Do you relate to any of this?
You’re an intense person who is concerned with the bringing what is closer to what ought to be. You strive for authenticity and autonomy, seeking to develop yourself in accordance with your values, though you recognize that this is likely to come at a cost. On that note, you’ve probably been through some rough times, but in the end, it seems to come back to your drive to become your best self.
If this rang true to you, then I’d like to introduce you to the Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD), an approach to mental well-being devised by Polish-Canadian PhD and MD Kazimierz Dabrowski.
Dabrowski’s work tends to really resonate with a small sliver of the population while everyone else shrugs and doesn’t get why those of us in the sliver are so excited about it. But the more I learn about it, the more I recognize it as a foundation to all of my writing here, whether I’m writing about politics or grief or creativity or really any other topic.
So I’ve pulled together this introduction in the hopes of enriching the rest of your reading here. There’s lots of information about TPD on the Web already, of course; the leading source is positivedisintegration.com, an encyclopedic site maintained by a former student of Dr. Dabrowski. What I aim to add is an introduction that makes this complex work as accessible as possible for novices. Ultimately, I hope you’ll be intrigued enough to explore the wealth of material out there on positive disintegration. Then we can make sense of the theory—and the experience—together.
To get you started, I’ve written up pages to present three foundational concepts to the theory. Once you’re familiar with these, you’ll be able to make sense of all the other posts I’ve done and will do here on TPD.
- Overexcitabilities is the innate intensities that are the most well known element of TPD. I’ve illustrated them here with brief personal memoirs.
- How Can “Disintegration” Be Positive? The term throws some people for a loop, so we’ll flesh out just what it’s talking about here.
- Dynamisms and the Levels: Dynamisms don’t get as much press as overexcitabilities, but they’re the real heart of the theory, and I make reference to them in several of my posts. They’re also the foundation for another more well-known element of TPD, namely, the five levels of development. This primer explains each level through the dynamisms that unfold there.
Done with those? Great! Then you’re ready to move on and explore TPD in more depth. I invite you to join in the discussion on any of these posts, and look forward to exchanging thoughts!