Pretty much all of us experience some kind of trauma in life. How does creative expression help people deal with it, to heal and recover? And how do people make use of traumatic experiences in their creative work?
Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity...
“Unfelt feelings are the cause of virtually all negative life patterns. Including patterns in relationships, career, and health. Learning precisely how to feel unfelt emotions whether new or long-buried, is the key to finally breaking through.” – Raphael Cushnir.
- See his video about his online program October 14th – November 22nd, 2013: The Hidden Power of Emotions.
Creativity coach and therapist Eric Maisel, PhD talks about “official” attitudes of many health professionals about some forms of human experience, such as depression, that get labeled as mental illness.
He says, “The mental health industry has its reasons for calling life’s challenges ‘disorders’ but we have few good reasons to collude with them.”
Other writers and psychologists talk about the presumed connection between mood disorders like depression, and creativity.
by Eric Maisel, PhD. - 'The current naming system used to describe “mental disorders” is weak and suspect and perhaps so flawed as to be both useless and dangerous… and also leads to odd and wrong-headed hypotheses, for example “because you are bipolar you are creative” or “perhaps mania accounts for the higher test scores.”
One of his books: 'Rethinking Depression: How to Shed Mental Health Labels and Create Personal Meaning' http://goo.gl/J77pc
Photo: Stephen King has said: “I’ve taken off two months, three months at a time, and, by the end, I get really squirrelly. My night life, my dream life, gets extremely populated and crazed. It’s as though something in there is running all the time.” - From article: "Developing Creativity: Excitabilities – Our Teeming Brains" http://talentdevelop.com/1906/
By his mid-twenties, Andrew Solomon earned international accolades for his work as a novelist, journalist and historian. At 31 he descended into a major depression. He was helped by a combination of family support, medications and talk therapy.
'Some of the titular outsiders featured in Alissa Quart’s new book, Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers and Rebels, are crazy. That’s not a judgment; it’s a self-description: Among her diverse range of nonconforming subjects, Quart explores the “Mad Pride” movement, a group of people who reject the notion that their mental illnesses are disabilities.'
Alissa Quart’s new book: Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers and Rebels. http://buff.ly/169QlGx
"The arts can give a life to the parts of ourselves that we often hide, or are scared to show in their most exploded forms. In a more traditional setting, like in a theater or a gallery, artistic work can give the audience a chance to escape from their own realities and give breath to the parts of themselves that feel touched or evoked by the piece."
Douglas Eby's insight:
Author and artist SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) said she knows that art is healing “because of how it heals me and how I see it healing other people every day. Through art, we come alive through the deep connections to our souls and spirits. I’m talking about being ‘artists of life,’ not only visual artists. I believe there is an ‘art of living’ and that this art practiced heals each of us everyday in small and significant ways." - From my post Healing and art: SARK and others on abuse and creativity http://womenandtalent.com/78/
Introduced by Neseret Bemient, host of The Mental Health Telesummit, creativity coach and therapist Eric Maisel, PhD talks about "official" attitudes of many health professionals about some forms of human experience, such as depression, that get labeled as mental illness.
He thinks “There is something profoundly wrong with the way that we currently name and treat certain human phenomena." [From article "Rethinking Creativity and Depression" http://depressionandcreativity.org/139/ ]
In this brief audio clip he talks about ideas he also presents in his book "Rethinking Depression: How to Shed Mental Health Labels and Create Personal Meaning". http://goo.gl/J77pc
Get his full-length [almost an hour] interview as part of the Mental Health Telesummit package of recordings by 12 presenters. More information at http://talentdevelop.com/MHT
Trigger Warning: This post contains the description of sexual assault and may be triggering to survivors.I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about comparing Miley Cyrus’ sexual antics to Madonna’s thought-provoking ways of the 1980s.
Douglas Eby's insight:
Trauma takes many forms, and has different sources and levels of impact for each of us. See quotes by and about Sarah Polley, Halle Berry, Lady Gaga, will.i.am, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonathan Safran Foer and many others, in my article Creative People and Trauma http://talentdevelop.com/6550/
SAN FRANCISCO — Kim Knoble's past tracks an arc of promise, mental illness and descent into what her parents call "living hell." But Knoble is not homeless, in prison or dead — outcomes common with stories like hers.
By Scott Barry Kaufman | “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.” —Salvador Dali / "The romantic notion that mental illness and creativity are linked is so prominent in the public consciousness that it is rarely challenged. So before I continue, let me nip this in the bud: Mental illness is neither necessary nor sufficient for creativity."
Many creative people have talked about how valuable it can be to use therapy or counseling for dealing with challenges, or to enhance self-understanding.
Maggie Gyllenhaal says she began therapy without a “specific, clear, rational thing” that made her start, “but as soon as I did, everything in my life changed, almost immediately.” She continued, “There’s another part of me working that isn’t the intellectual side – the unconscious – and that was not awake most of my life. Not actively. There were times when it would push through, but now I feel I’m really honoring it.”
Studies typically find that about 6-8 percent of adolescents and young adults report current, chronic self-injury. Most self-injure for emotional regulation.
“It’s like having a drink. But it’s quicker. You know how your brain shuts down from pain? The pain would be so bad, it would force my body to slow down, and I wouldn’t be as anxious. It made me calm.” Actor Christina Ricci
One of the many stimulating comments by Ken Robinson: "The third misconception is that creativity is just about letting yourself go, kind of running around the room and going a bit crazy. Really, creativity is a disciplined process that requires skill, knowledge, and control. Obviously, it also requires imagination and inspiration."
Douglas Eby's insight:
In one of my related posts: "Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?" - I include quotes of his, such as: "We are educating people out of their creativity. By the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity to take a chance. They have become frightened of being wrong." http://talentdevelop.com/69/sir-ken-robinson-do-schools-kill-creativity/
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