Books to enhance your life as a smart, intense, multi-talented, highly sensitive, gifted and creative person.
Authors include: Paula Prober, Julie Bjelland, James Webb, Scott Barry Kaufman, Eric Maisel, Linda Silverman, Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Willem Kuipers and others.
Titles include: *Living With Intensity, *Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon, *The Gifted Adult, *Your Rainforest Mind, *Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, and more.
“Do you long to drive a Ferrari at top speed on the open road, but find yourself always stuck on the freeway during rush hour?
“Do you wonder how you can feel like ‘not enough’ and ‘too much’ at the same time?
“Like the rain forest, are you sometimes intense, multilayered, colorful, creative, overwhelming, highly sensitive, complex, and/or idealistic? And, like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws?” [From Amazon summary]
Many positive reviews include:
Meredith Parker – “This is SUCH a fantastic new book!…Each chapter includes typical gifted challenges illustrated through clients she has seen over the years (names changed for anonymity) along with strategies for EACH chapter.”
Linda K. Silverman of the Gifted Development Center: “Interwoven with rich case studies from Paula’s counseling practice, Your Rainforest Mind will be earmarked and tear-stained. Prepare to lose your first copy to your best friend.”
Tom Clynes, author of The Boy Who Played With Fusion: “The rainforest is Paula Prober’s fresh and apt metaphor for the abundant internal ecosystem of the gifted child or adult. Like tropical forests around the world, the gifted are both fragile and powerful, surrounded by threats but full of world-changing potential.”
From the introduction (via Paula Prober’s site rainforestmind.wordpress.com):
In the following pages, you will meet excessively curious, idealistic, sensitive, highly intelligent humans—individuals with rainforest minds (RFM). You will meet Billy, an adolescent with extraordinary empathy for all beings and a deep desire for precision, ethics, and excellence.
His multiple sensitivities and his complicated perfectionism were misunderstood by teachers, peers, family, and himself.
As a result, he felt that something was terribly wrong with him, nothing he did was ever good enough.
You will also get to know Gina, a twenty-something grad student whose brain ran faster, wider, and deeper than many of her university professors.
She overwhelmed and alienated her less effervescent peers, so Gina watched TV and smoked pot to find comfort, procrastinate, and feel normal.
HSP books by Julie Bjelland – a licensed psychotherapist, global HSP consultant, and a highly sensitive person herself.
“My passion is in neuropsychology and determining how to successfully train the brain so people can live their best lives.
“I specialize in the trait of high sensitivity and have helped thousands of highly sensitive people around the world.
“As an HSP myself, I understand what it is like to live with high sensitivity and strong emotions.”
She is author of these two ebooks:
“I highly recommend that highly sensitive people read Julie Bjelland’s book, “Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person”. This thorough and well-researched book contains many techniques to help transform the HSP’s life.
“Even if the student implements only a portion of the many practical and innovative methods that are presented in the book for calming the sensitive nervous system, the HSP will live a happier, more tranquil and productive life.”
From review by Ted Zeff, Ph.D., author of books including The Power of Sensitivity.
Another testimonial: “Julie’s book Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person is a valuable support in opening to the challenges and potentials that come with high-level sensitivity.” – Tara Brach, PhD
From the book page:
Many Highly Sensitive People find our chaotic, modern world very challenging. You might often feel misunderstood, have high-stress levels and are overwhelmed a lot.
Feel everything deeply and have a hard time balancing everything you have to do in your life?
Find your thoughts spinning making it hard to relax and sleep? Does it sometimes feel like your brain has too many tabs open?
Have a harsh inner critic harsh because you feel flawed or not good enough sometimes?
See more details on the page. One of the testimonials:
“The new tools I learned to use are helping me feel better and less overwhelmed at home and at work, I learned to take care of myself instead of being at the bottom of my priority list and this makes a huge difference in my energy levels. Thank you Julie from the bottom of my heart.” — MARTA IN FINLAND
(Both of the links above go to her site, where you can find her blog and other resources.)
To support your personal growth, creativity and thriving life as a highly sensitive person.
