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Overexcitabilities: A Key to Understanding Your Gifted Personality Based on… Dabrowski’s Theory of Overexcitabilities.

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Presentation on theme: "Overexcitabilities: A Key to Understanding Your Gifted Personality Based on… Dabrowski’s Theory of Overexcitabilities."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Overexcitabilities: A Key to Understanding Your Gifted Personality Based on… Dabrowski’s Theory of Overexcitabilities

3 Overexcitabilities/ Supersensitivities/ A consistent over-reaction to external and internal stimuli in a variety of domains.

4 Translation! Some individuals tend to react more strongly than average to things that happen to them. Some individuals tend to react more strongly than average to things that happen to them. Some individuals tend to react to these things for a longer time than average. Some individuals tend to react to these things for a longer time than average.

5 Remember… These reactions are a part of the physical and mental make-up of the individual. These reactions are a part of the physical and mental make-up of the individual. Such individuals do not react this way on purpose. Such individuals do not react this way on purpose. This is simply a part of who they are. This is simply a part of who they are.

6 PSYCHOMOTOR

7 PSYCHOMOTOR OVEREXCITABILITY Heightened excitability of the neuromuscular system Heightened excitability of the neuromuscular system Capacity for being active and energetic Capacity for being active and energetic Love of movement for its own sake Love of movement for its own sake Organic surplus of energy Organic surplus of energy Psychomotor expression of emotional tension Psychomotor expression of emotional tension May be misdiagnosed as ADHD May be misdiagnosed as ADHD

8 Psychomotor Strategies Allow time for physical or verbal activity, before, during, and after normal daily and school activities – these individuals love to “do” and need to “do.” Build activity and movement into their lives Allow time for physical or verbal activity, before, during, and after normal daily and school activities – these individuals love to “do” and need to “do.” Build activity and movement into their lives Be sure the physical or verbal activities are acceptable and not distracting to those around them. Be sure the physical or verbal activities are acceptable and not distracting to those around them. Provide time for spontaneity and open-ended, freewheeling activities. These tend to favor the needs of a person high in Psychomotor OE Provide time for spontaneity and open-ended, freewheeling activities. These tend to favor the needs of a person high in Psychomotor OE

9 SENSUAL

10 SENSUAL OVEREXCITABILITY Heightened experience of sensual pleasure or displeasure from sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing Heightened experience of sensual pleasure or displeasure from sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing Sensual expression and outlets for emotional tension Sensual expression and outlets for emotional tension Appreciation for aesthetic pleasures Appreciation for aesthetic pleasures May become over stimulated or uncomfortable with sensory input May become over stimulated or uncomfortable with sensory input

11 Sensual Strategies Whenever possible, create an environment which limits offensive stimuli and provides comfort. Whenever possible, create an environment which limits offensive stimuli and provides comfort. Provide appropriate opportunities for being in the limelight by giving unexpected attention, or facilitating creative and dramatic productions that have an audience. These individuals feel the recognition from being in the limelight. Provide appropriate opportunities for being in the limelight by giving unexpected attention, or facilitating creative and dramatic productions that have an audience. These individuals feel the recognition from being in the limelight. Provide time to dwell in the delight of the sensual and to create a soothing environment Provide time to dwell in the delight of the sensual and to create a soothing environment

12 INTELLECTUAL

13 INTELLECTUAL OVEREXCITABILITY Heightened need to seek understanding and truth Heightened need to seek understanding and truth Intensified activity of the mind Intensified activity of the mind Penchant for probing questions; Problem solving Penchant for probing questions; Problem solving Preoccupation with logic, theoretical thinking and development of new concepts Preoccupation with logic, theoretical thinking and development of new concepts May have intense focus on one topic May have intense focus on one topic

14 Intellectual Strategies Show how to find the answers to questions. This respects and encourages a person’s passion to analyze, synthesize, and seek understanding. Show how to find the answers to questions. This respects and encourages a person’s passion to analyze, synthesize, and seek understanding. Provide opportunities to nourish and “feed” their area of interest. Provide opportunities to nourish and “feed” their area of interest. Clubs, museums, books, magazines, webinars Clubs, museums, books, magazines, webinars

15 IMAGINATIONAL

16 IMAGINATIONAL OVEREXCITABILITY Heightened play of the imagination Heightened play of the imagination Rich association of images and impressions Rich association of images and impressions Spontaneous imagery as an expression of emotional tension Spontaneous imagery as an expression of emotional tension Capacity for living in a world of fantasy Capacity for living in a world of fantasy

17 Imaginational Strategies May confuse reality and fiction because their memories and new ideas become blended in their mind. Help individuals to differentiate between their imagination and the real world by having them place a stop sign in their mental videotape, or write down or draw the factual account before they embellish it. May confuse reality and fiction because their memories and new ideas become blended in their mind. Help individuals to differentiate between their imagination and the real world by having them place a stop sign in their mental videotape, or write down or draw the factual account before they embellish it. Help people use their imagination to function in the real world and promote learning and productivity. For example, instead of the conventional school organizer notebook, have children create their own organizational system. Help people use their imagination to function in the real world and promote learning and productivity. For example, instead of the conventional school organizer notebook, have children create their own organizational system.

18 EMOTIONAL

19 EMOTIONAL OVEREXCITABILITY Heightened, intense positive and negative Heightened, intense positive and negative feelings feelings Somatic expressions Somatic expressions Capacity for deep relationships Capacity for deep relationships Feelings may interfere with everyday tasks such as completing homework Feelings may interfere with everyday tasks such as completing homework

20 Emotional Strategies Accept all feelings, regardless of intensity. For people who are not highly emotional, this seems particularly odd. They feel that those high in Emotional OE are just melodramatic. However if we accept their emotional intensity and help them work through any problems that might result, we will facilitate healthy growth. Accept all feelings, regardless of intensity. For people who are not highly emotional, this seems particularly odd. They feel that those high in Emotional OE are just melodramatic. However if we accept their emotional intensity and help them work through any problems that might result, we will facilitate healthy growth. Teach individuals to anticipate physical and emotional responses and prepare for them. Emotionally intense people often don’t know when they are becoming so overwrought that they may lose control or may have physical responses to their emotions. Teach individuals to anticipate physical and emotional responses and prepare for them. Emotionally intense people often don’t know when they are becoming so overwrought that they may lose control or may have physical responses to their emotions.

21 Emotional Strategies cont. Help them to identify the physical warning signs of their emotional stress such as headaches, sweaty palms, and stomachaches. By knowing the warning signs and acting on them early, individuals will be better able to cope with emotional situations and not lose control. Help them to identify the physical warning signs of their emotional stress such as headaches, sweaty palms, and stomachaches. By knowing the warning signs and acting on them early, individuals will be better able to cope with emotional situations and not lose control.

22 Overexcitabilities are… Great! Great! Exciting! Exciting! Fulfilling! Fulfilling! Challenging! Challenging! Troublesome! Troublesome! Painful! Painful!

23 References Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted Powerpoint adapted from Lori Comallie – Caplan, MA, LED, LMSW Powerpoint adapted from Lori Comallie – Caplan, MA, LED, LMSW


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