The Overachieving Underachiever

The Overachieving Underachiever, written by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD., holds a basis of what many young students struggle with throughout their academic career. This struggle not only encompasses today’s society but also within the familial competition to reach a higher education and gain a larger success story. Throughout McConnaughey’s article, she depicts the struggles she specifically underwent due to childhood trauma, which had been suppressed for many years and hindered her abilities to succeed. Fortunately for McConnaughey, she remained motivated to continue her studies and understand the ways her childhood has the potential to influence her educational successes or deficits.

However, many students who struggle with suppression or denial from a childhood trauma do not gain encouragement from their struggles. Instead, the majority of students turn away from self-exploration and allow their education disabilities to define them, which hinders their strive for academic achievement. Often, a student struggling with a disability experiences their trauma in multiple ways, such as depression, anxiety, behavioral complications and difficulty with interpersonal interactions. McConnaughey came to the realization throughout her continuing educational studies, connecting her mathematical difficulties to the childhood trauma she had encountered in elementary school.

It wasn’t until McConnaughey was working towards her doctorate that her confirmation that childhood trauma had no impact on her studies, was wrong. Instead she has been experiencing denial throughout her academic career. McConnaughey introduces ways in which Kübler-Ross’s model of the grieving process enables a student to understand, accept and appropriately process their childhood traumas. The Kraft Group Inc. provides multiple approaches to struggling students of all ages. Their focus on students with disabilities scaling from mild Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) to Autism enables children who may have faced hardships to overcome hurdles they may be facing.

The Kraft Group Inc. acknowledges trauma as being an alteration in a life plan, meaning childhood trauma includes hearing about the diagnosis of a learning disability from the child study team at their school. Our creative approach to assist student and children to process openly includes Sand Play Therapy, Play Therapy, Art Infused Talk Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Brief Psychotherapy.


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