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Intersection of Intensity: 
Exploring Giftedness and Trauma

The cover of a book titled Intersection of Intensity

How does trauma affect giftedness?

 

How does giftedness affect trauma?

 

 

In the book Intersection of Intensity, trauma therapist and doctor of developmental psychology Patty Gently, MSMHC, PhD, combines years of experience as a therapist with a clinical, research-based exploration of how trauma affects gifted individuals and how they can experience healing and post-traumatic growth. 

Intersection of Intensity: Exploring Giftedness and Trauma

By Patricia L. Gently, MSMHC, PhD

ISBN: 1953360378

Publication Date: August, 13, 2024

Pre-orders Available

Intersection of Intensity is the highly anticipated book about giftedness and trauma from the publisher of Bright, Talented, and Black, Guiding the Gifted Child, Insight Into a Bright Mind, and Living With Intensity.

Written for therapists, educators, parents, and gifted individuals alike, its chapters acquaint readers with giftedness and trauma separately and thoroughly before exploring their complex interactions. Each chapter concludes with a summary, questions, and check-ins for the reader. After all, even reading about trauma can stir up difficult feelings.

Dr. Patty Gently offers compelling insights inspired by her clients’ journeys and lived experiences as she explores concepts including gifted compensation, effective therapeutic modalities, identity development, and more. 

 

The book answers questions posed by a community of gifted adults and weaves well-established psychological concepts of emotional blunting, demand avoidance, and learning with her extensive knowledge of how gifted individuals might experience the world.

 

As an expert who has presented about trauma and giftedness for years, Dr. Patty wrote Intersection of Intensity as a trauma therapist first. Her wide-ranging exploration delves into trauma, giftedness, and their intersection to ultimately offer hope for gifted minds seeking a pathway to healing. 

The cover of a book titled Intersection of Intensity

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Quotes from Intersection of Intensity

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Pattern-FInding and Meaning-Making

“Gifted individuals often exhibit a notable propensity for pattern recognition (pattern-finding) and the ascription of meaning (meaning-making), setting them apart from others.” 

“Together, pattern-finding and meaning-making help gifted individuals code information into their minds and memories. Meaning-making, in fact, helps individuals group activities, events, and behaviors into categories for more rapid recall such that when a new pattern presents itself, the mind automatically pulls from those stores to categorize by meaning and purpose."

 

Gifted Memory and Trauma

“When it comes to trauma and memory processing, gifted individuals may exhibit heightened sensitivity and emotional intensity, resulting in more profound and vivid memories of traumatic events. Due to their advanced cognitive abilities, they may also have a more intricate understanding and analysis of traumatic experiences, which can contribute to emotional and psychological responses.”

 

 

The Importance of Being Understood

“Being understood is important since many gifted individuals, particularly if they have not found peer groups or literature about giftedness, feel chronically misunderstood or like there is something wrong with them or the way they think and feel. Their developmental trauma can also feed this negative cognition. Once a gifted person learns that there are others like them, there can be a major shift in the conceptualization of self.” 

 

Nature, Nurture, and Giftedness


“I believed most of my struggles could be blamed on my parents and my developmental trauma, and they may be the first to tell you that they were not perfect. However, as I learned more and more about giftedness, demand avoidance, rejection-sensitive dysphoria, and processing styles, I also learned about how my nature further interacted with my nurture. So, while my parents are not off the proverbial hook, there is undoubtedly more to the story of why me.” 

Preview Dr. Patty Gently's introduction,
as written in May 2023, on the Bright Insight Blog

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