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Compelling life transitions are described in this must-read issue of the journal. Discoveries about the self are often based on new knowledge, explanations, and challenging life experiences. Learning about twice-exceptionality can lead to new insights and re-evaluation of the self, as Joel Lefever describes in “Digging In and Finding Giftedness.” Likewise, William Green and Kathleen Noble show how college students became more self-aware and more committed to meditation and self-reflection following an Honors course about consciousness. A colorful diversity of approaches and perspectives are highlighted in this issue, which include three important research articles and a therapeutic paper titled, “Three Parts of the Mind: A Model for Transformation,” by Michael Davis. 

There was a remarkably international response to the theme for this volume. Never before has the journal had so many authors based outside the United States or writing about situations in other countries. It is clear that “social issues of the gifted” know no boundaries: difficulties with fitting in, developing positive self-esteem, and finding social support are cross-cultural. It’s not easy being gifted! In this volume Willem Kuipers, career coach and counselor in Voorburg, the Netherlands, introduces the concept of eXtra intelligence in “How to Charm Gifted Adults into Admitting Giftedness: Their Own and Somebody Else’s.” Polish scholar and proponent of feminine care ethics, Ewa Hyży, connects Dabrowski’s focus on emotion as the major driver of human development with the more recent feminine values movement in her well-documented article “Care Ethics and Kazimierz Dabrowski.” 

This issue highlights links between giftedness and intuition from Jung’s personality types echoed in Jan Nation’s “The Way of Intuition” and Chris Carr’s “Bud to Blossom: How Intuition Unfolds from Self to Service” to the connection between high IQ and intuitive ability in Linda Silverman’s “Honoring Both Sides of the Gifted Self.” What are the levels of intuition, what do we gain by integrating intellect and intuition, how are imagination and creativity connected to our intuition, and what does the Argentine tango have to do with intuition? Many windows into intuitive processes are provided in Volume 10. These include David Loye’s extraordinary “A Vision of the Future” in which he makes the case for the triumph of goodness in society fueled by the power of moral sensitivity.

Research into the relationship between spirituality and giftedness is a complex, embryonic, and multidisciplinary undertaking. This issue explores the phenomenon of spiritual awareness and its role in psychological, cognitive, affective, and moral development. In “Spiritual Intelligence: A New Frame of Mind,” Guest Editor Kathleen Noble equates spiritual intelligence with a quality of self-awareness that can improve one’s psychological health. Research reported by Sonja Jewkes and Imants Baruss in “Personality Correlates of Beliefs About Consciousness and Reality” revealed that those who are more inquiring, logical, and astute are more likely to believe in transcendent and spiritual matters. In “Childhood Experiences and Spiritual Giftedness,” Michael M. Piechowski reviews qualitative research on adult recollections of spiritual experiences in childhood.

When gifted adults seek counseling, it can be difficult to find professionals with knowledge of the special issues that giftedness itself incurs. Misinterpretation of the sensitivity, intensity, perfectionism, concern for justice, paradoxical thinking, and feeling out-of-sync that are the ground of the experience of being gifted can lead to misdiagnosis and ineffective or traumatizing treatment. Volume 8 of Advanced Development looks at some of the problems that present when gifted adults seek counseling and examines ways in which knowledgeable and gifted counselors provide real help to this unique population. Included are theoretical perspectives, research insights, and therapeutic applications. Douglas Kutner’s “Blurred Brilliance: What AD/HD Looks Like In Gifted Adults” has resonated with many of our readers.

Why does a writer write? Why does a painter paint? And if the painter has children to mother, how does she do it? This issue sheds light on several facets of creativity: the writer’s inner imperative, women who are painters and mothers, sources of creativity shared by the scientist and the mystic, the social contexts favoring lives of outstanding achievement, and the subtlety and versatility of the creative mind. To further understand advanced development, Anne-Marie Morrissey places it within the broader context of spiritual and mystical development across cultures in “Intellect as Prelude: The Potential for Higher Level Development in the Gifted.” In an exploration of moral development, Barry Grant ponders the unlikely pairing of moral commitment and moral relativity, not abstractly but in the life of a real person in “There are Exceptions to Everything: Moral Relativism and Moral Commitment in the Life of Hope Weiss.”

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.”