Book ReviewsCreative & Divergent Thinking

Divergent Mind – Jenara Nerenberg

Humans tend to categorise and group others according to specific physical, behavioural and mental states or characteristics.

We do this because we need shortcuts to minimise excessive energy consumption. Getting to know someone on an individual basis takes time, effort and energy. So, if we can quickly classify someone, we can group them according to our biases and constructed categories, so we can quickly either reject, accept, embrace or alienate others.

‘Judging a book by its cover’ is part of this natural default.

So, categorising and pathologising a certain type of behaviour and psychological or neurological condition is a quick way to understand and behave towards another. 

But, even boxes have nuances and not all boxes are created equal.

Culturally, we have expressed and embraced certain historical biases and narratives of people, mostly based on medical/psychological categories based on ‘common’ symptoms that align with the diagnostic criteria and descriptions.

The current mental health criteria (especially according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual – DSM) used can be really helpful for some to identify the cause or reason for their way of thinking, their behaviour or the way their mind or emotions work.

But, it can also be a label that is used to judge both others and self

This label can also be used as an excuse for a specific behavioural pattern, to either justify or defend against unhealthy ways of being. 

This book helps to unpick some of these cultural and self-limiting biases. Looking at the historical and contemporary perspective of neuro-divergent ways of thinking and being can create a new narrative and thinking pattern to empower individuals to embrace and treasure their abilities as valuable assets or even super-powers.

If you fall into the category of ‘neuro-divergent’, Jenara Nerenberg helps to explain different forms of neuro-divergence that can co-exist or present in different ways for different individuals.

Working through the book can help you understand more about how and why you think, act and respond to what you do.

This book can help both those with neuro-divergent abilities and those who love and care for them, to be more understanding, forgiving and adaptive to specific needs – in a way that can enhance, empower and maximise a life well lived. 

This video (which will take you through to YouTube) is an introduction to the first Neurodiversity Project conference.  

Search on YouTube for other videos and interviews that Jenara has conducted on neuro-diversity

About Jenara Nerenberg

Jenara is the founder of The Nerovidersity Project

As a renowned journalist and author who discovered that she was neuro-divergent as an adult. This book is an extension of the research and interviews that she has conducted in her search for her own answers.