WHAT IS “INTEGRAL PRACTICE FOR THE GIFTED” (TM): A MULTIDISCIPLINARY FRAMEWORK FOR STUDYING OUR MOST GIFTED MINDS

A full understanding of these brilliant learners necessitates an across-the-board integration of all aspects of human experiencing.

Anything less is limited, incomplete and, in the end, grossly insufficient if our goal is to help extraordinarily gifted children develop fully and live optimally.

Advanced Cognitive Development is the “X” factor that sheds light on the highly and profoundly gifted child’s experience of reality. To be clear, this is not synonymous with, or limited to, intellectual ability as measured by our current psychometric measures.

Looked at more broadly, we recognize that cognition includes both conscious and unconscious processes, and that intelligence is not merely the result of a deliberate,conscious, logic-driven activity.

It is an entity that is much wider and deeper; allied to a mental life that includes other contiguous processes of intuition, imagination and feelings.

As such there are many perspectives and contexts we must explore and derive from when we think about how advanced cognition is at play in human experience.

The profoundly gifted have higher order cognition which permits advanced functioning via more complex perception, complex and integrated intuition, higher order reasoning and the potential for advanced emotional reckoning .

They typically develop higher stages of reasoning earlier than their age peers, and, when they are supported holistically, can be expected to be more developmentally advanced, across the board, over time. This includes essential aspects of full blown human functioning such as moral understanding, emotional functioning and communicative capacity, as well as powerful intellectual knowing.

In keeping with the times, and in meeting the demands of our population, gifted education and psychology should be moving towards a discipline-transcendent field of study with the profoundly gifted experience leading the way.

• The IPG™ model evolved (in 2005) as a way to honor and explore multiple dimensions of human experience that inhere in our most gifted children

• The IPG ™ model is a comprehensive, holistic framework for supporting the development of gifted children in intellectual, emotional, social, physical, moral, spiritual and talent-based domains.

• The IPG™ model addresses multiple developmental lines and a core, integrative “Self” at work in the growth and development of the gifted child.

In addressing multiple systems of development the unique and unrepeatable Self of each gifted child is regarded as the unifying factor in an altogether fluid and dynamic, complex system. (Jackson, 2006a, 2006b; in press; Jackson and Moyle, 2005; Jackson, Moyle and Piechowski, 2009; Roeper, 1998a, 1998b, 2007 ).

This model builds on the seminal work of Anne Marie Roeper and Miraca Gross while introducing to the Gifted Education literature the potent paradigm of Integral Psychology (the so called fifth wave in Psychology).

• The central IPG ™imperative mandates that we address multiple dimensions of the child in the classroom, in our understanding of and support for learning and development of any kind, in parenting and in any mental health delivery.

• More broadly, IPG™recognizes the threefold thrust of human development – of mind-body-soul – as a vital point of reference from which to consider the unique developmental trajectory of the extraordinarily gifted child.

IPG™ draws from Integral Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuropsychology, Gifted Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology, to name but a few.

Additionally, we mine detailed case studies of our brightest minds, which are an astonishing rich source of information revealing the boundless variance and limitless intelligence at work in the population we call the Profoundly Gifted.

In order to mature as a field we need to be attentive to the whole child
and we need to become comfortable with the mystery inherent in this multidimensional,complex and potent development.

Our singular focus on the rational mind and its functions has eclipsed attention directed at the maturation of other essential aspects of development, which we now know are essential for full-blown intelligence to flourish.

Integral Psychology is “a psychological system concerned with exploring and understanding the totality of the human phenomenon….(which) at its breadth, covers the entire body-mind-psyche-spirit spectrum, while at its depth…encompasses the previously explored unconscious and the conscious dimensions of the psyche, as well as the supra-conscious dimension traditionally excluded from psychological inquiry”

 

About the Author: P. Susan Jackson, Therapeutic Director of The Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. This international institute offers service to highly and profoundly gifted children and adults, supporting the learning needs and overall development of this exceptional population.

Her clinical work spans 25 years, comprising over 40,000 hours of psychotherapy wholly with this exceptional population.  She is the author of numerous articles and chapters in the gifted education literature.  Her Integral Practice for the Gifted model addresses multiple aspects of human functioning – cognitive, emotional, spiritual, physical and talent based dimensions – and explains how advanced cognition influences all of these elements, the Self, and the expression of talent.

In 2010, she produced a short documentary entitled “Exceptionally Gifted Children”, which she received wide acclaim internationally.  In 2013-2014, the Daimon Institute produced “Rise:  The Extraordinary Story of the Exceptionally Gifted” – a 60 minute film on the lives of 12 exceptionally and profoundly gifted persons from all over the globe.

Sue served as the Chair of the Parents and Curriculum Networks Communications Committee and Counseling and Guidance Network (National Association to Support Gifted Children), and is a member of the advisory board for SENG.  She is recognized as an international expert in the field of the Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted and regularly presents with other leading experts at the international conferences.  She is a (nascent) photographer, poet, and nature lover with a passionate interest in advanced development, optimal health and well-being for the Profoundly Gifted populace.

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