The Process Of Creativity

Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. It represents a high degree of emotional well being and, the good news is that you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. The creative process exists in many, many people, from the scientist to the artist to the thinker.

In this process of creativity, one of the first steps is to have an ENCOUNTER. Not bumping your cart into someone at the grocery; your encounter might be with a beautiful landscape (for an artist) or an idea (for a thinker) or an experiment (for a scientist). The encounter includes absorption, intensity and stimulation.  An intense encounter might quicken your heartbeat and increased the intensity of your focus. The encounter with this landscape, idea, or experiment leads to further ENGAGEMENT. Engagement represents having a real relationship with something in the world. This means that you relate to landscape, idea, or experiment in a personal, absorbed way.   These are the conditions for bringing something new into being.

One quality that helps the process of creativity is TALENT.  TALENT, such as artistic talent, imagination, musical or athletic abilities, is a gift you are given and can nourish or ignore.

So, it goes like this: ENCOUNTER brings you into contact and ENGAGEMENT provides the connection, thereby turning your TALENT into creative productions.

 Some of these ideas come from the yellowed paper copy of Rollo May’s “The Courage To Create” that I have on my bookshelf.  It was first published in 1975.

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library. 

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