Jan 29, 2022 • 1HR 6M

Gifted Minds and Empathy

Join hosts Emma Nicholson and Chris Wells for Episode 7 with Fiona Smith

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Appears in this episode

Dr. Chris Wells
Emma Nicholson
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.

In episode 7, Chris and Emma were joined by Fiona Smith, a psychologist from Sydney, Australia. Fiona brings to life the issue of living with intensities and sensitivities, from her perspective of a parent as well as her own experiences. We learn (again) that having an intense experience of life brings challenges, and we hope that listeners will resonate with her words. We discussed empathy, overexcitabilities, what it’s like to be image-free (aka aphantasia), and how Dąbrowski’s theory has played a role in Fiona’s life and work. The bottom line is that you're not alone in struggling with your intensity—there's a reason why you don't fit into the world. And you know what? That’s OK! The blessings of rich experience are as real as the challenges.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Gifted Minds [Fiona’s website]

Walking in Another’s Shoes and Getting Blisters (Fiona’s article from Advanced Development Journal)

Article for Mensa Australia: Celebrating Your Gifted Child's Sensitivity

New chapter coming soon: “On Boredom and Bullying: How Being Gifted, Bored and Frustrated in the Classroom Can Lead to Being Bullied or Being a Bully at School” by Fiona Smith & Dominic Westbrook

We talked about the 2016 Dabrowski Congress. Click here for the playlist of videos on YouTube from the 2022 Dabrowski Congress in Denver.

Maggie Brown’s research: “Research With Gifted Adults: What International Experts Think Needs to Happen to Move the Field Forward

* A transcript of this episode is available on the Dabrowski Center website.

Update: Beginning in August 2022, we started producing transcripts of all of our episodes to improve accessibility. We’ve hired professional help to create and edit transcripts. Please, consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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