Enhancing Creativity

Many people have flashes of creative insight. Not as many sustain the innovative process from insight to completion. People who achieve excellence in their life work are often creative, whether in art, science, or human relations.

I offer psychotherapy services to enhance and support your creativity. A variety of people consult me for creativity, including students, artists, writers, and professionals — essentially anyone who wants to find their voice for self-expression. Although experienced with emergencies, that is not my practice focus. As an outpatient therapist I work with people who can reliably cope, are not at risk or in crisis, do not have thoughts of self-harm, and are seeking to grow.

The approach we take is tailored to your individual needs. These may include:

Process Issues

  • Facing a very challenging creative project, perhaps larger than previously experienced
  • Not knowing when to try harder or gather more information versus letting ideas incubate (see creativity stages to the right)
  • Extreme pressure to produce, whether external, internal, or both
  • Difficulties with self-discipline and follow-through

Psychological Challenges

  • Individuation — growth toward more authentic self-expression and identity, something often seen when facing a new life stage
  • Performance anxiety / stage fright
  • Lack of confidence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems regulating emotions, anxiety, substance abuse, impulsivity
  • Coping with mental illness (such as depression, Bipolar Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Situational Factors

  • Life turmoil in situations like divorce, work stress, or financial limitations
  • Physical health problems
  • Spiritual issues or transformation (for more, see my spirituality page)

Coaching for Creative and Writer’s Block

Often people become creatively blocked because they don’t understand the stages of the creative cycle. I may take the role of coach or mentor to teach you the stages of creativity and help you navigate these. I can also help you think through project management issues, such as estimating time and budget or creating a project plan with timetables and deliverables.

For writers, I draw from my own experience and can teach the mechanics of researching source material, generating creative ideas and forming them into finished text. More specifically, we might address the following writing challenges:

  • Getting started
  • Organizing your ideas
  • Writing in English as a second language
  • Believing the first draft must be a finished product
  • Feeling comfortable with intuitive knowing but having a hard time putting that into language. Sometimes it’s a matter of writing descriptions of inner images and feelings, and letting this start the flow of words
  • Other issues, unique to you

Teaching Computer Research Skills

Writing that is rich in content and descriptively colorful flows from a wealth of knowledge. One of the secrets of excellent writing is thorough research, and this is so easily done now on the Internet! Computers are also excellent tools for quickly accessing vocabulary and one’s personal knowledge library. For this reason, when mentoring writers, I sometimes teach computer research skills, including:

  • How to quickly find information on your computer or the Internet, so the information search doesn’t interrupt creative thinking
  • Using an electronic dictionary to quickly understand difficult material
  • Quickly finding just the right word, using an electronic thesaurus
  • Using spreadsheet software to sort and categorize complex information

The list of issues on this page is by no means complete. If yours is one I haven’t covered, call me at 415.271.2350 to discuss its possible treatment.

My Creative Background

Before I became a psychologist, I enjoyed an award-winning career as a marketing writer, editor and communications consultant. In this role, I often collaborated with other creative professionals, including graphic designers, video producers and webmasters. In undergraduate school, I was a fine arts minor, something I thoroughly enjoyed, along with teaching myself to play guitar. I’ve taught classes in proposal writing and have coached students in writing their doctoral dissertations, where the most important objective is to get it done!

To schedule a first appointment please select this link.

Footnotes

1. Vargiu, J. (1977). Creativity. In Synthesis, 3-4, 17-53. Redwood City, CA: Synthesis Press.