I am a Clinical Psychologist who has actively worked in Private Practice since 1994. I also love photography. The links between creativity and mental health are frequently debated and I am always curious about what is said. Does one have to be tortured, poor, and misunderstood to create great art? Is the final product the measure of creativity? What is the difference between the road taken by the dedicated artist and the everyday creative process used by others?
Pain can leave any person introspective. Recovery is creative. Loss is an example. When we are in pain due to life’s inevitable losses, we turn away from others and from our world. Colours darken or are not noticed. Life loses its flavour. There is no energy for joy. And for a time this is a necessary part of saying goodbye. But the above is also a recipe for healing, and one that any individual can use regardless of talent or training, when the time for recovery arrives. Notice the colours and the darkness subsides, have a meal with friends and life’s flavour returns. Consciously seeking out creative activity transmutes the inner pain and connects one back to the world.
As a psychologist I love working with consciously creative individuals. They are able to adjust to the challenge of new thinking and they widen my own horizons time and again. Consciously choosing to live creatively is a sign of mental health. When someone tells me they are not creative at all, I feel challenged. Here I may try to get the person to think again about what they are already doing, or about what they should do differently. And when I run out of answers and the questions no longer make sense, I take my camera and go and look for things to photograph. It puts a smile on my face.
(Article written for publication in I love Yzer magazine)