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Searching for Meaning; Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope

Searching for Meaning; Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and HOPE
Great Potential Press/Hutchison-Frey

New book by JamesT. Webb, Ph.D. "Searching for Meaning;Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and HOPE"


The unexamined life is not worth living.
~ Socrates

There are many books giving advice and solutions on problems dealing with gifted children, but next week, September 14, James T. Webb, Ph.D. releases his new book aimed at coping with problems for both gifted children and adults; and not just ordinary issues but existential problems like what is the meaning of life and what is the purpose of my life.

Dr. Webb said "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.

People with existential depression need more than medications. It is fundamentally more important for those with existential depression to become aware that others have had similar experiences and to realize that someone truly understands their idealism, disillusionment, and anger that things are not as they “should be.”

Searching for Meaning bridges this gap and provides a safety net of sorts for those floating in the abyss of concentrated disillusionment. This book offers guidance and support in taking the first steps toward renewed perspective and helps to promote a solid foundation to prevent future relapses."

Your entire life has been getting you ready for this moment. Use everything you’ve got to create a future that is your dream.
~Barbara Winter

Chapter 1 Searching for Meaning
Discusses topics from Illusions to Disillusionment, Being Bright and Disillusioned, The loneliness of Being Disillusioned and Different, and Turning Disillusionment into Opportunities for Growth.

Chapter 2 Idealism: Do you get it from your parents, or Does It Just Come Naturally?
Who Becomes an Idealist? Ideals as Illusions

Chapter 3 Bright and Inquiring Minds Want to Know!
Moral Developments and Overexcitabilities in Bright Children and Adults.

Chapter 4 Gloom and Misery and Despair: So Much Depression Everywhere
The Increasing Prevalence of Depression, Depression in Children and Adults, Managing Your Emotional State.

Chapter 5 Life Meaning and Existential Concerns
Existential Views through the Ages, Existential Issues and Mental Ability, Existential Issues and Dabrowski’s Theory; Disillusionment: The First Step toward Wisdom

Chapter 6. Awareness and Acceptance
The Awareness Model, Putting Ideals into Action, Know Thyself, Schopenhauer’s Truths

Chapter 7. Some Not-So-Healthy Coping Styles that Feed Illusions
Trying to Control Life, or at Least Label It, Keeping Busy, Deliberately Not Thinking and Using Distractions, Clinging to Things, Becoming Narcissistic, Seeking Novelty and Adrenaline Rushes, Camouflaging to Keep Others from Knowing You and Your Ideals, Withdrawal and Detachment, Anger, The Illusions of the Coping Styles

Chapter 8. Healthier Coping Styles that Go Beyond Illusions
Creating Your Own Life Script, Becoming Involved with Causes, Maintaining a Sense of Humor, Touching and Feel Connected, Developing Authentic Relationships, Letting Go, Learning Optimism and Resiliency, Focusing on the Continuity of Generations, Which Coping Style Is Best?

Chapter 9. Hopes, Happiness and Contentment
Selecting a Direction, Including on Goals and Values; Nurturing Meaningful and Supportive Relationships with Others, Cultivating Positive Attitudes and Emotions, Nurturing Spiritual Emotions, Developing Material Sufficiency to Meet Your Needs, Life Meaning, Personal Legacies

Dr. Webb says “Chapter 7 and 8 are probably the ones that you most hoped this book would talk about - how people cope with disillusionment and with existential issues... Chapter 7 is particularly important because the people who are using these strategies sometimes are unaware that it is their disillusionments and existential fears that underlie their behaviors - behaviors that are limiting their life, hindering their relationships with others and generally dragging them down.

Chapter 8, I hope, will be more helpful to you. The 13 approaches described there are the ones that I have found most helpful for me and for people whom I have seen in counseling over the years.”

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
~ George Bernard Shaw

The book is available next week for $24.95 at Great Potential Press at or call (520) 777-6161. It is also available at I wholeheartedly recommend you get a copy.

James T. Webb, Ph.D., ABPP-Cl, has been recognized as one of the 25 most influential psychologists nationally on gifted education, and he consults with schools, programs, and individuals about the social and emotional needs of gifted and talented children. In 1981, Dr. Webb established SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), a national nonprofit organization that provides information, training, conferences, and workshops to parents and educators of gifted children, and he remains as Chair of SENG’s Professional Advisory Committee.

A frequent keynote and workshop speaker at state and national conventions, Dr. Webb, a licensed and board-certified psychologist, has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, The Phil Donahue Show, CNN, and National Public Radio. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, he served for three years on its governing body, the Council of Representatives. Dr. Webb is also a Fellow of the Society of Pediatric Psychology and the Society for Personality Assessment. In 1992, he received the Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy by the American Psychological Association, and also the National Award for Excellence, Senior Investigator Division, from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Gifted Children and was President of the American Association for Gifted Children. Currently, Dr. Webb is President of Great Potential Press, Inc.

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Dick Kantenberger

National Gifted Education Writer,

Houston, TX 77024-4026


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