The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., published by Broadway Books, 1998.
Elaine N. Aron’s book is aimed at helping people who are highly sensitive, which can include many GT people, especially those with certain Overexcitabilities, though she argues this is not just for gifted people. She suggests that being highly sensitive is not abnormal and such sensitivity, even though it leads to being stigmatized is a gift and not a problem. Her arguments are that people need to take steps to manage their emotions and the circumstances in their lives that overwhelm them. This can be useful, but sometimes can be difficult if the circumstances are such that you can’t make the adjustments. It is good to hear a lot of her comments especially her attempts to reframe and normalize the challenges that we face.
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Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Pracice–A reader, By Howard Gardner, published by Basic Books, 1993.
Howard Gardener developed a multiple intelligences theory that argues that their are multiple intelligences, not just the core that most IQ tests measure. He argues that intelligence is more about developed potential and learned by practice and learning, not just something that one is born with that is just there. He is an author that poses an alternative perspective, and suggested that gifted is just about children, as adults grow, it’s more about developed potential. His work has strongly influenced educational reform where it has a lot of promise focusing on developing and helpign students learn and develop their potential, which is useful for all. He does not really account for the problems that gifted and talented people face, especially the emotional and social. In some ways he poses the alternative to the Dabrowski view of multiple overexcitabilities, which are hard wired which accounts for both potential and challenges gifted people face.
Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, by Daniel goleman, Published by Bantam, 1995.
Daniel Goleman makes the arguement that understanding how emotions work and knowing about how things play out with others is an important skill, and it may be more important than just IQ. Some gifted and talented people can have difficulty relating to other people, escpecially those more normal. Goleman backs his arguments by research, and argues that increasing this type of skill or intelligence in people can solve many problems in our socidety. The book comes from an scientific basis including research in neuroscience and understanding how the brain works and how emotions and memory. Other arguments made include the costs of not learning about our emotions like depression, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, prejudice, etc. This book has limitations, he could go further and talk further about how to use this information more and applying it and steps to do so.
Gifted Grown Ups: The mixed blessings of extraordinary potential, by Marylou Kelly Streznewski, published by John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
This is a good basic informational book for gifted adults. It covers many basic information. The basic point of the book is “This is who you are and what you have to deal with.” This can be a good book to give to a friend who you want to understand you better. As far as books that may help you take steps to grow and improve yourself and live a better life, this is not the best. For many people this may be a good starting point. This book is also honest about some of the problems that gifted adults face in the world and challenges that we need to deal with.
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The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy.D., published in Paperback by Ballantine books, 1999.
This book is a very useful book for gifted adults. It normalizes a lot of what gifted and talented people are and deal with and tries to provide a framework that people can use to enhance their lives and develop their potential. Jacobsen acknowledges the challenges GT (Gifted and Talented) people face in a normal world where talents and gifts are viewed as oddness and problems and helps us find ways to use them productively and face less pain in the world. This book is also good for those who aren’t sure they are GT and know more about themselves if they have not known a lot about who they are and why they have struggled with life. She breaks areas of potential into three different levels, collapsed or unexpressed, exagerated where all features are very big and balanced where we are able to use our potential to the fullest, but not be as troubled by it. She also helps normalize some of the criticisms that we have heard and face the reality that many of us create a false-self to avoid pain in dealing with others.
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