Author Topic: Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration  (Read 8 times)

forbitals

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Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration
« on: August 09, 2022, 05:41:01 pm »
Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration
Sal Mendalio editor.

Great Potential Press, Scotsdale AZ 2008.

Now GPP is a major Gifted Movement Publisher, and Dabrowski is very highly thought of in the Gifted Movement.

He was a Polish Psychiatry, tortured by the first the Nazi's and then by the Communists.

He came to Canada and to the US and he had work groups and students, and many of these wrote the chapters in this book. I recognize some of the names.

Michael M. Piechowski, Linda Kreger Silverman, Nicholas Colangelo.

Now, what exactly is Positive Disintegration? I have long wanted to know. I will have to read it to find out.

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forbitals

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Re: Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2022, 05:44:35 pm »
So Michael M. Piechowski was the one who really promoted Dabrowski in the Gifted Movement.

Theory of Positive Disintegration, in Dabrowski's theory, personality is not a fixed, universal attribute; personality must be shaped -- created -- by an individual to reflect his or her own unique character. Positive disintegration, the process by which personality is achieved, is a twofold process of: (1) disintegration of a primitive mental organization aimed at gratifying biological needs and mindlessly conforming to societal norms, and (2) re-integration at a higher level of functioning, in which the individual transcends biological determinism and becomes autonomous. Personality, shaped by positive disintegration, develops primarily as a result of the action of developmental potential, which is a constitutional endowment that includes overexcitability--a high level of reactivity of the central nervous system, and dynamisms--autonomous inner forces, assumed to be normally distributed in the population.

Dabrowski to an interest in Rudolph Steiner's Anthroposophy and in Alice Baily (Theosophy UK). Parasychology and Eastern studies,and he practiced meditation daily.

He saw emotions as directing forces of development.

Got into areas covered by DSM., things he came to call Psychoneurosis. And he said, Psychoneurosis is not an illness.

These serve the transition from lower to higher development by generating the disintegration process.

Reading about Dabrowski here and knowning that his first major English language book was in 1964, I can see that being trained as a psychiatrist what Dabrowski was doing was serving as an anti-psychiatrist, in the same manner and Frantz Fanon, R. D. Laing, and D. G. Cooper.

forbitals

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Re: Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2022, 07:09:29 pm »
So Deleuze and Guattari are clear that clinical mental illness is created in the mental health system, its the drugs and its the talk therapy.

But they do say that there is one genuine mental illness, Neuroticism, and it is incurable and it is fatal.

Well, Dabrowski decimates the conventional notions of mental health. He describes that as psychoneurosis.

His idea of Positive Disintegration is something which is happening on multiple levels simultaneously. So there is always intense flux.

And it is always the disintegration of biologically determined and social conformity drive structures. So there is this biologically determined mental development.

Then there is this autonomous mental development, which is what we want. Transends the demands of biology and social norms.

Then there is also this one-sided mental development which is anti-social. It is egocentric and manifests in crime and paranoia.

Dabrowski takes apart the views that Mental Health is the absence of mental disorders or is a state of psychological integration.

Dabrowski's ideas revolve around his concept of Overexcitability.

He writes in 1970:

"
[Overexcitability] first provokes conflicts, disappointments, suffering in familily life, in school, in professional life--in short, it leads to conflicts with the external environment. Overexcitability also provokes inner conflicts as well as the means by which these convlicts can be overcome. Second, overexcitability precipitates psychoneurotic processes, and, third, conflicts and psychoneurotic processes become the dominant factor in accelerated development.
"

Dabrowski called a lot of this "positive infantilism" or "positive immaturity", and this is all associated with creativity and accelerated development.

And so inner conflicts and frustrations are inherent in positive disintegration. And so one with high developmental potential will become more introspective, more aware of possible choices and consequently, more conscious of different levels--higher and lower--in his or her feelings, thoughts and behavior. In his or her feelings, thoughts, and behavior. In these internally and often externally tumultuous conditions, such an individual "introduces into his life a new controlling factor, where higher feelings [being to control] the lower forms of instinctual, emotional and congnitive functions".