Included are titles by Elaine Aron, Sharon Barnes, Judith Orloff, Heather Dominick, Julie Bjelland, Ted Zeff, Cliff Harwin, Laurie Helgoe, Susan Cain, Michaela Chung and others.
Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: Adhd, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders
by James Webb (Author), Edward R Amend (Author), Paul Beljan (Author)
“Gifted children and adults are frequently misdiagnosed, particularly those who are twice-exceptional (2e).
“This much-anticipated second edition of a best-selling book is your guide to help prevent that.
“Some of our brightest, most creative children and adults are misdiagnosed as having behavioral or emotional disorders such as ADD/ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or Asperger’s Disorder.
“Many receive unneeded medications and/or inappropriate counseling.”
Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined
by Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD
“Kaufman makes a convincing case for incorporating valuable but less easily measured attributes into our view of intelligence…Most powerfully, Kaufman illustrates the importance of uncovering what gives each person his or her own brand of intelligence, taking into account individual goals, psychologies and brain chemistry.” — Scientific American Mind
“Ungifted shows that many of us have special gifts that can lead to greatness.” — Dean Keith Simonton, author of Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity.
From the book:
“In every way, and at every turn, I seemed out of sync with my peers. I was living in my own head, and consequently people treated me like I was disabled.” …
“What is talent, really? Everyone throws the term around like they know what it means. We know that no one is born with fully formed traits; no one is born with the ability to read Shakespeare. So talent isn’t inborn. But we also see clear differences in how fast people learn things. Is that— whatever that is— talent? Then I wondered whether all paths to success require talent.”
See more quotes about the book, plus a video in post: Scott Barry Kaufman On Shifting Awareness To Be More Creative‘
Why Smart People Hurt: A Guide for the Bright, the Sensitive, and the Creative
by Eric Maisel, PhD
Quotes by one of Dr. Maisel’s clients, Jeanette:
“I have always associated my intelligence with a propensity for boredom, for hypervigilance, for hypersensitivity, and a frustrated quest for meaning.”
See more quotes in article: Challenged By Being So Smart.
Also read more about Why Smart People Hurt – online course with Eric Maisel.
by Linda Silverman PhD, Director of the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development and its subsidiary, the Gifted Development Center.
This book “dispels common myths about giftedness and challenges the view that eminence is the true signifier of giftedness. It offers specific guidelines to psychologists, parents, and teachers; describes comprehensive assessment of the gifted; provides support for the twice exceptional; and focuses on the complex inner world of the gifted.” [Amazon.com]
In an article of hers, Linda Silverman writes:
“Giftedness creates a different organization of the Self. Cognitive complexity, emotional sensitivity, heightened imagination, and magnified sensations combine to create ‘a different quality of experiencing: vivid, absorbing, penetrating, encompassing, complex, commanding—a way of being quiveringly alive’ (Piechowski, 1992, p. 181).
“An unusual mind coupled with unusual emotions leads to unusual life experiences throughout the life cycle.”
Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential
by Marylou Kelly Streznewski
[Library Journal]: “Debunking the myth that intellectually gifted people are either impractical social misfits or perfect specimens, Streznewski, a specialist in gifted education, presents a readable and poignant study of 100 people aged 18 to 90. Her criteria for inclusion were somewhat informal, based on the contemporary notion that intelligence is not merely a matter of high I.Q. However, a detailed set of indicators for giftedness was developed, and the study group included a wide range of individuals, from gifted women to senior citizens and criminals. Streznewski explores their experiences with schools, jobs, and in the social world. Lively personal narratives reveal how they adapt to their oddball status, determinants of their success or failure, and the structure of their high-powered interior lives.”
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
by Andrew Solomon.
“From the National Book Award–winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression comes a monumental new work, a decade in the writing, about family. In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so.”
The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius
by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen
[Amazon.com]: “Are you relentlessly curious and creative, always willing to rock the boat in order to get things done . . . extremely energetic and focused, yet constantly switching gears . . . intensely sensitive, able to intuit subtly charged situations and decipher others’ feeling?
“If these traits sound familiar, then you may be an Everyday Genius–an ordinary person of unusual vision who breaks the mold and isn’t afraid to push progress forward. . . .
