Janneke Frank, Ph.D


Dr. Janneke Frank [] holds a Ph.D. in Gifted Education from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her research centered on teacher effectiveness in gifted education, specifically exploring inspirational teachers of gifted students through the Dabrowskian lens. She has extensive experience as a teacher of the gifted and administrator in schools that offer programming for the gifted. In 2004 she received the SAGE Award for outstanding contribution to gifted education in Alberta.  Janneke served two years as appointed director of the Centre for Gifted Education at the University of Calgary. She has taught graduate courses in gifted education at the University of Calgary, presented at national and international conferences, and published articles in gifted education. Dr. Frank’s passionate advocacy for gifted students and their families inspires her work as principal, Westmount Charter School, mid-high campus; adjunct professor, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, (UBCO); and principal consultant, Frank Gifted Endeavors.

Krystyna Laycraft, Ph.D


Krystyna Laycraft, Ph.D. [] finished her study at the University of Warsaw as a theoretical physicist.  After moving to Canada, she continued her graduate study in physics and worked as a scientist in the Department of Physics at the University of Calgary.  Since 1990, Krystyna has been involved in organizing international schools in Warsaw, Calgary and Vancouver. She has published two articles on the Theory of Positive Disintegration as a conceptual model for adolescent development and a book “Creativity as an Order through Emotions” which was based on the doctoral research of creative adolescents and young adults. Krystyna runs the Centre for Chaos Studies and gives lectures on the application of Complexity Science in creativity, psychology, and education.  Krystyna is a member of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences and an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.  For more information on her work and teaching, the following websites can be viewed: &


We are excited to include the following keynote speakers:

Dr. Laurie Nixon

Laurence Nixon, Ph.D., is a professor at Dawson College in Montreal, where he offers courses in social science research methods and in the sacred texts, rituals, religious experiences, art and architecture of the major religious traditions of the world looked at from the perspective of the social sciences and art history. His first encounter with the theory of positive disintegration was through the chance discovery, in the late 1970s, of Positive Disintegration at a Buddhist garage sale in Montreal and then, shortly afterwards, of Mental Growth Through Positive Disintegration in a secondhand bookstore in the same city. This led Nixon to contact one of the co-authors of the last-mentioned work, Andrew Kawczak (then chair of the Philosophy Department at Concordia University in Montreal), who agreed to conduct a seminar in the theory (for Nixon and other graduate students). Nixon made use of the theory of positive disintegration in both his Master’s Thesis (a survey of empirical studies of meditation) and his Ph.D. dissertation (an analysis of the period of spiritual struggle experienced by mystics from a great variety of religious traditions). Subsequently he examined various aspects of the theory, and the application of the theory to religious and creative lives, in conference papers, journal articles, and contributions to the Dabrowski Newsletter. He has also delivered papers and published articles and book reviews in the history, psychology, anthropology and sociology of religion.

Read Dr. Laurie Nixon’s Abstract


Dr. Linda Silverman

Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical and counseling psychologist in Denver, Colorado. She directs the nonprofit Institute for the Study of Advanced Development (ISAD), an agency based on the study of Dabrowski’s theory. ISAD has two subsidiaries: the Gifted Development Center and Visual-Spatial Resource. The Gifted Development Center has assessed over 6,000 children in the last 33 years ( Parents of these children complete the Overexcitability Inventory for Parents, a 50-item questionnaire assessing overexcitabilities in their children. Her Ph.D. is in educational psychology and special education from the University of Southern California. For nine years, she served on the faculty of the University of Denver in counseling psychology and gifted education, where she co-sponsored the Dabrowski Study Group. Her textbook, Counseling the Gifted and Talented (Love: 1993), has increased awareness of Dabrowski’s theory; it has been adopted at more than 50 colleges and universities. Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner (DeLeon, 2002) honors the gifts of artists, who are noted for their overexcitabilities. Her most recent book, Giftedness 101 (Springer, 2013) also showcases Dabrowski’s Theory. She founded the only journal on adult giftedness, Advanced Development, dedicated to promoting Dabrowski’s theory. She has contributed over 300 articles, chapters and research studies, including 40 on Dabrowski’s theory. An international speaker, she has presented Dabrowski’s theory throughout the United States, Canada, Poland, Australia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Read Dr. Linda Silverman’s Abstract


If you are looking to present at the next congress, we are accepting submissions now.

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The 2014 Debrawski Congress was made possible by our great team:

  • Laurie Alisat

  • Dave Anton

  • Veronika Bohac-Clarke

  • Hal Curties

  • Linda Finlay

  • Janneke Frank (Co-Chair)

  • Joe Frank

  • Gaye Harden

  • David Holland

  • Rosanne Holland

  • Michele Kane

  • Ralamy Kneeshaw

  • Krystyna Laycraft (Co-Chair)

  • Mary-Jo Pow

  • Suzanne Seliga

  • Dani Sever

  • Emily Wang