Personality-Shaping Through Positive Disintegration by Kazimierz Dabrowski

By Kazimierz Dabrowski

For psychologist and psychiatrist Kazimierz Dabrowski, character isn't a given – it has to be consciously created and constructed through the person. In his moment English-language booklet, Personality-Shaping via optimistic Disintegration, first released in 1967, Dr. Dabrowski offers a complete therapy of character that continues to be appropriate, probably extra so this present day than while it used to be first written. the following Dabrowski describes personality’s person and common features, the equipment focused on shaping it, and case reviews of recognized personalities (including Augustine and Michelangelo) demonstrating the empirical and normative nature of character improvement. integrated during this version are the unique advent, written via former APA president O. Hobart Mowrer, an appendix detailing a examine on proficient childrens and impressive skills carried out by means of Dr. Dabrowski, in addition to formerly unpublished biographical items reading the personalities of Beethoven, Kierkegaard, and Unamuno. Grounded in Dabrowski’s thought of confident disintegration, Personality-Shaping introduces the recommendations on the middle of the speculation and on the center of human capability, creativity, social provider, internal clash, psychological disorder, and private progress. Dabrowski’s all-embracing standpoint is instantaneously a clean substitute to the one-dimensional theories and developments pervasive within the box of psychology, and an entire assertion in its personal correct of all these facets of human nature too frequently marginalized, overlooked, or denied – a progressive and heartfelt manufactured from Dr. Dabrowski’s incisive observations and all-embracing imaginative and prescient.

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70–71) And elsewhere the author speaks of a “truly morbid structure” (p. 33) and “involutional mental disease” (p. 48). “We encounter permanent disorganizations,” he says, “principally in severe chronic mental diseases and in acute chronic somatic diseases” (p. 70). Thus far the argument seems to be largely circular and therefore lacking in cogency. With respect to the more specific question of whether disintegration will be positive or negative, the author says: Whether a man disintegrates positively or negatively is indicated … by the more or less obvious presence of a factor which organizes such a state of slackening or of dissension, organizing it in the sense of ordering, evaluating, and purposeful utilization in building the structure of a higher level.

28) In this frame of reference the normal person is one who has achieved “personality,” that is, maturity, responsibility, integrity. And the so-called neurotic, far from being one in whom these attributes are overdeveloped, is an individual who has not yet achieved them – but who has the capacity, the potential to do so. Sociopaths (“psychopath” was the older designation) are, by contrast, less fortunate. Of them Dabrowski says: Such people are incapable of internal conflicts, but often enter into conflicts with the environment.

Here individual responsibility is not necessarily indicated. But at other places in his book Dabrowski takes the position that psychological stress arises from dissatisfaction “with regard to [one’s] own conduct” (p. 36), “awareness of ‘infidelity’ toward the personality ideal” (p. 47), “an acknowledgment of having acted incorrectly” (p. 108), and “dishonesty” (p. 113). ” And the capacity to be thus disturbed, although undeniably the source of much suffering, is also the hallmark of our humanity and the wellspring of moral and social progression.

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