“As thought-provoking as Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence, psychologist Mary-Elaine Jacobsen’s Gifted Adults draws on a wide range of groundbreaking research and her own clinical experience to show America’s twenty million gifted adults how to identify and free their extraordinary potential.”
Dr. Mary-Elaine Jacobsen notes in her book The Gifted Adult,
“When many of us hear the word gifted we almost always think two things:
(1) Only schoolchildren are gifted and
(2) Since I’m not a child, I can’t be gifted.”
“These automatic responses are understandable given what most of us have been told about bright people.
“But most of what we have been told is radically incorrect and enormously incomplete.”
Here is an image of a page from the book:
Get The Gifted Adult.
[Amazon.com]: Quite often uncommon competence, creativity and drive remain hidden or partially used by its owners. Do they perceive the gift of being uncommon as a millstone instead of an enjoyment? This book introduces and illustrates three practices for Extra Intelligent People (XIPs) to become more effective in their work and private life, for their own sake and for the sake of their environment. These practices are based on ten years of experience in coaching XIPs and on various concepts from literature. Together they offer a practical tool for sustainable personal and career development of uncommonly intelligent and intense people. There is much to enjoy about being uncommon!
Also see articles by Willem Kuipers.
Selected books to help you further develop creative thinking and business innovation, plus enhance your creative life and personal growth.
Developing Multiple Talents – The personal side of creative expression
by Douglas Eby [Author of this High Ability site and other TalentDevelop sites.]
Amazon – paperback & Kindle.
This is a brief overview of some of the key aspects of our personality and inner life that can affect how well we access and express creative talents. Especially for teens and adults with multipotentiality.
Included are references to creativity research, perspectives of psychologists, creativity coaches and personal development leaders, as well as comments by a wide range of actors, directors, writers and other creative people.
“Part book about creativity, part compendium of useful tidbits, quotations and research, and part annotated bibliography, this is a wildly useful and highly entertaining resource.” – Stephanie S. Tolan, fiction writer and consultant on the needs of the gifted.
“The book is kaleidoscopical, just like the subject he describes.” – Willem Kuipers, counselor for extra intelligent people; author of the book Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon.
See more reviews, plus book excerpts on Book website.
Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind
by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire.
“Our selves are constantly evolving as we learn more about the world and our own identities and seek meaning in our experiences.
“According to Michael Piechowski, the process of inner transformation is itself a creative process, for through the process of advanced inner development, you are literally creating a new self.
“Similarly, Rosa Aurora Chávez-Eakle and colleagues note that ‘the creative process allows self-reorganizations that makes [it] possible to experience states that seem to be pathological. . . .
‘A highly creative individual is in constant self-actualization. . . . Creativity makes life worth living, and involves a strong sense of being alive.’
“Or as Nietzsche put it, those who actively create and re-create themselves are truly “free spirits” – artistic creators of their own lives.”
“Imagine having a business that allows you to focus on many of your interests and use all of your skills on a regular basis. In Renaissance Business, you’ll learn to use your multipotentiality so that instead of it being an obstacle to income, it becomes fuel for income.”
Emilie Wapnick – from post: Resources For Multipotentialite Entrepreneurs
She is author of the ebook program Renaissance Business
Susan Daniels and Michael M. Piechowski, Editors.
[Amazon summary:] Gifted children and adults are often misunderstood. Their excitement is viewed as excessive, their high energy as hyperactivity, their persistence as nagging, their imagination as not paying attention, their passion as being disruptive, their strong emotions and sensitivity as immaturity, their creativity and self-directedness as oppositional.
This resource describes these overexcitabilities and strategies for dealing with children and adults who are experiencing them, and provides essential information about Dabrowski s Theory of Positive Disintegration. Learn practical methods for nurturing sensitivity, intensity, perfectionism, and much more.
James Thurman Webb, PhD founded SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted); is President of Great Potential Press; is a licensed psychologist, and author of multiple books related to gifted children and adults.
In his article Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals, he writes more about this specific kind of depression:
“It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression.
“Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously.
“Sometimes this existential depression is tied into the positive disintegration experience referred to by Dabrowski (1996).
