Therapy for artists (but not "art therapy")?
January 19, 2011 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Global question: Is there a name for customized therapy for artists/writers to help them work through creative problems? Local question: Can anyone recommend a specific practitioner in the Seattle area who specializes in this, or who might otherwise be a good fit?

I'm a creative type, both in occupation and temperament. I have a lot of creative energy, but really struggle to focus it. My productivity at work is okay; not stellar, but sufficient.

However, I have all sorts of personal projects I should be (and want to be) working on after work and on the weekends. However, I just can't focus that energy and just end up spinning my wheels most of the time. It's intensely frustrating.

I think I've probably always had ADD, but that seems like a convenient excuse, and I'm not sure it's relevant. I know that to some degree, it's always hard for artists to focus their creative energies, but I've been trying to man up and deal with it by myself for years now, and I'm not making any progress.
posted by Robson to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a therapist recommendation for you (I'm in New York City) but until you find one you might want to take a look at my website (I'm working on a workbook which will expand upon it and provide specific exercises):
posted by DMelanogaster at 2:24 PM on January 19, 2011

Ron Feinberg on Mercer Island is amazing with ADD folks.
posted by jennstra at 3:12 PM on January 19, 2011

The Artist's Way addresses some of the issues with creative blocks, and the companion book Finding Water addresses the subject of finishing. You can sometimes find local groups/clusters that will address the issues.
posted by medea42 at 4:06 PM on January 19, 2011

Don't know if there's a name for it or not, but might I put in 'artist therapy' as a good one? Perhaps 'creativity therapy' as well - whatever the name, I've simply gotten lost in a good book or played in a different media / creative platform for awhile...
posted by chrisinseoul at 4:20 PM on January 19, 2011

Eric Maisel. Though he's in San Francisco, maybe he can recommend someone in your area. You're looking for creativity coaching.
posted by xenophile at 5:58 PM on January 19, 2011

Robson: "Global question: Is there a name for customized therapy for artists/writers to help them work through creative problems?"

There is a role within theatre known as a dramaturg which may also be what you're after.

A good dramaturg will work with you on a project by project basis to develop a play from an intial idea to a producable draft. Their role includes setting deadlines, providing feedback and asking questions which should lead you to a greater understanding of your own work by answering them. (In which respect it is a lot like therapy.) They'll also typically be very well networked and able to help you broker relationships with directors and producers once you reach the final stretch.
posted by the latin mouse at 12:06 AM on January 21, 2011

You asked, "Is there a name for customized therapy for artists/writers to help them work through creative problems?" I have been asking the same thing. But I like your ideas. I have worked with creative groups and designers at Fortune 100 companies for a few years. The most common problem I have noticed is that the distraction level is very high for most creative professionals. Being more creative on the job with original ideas usually requires two things 1) adjusting one's thinking (clearing one's mind of what's bugging them) and 2) creating without interference (eliminating interruptions and possibly removing oneself entirely from the vicinity of interruptions). That part about following through on creative projects...Creatives (myself being one!) take on a higher number of such projects with a level of mental obsession (or passion). Sometimes just cutting back on the number of projects and appreciating the simple things in my life recharge me to keep going consistently on all my creative pursuits.:) Loved your title 'therapy for artists (but not art therapy!)' That is exactly what I want to explore.
posted by nandevore at 10:09 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

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