Artists and Creatives: We really are different...
wrote the content for this page based on the fact that so many of my
clients are artists and creatives. We're dancers, poets, musicians,
writers, filmmakers, costume designers, architects...the list goes on. We might have jobs that don't necessarily reflect the depth or breadth of our creative interests, but those interests are a core part of our identity and way of seeing the world.
DO believe that creatives are different enough from the American
mainstream model of good citizenry that we struggle with particular
issues. Feeling marginalized and ostracized is one. Not getting validation for what we do from our families and society is another. A lot of us also have histories that include significant experiences of abuse, neglect, or trauma of some kind. It's almost inevitable that in this society, at some point a creative person is going to need help or therapeutic support or healing to both survive and thrive.
There are very few people engaged deeply in the arts working as mental health professionals, which gives artists and creatives few choices when looking for help. I believe that artists and creatives have unique strengths that can be brought to the front and used in service of a healing process. Those strengths include:
Curiosity--openness to new ideas
Creativity--the ability to devise our own solutions: we could do it this way, or this way, or THAT way...Artists tend to see things from multiple viewpoints at the same time. It's brilliant. It's confusing. It can look a lot like herding cats. Sometimes you need help from a good cat herder.
Open mindedness--the ability to take in and appreciate diverse viewpoints or ways of seeing things
Humor--you have to be able to laugh to survive as an artist. Let's face it.
The love of beauty--I consider the love of beauty to be a form of connection to the divine, as well as the creation of beauty.
Quirkiness--some might regard this as a negative but I happen to regard quirkiness as a huge strength. I suppose everyone is quirky in their own way, but not everyone is quirky in a way that involves pulling a pair of pink scuffed patent leather boots out of a backpack for a performance, like Peaches did once when she stayed at my house. See what I said about humor, above.
At any rate, artists and creatives are my family, and I "get" the multi-layered issues that a lot of us struggle with. We're very curious people, in general, and curiosity can lead you down bad paths as well as good. We can sometimes have trouble making effective decisions or forming a realistic plan of action due to our desire to "do it all." We can struggle with depression and anxiety and substance use and organization and relationships in particular ways. We always have to work hard to balance our artistic aspirations and self centeredness with our personal lives. What works in the studio or on the stage doesn't necessarily work with our partner. I get it. I'm there with you.
I also believe that the healed artist is one of the most powerful forces in the world. Essentially, the healed artist is the shaman, the transformer and journeyer of worlds seen and unseen. The healed artist takes others from one place to another through song, dance, painting, performance, poetry, film...This is why it's worth it to invest in healing. It's not only for yourself. It's for all those whose hearts can journey with you.
Does this resonate with you?