes the set with “The Movement of Mutuality and Power,” exploring power dynamics in relationships between men and women.

This particular volume is a cherished favorite. The main focus of the issue is on the work of Roberto Assagioli, who developed the psychotherapeutic model of psychosynthesis.  In “Self as Phoenix,” Betty Maxwell compares Assagioli’s and Dabrowski’s developmental theories. The two moral exemplars who appear in this volume, Peace Pilgrim and Etty Hillesum, will inspire everyone who reads about them. Annemarie Roeper has a lovely essay on “The Reality of the Self.” 

Drawn toward visions of the possibilities of humanity, Advanced Development is dedicated to providing glimpses of the evolutionary potential of the human race. The theme for this issue, “The Possible Human,” was inspired by the work of Jean Houston, the theorist/humanitarian we bring to you in these pages. Dr. Houston perceives us to be on the brink of a major world transformation, a “whole system phenomenological shift.”  The expansion of our capacities for wisdom, for compassion, for cooperation, is within our reach now. The evolution toward world consciousness has already begun. Moral exemplars, characteristics of gifted adults, and counseling needs are also addressed in this volume.

This unique volume focuses on the contributions of Carl G. Jung but also has articles on Kazimierz Dabrowski and one of the founders of family therapy, Virginia Satir. Two articles in this compilation have been cited quite frequently in the literature on gifted adults:  “Warts and Rainbows: Issues in Psychotherapy of the Gifted” by Deirdre V. Lovecky and “The Gifted Woman as Impostor” by Lee Anne Bell. 

This inaugural issue focuses on “Positive Disintegration,” a construct of Kazimierz Dabrowski, who studied gifted, creative, and eminent individuals and provided the first framework for understanding the emotional development of the gifted—their intensity, sensitivity, and drive toward self-perfection. In Dabrowski’s theory, positive disintegration is a breakthrough in the developmental process—a critical period in the service of higher level development, in which structures of lower value disintegrate so that higher ones can be formed. The issue also contains an interview with Annemarie and George Roeper, an article on parenting extraordinarily gifted children (including new guidelines for their identification), perceptions of 100 gifted women, adjustment issues of gifted adults, and two poems.


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