“Yalom (1980) describes four such issues (or ‘ultimate concerns’) – death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness.”
Webb adds, “Death is an inevitable occurrence. Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure.
“That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure which we ourselves create.
“Isolation recognizes that no matter how close we become to another person, a gap always remains, and we are nonetheless alone.
“Meaninglessness stems from the first three. If we must die, if we construct our own world, and if each of us is ultimately alone, then what meaning does life have?
“Why should such existential concerns occur disproportionately among gifted persons?
“Partially, it is because substantial thought and reflection must occur to even consider such notions, rather than simply focusing on superficial day-to-day aspects of life.
“Other more specific characteristics of gifted children are important predisposers as well.”
One of Webb’s related books: Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope.
“Many bright idealists find themselves disillusioned in today’s world and they may experience existential depression as they examine their lives and search for meaningfulness.
“This book will help such individuals to understand themselves and their struggles.
“It also includes helpful information and suggestions for actions that disillusioned idealists can use to better manage their feelings and thoughts in ways that will nurture their idealism and provide a sense of satisfaction and contentment.”
Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement
by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD.
[Amazon.com summary:] “* Procrastination * Wide swings of mood and self-esteem * Ambivalence in making decisions * Dreaming big, but never following through
If you or someone you love isn’t living up to his or her potential — and suffers from even one or two of the above feelings — here is a program that can help.
“In Your Own Worst Enemy, Dr. Kenneth Christian details the telltale signs of what he calls self-limiting behavior — everyday habits that can seem harless (like taking unchallenging jobs) or even worthwhile (like setting absurdly high standards), but that over time can send high-potential people into a tailspin of dead ends and frustration.”
A Myriad of Ideas: Personal Development for Multi-Talented Individuals
by Edith Johnston PhD
[Amazon:] This book provides you with “The Data” using exerts of resources on the challenges of high abilities. It gives a personal story in “The Experience” of the challenges. Then leads the way for your own introspection and growth through “The Quest”. This is a tool for acknowledging and expressing your multi-talents.
From the Introduction: Welcome to a side track in the life journey of a multi-talented individual! – Points where I struggled, learned lessons, and strategies were:
Frustration of teachers in what to do with me / Rejection of peers
My frustration in various employment settings seeing better options, providing suggestion and being ignored or discounted
Emotional roller coaster with extreme sensitivity, yet knowing the reaction was out of balance
So many interests, resulting in a career path of diversity and not a single track
Insatiable desire to learn and explore / Childlike exuberance / Responsibilities versus play
The exploration we will be doing consists of: a brief description of a particular aspect or crossroad for a multi-talented individual; followed by a brief story example; and then three exercises for you to explore and develop your own point of view.
[Amazon.com:] “It’s only because they like me. I was in the right place at the right time. I just work harder than the others. I don’t deserve this. It’s just a matter of time before I am found out.
“Someone must have made a terrible mistake.
– If you are a working woman [or man], chances are this internal monologue sounds all too familiar. And you’re not alone.
From the high-achieving Ph.D. candidate convinced she’s only been admitted to the program because of a clerical error to the senior executive who worries others will find out she’s in way over her head, a shocking number of accomplished women in all career paths and at every level feel as though they are faking it—impostors in their own lives and careers.”
Amazon.com Review – Questions for Valerie Young
What is the impostor syndrome?
The impostor syndrome describes the countless millions of people who do not experience an inner sense of competence or success.
Despite often overwhelming evidence of their abilities impostors dismiss them as merely a matter of luck, timing, outside help, charm–even computer error.
Because people who have the impostor syndrome feel that they’ve somehow managed to slip through the system undetected, in their mind it’s just a matter of time before they’re found out.
Your book is about women–do men feel like impostors or is this a female issue?
Initially psychologists suspected it was something experienced primarily by women. That has proven not to be the case. Men are attending my seminars in increasing numbers, and among graduate students the male-female ratio is roughly fifty-fifty.
I’ve heard from or worked with countless men who suffer terribly from their fraud fears, including a member of the Canadian mounted police and an attorney who argued before the Supreme Court. [Continued]
Related article: Overcome Impostor Syndrome Feelings.
Related book lists: