The purpose of this book is to dispel many of the myths about the gifted, define the term in a nonelitist manner, explore how it manifests in individuals, describe why it is important, consider its origins, examine its psychological implications, and provide guidelines for its recognition, assessment, and development. It provides a cohesive conception of the psychology and development of a group with special needs. This perspective was shaped through 50 years of concentrated study and is informed by the author’s experience as a teacher of gifted elementary students, a counselor of gifted adolescents, a teacher educator of graduate students in gifted education, a psychologist specializing in the assessment of giftedness, a clinician with gifted clients, the creator of a refereed psychological journal on adult giftedness, and a researcher. In humanistic psychology, optimal development has been conceptualized differently. Self-realization can be understood in terms of Maslow’s self-actualization, Dabrowski’s secondary integration, Jung’s individuation, or other theoretical perspectives of human development. Families, educators, and psychologists can support inner development or they can act as agents of socialization, exhorting the gifted to "work harder" to attain external trappings of success.