In the words of the American novelist Ursula K. Le Guin, “The creative adult is the child who has survived.” Although a creative block or lack of inspiration can be a natural part of the creative process it can also be a sign of underlying distress requiring professional assistance. Let’s take a closer look at the relation between one’s emotional health and the experiences of creative block.
How does a creative block impact my mental health?
As an artist myself and a therapist who works with artists of many kinds, I know that a lapse of creativity is often a natural and short-lived part of the creative process. When one relies on creative production to make a living, however, even a fleeting block can cause anxiety, while more chronic lack of inspiration can signal deeper distress. Creative blocks can also cause or exacerbate feelings of low self-worth and adversely affect overall well-being. Some turn to substances to resolve creative inhibition, and this can quickly become an addiction. If you feel a creative block is causing significant impairment in your quality of life or relationship with yourself, it’s time to seek treatment.
Where is my creative block stemming from?
The causes of creative block are quite diverse but can include the following:
- The loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship
- A lack of financial resources
- Repeated rejection of one's work, known as “creative mortification”
- Depression and effects of traumatic memories
- Self-doubt and fear that your work or ideas won’t be appreciated
- Reliance on substances
- Loss of direction or meaning
- Medical illness
What should I expect from creative block treatment?
Different types of blocks require different solutions: a sudden loss of meaning in a once rewarding creative momentum requires a different approach than a block caused by repeated rejections. In therapy, I will help you explore the concerns you have associated with your lack of inspiration or creative production. We will work together to explore potential causes and to develop personalized psychological and physiological methods to overcome it. Mindfulness, EMDR, hypnotherapy, and guided imagery are among the modalities I most frequently use in this treatment. Most importantly, however, I cultivate a compassionate space in which you can fully and freely explore your true sense of self in life and in your creative process. My understanding of the sensitivities inherent in creative process allows me to assist you with the development of tailored coping skills and strategies to not only work through stalled creativity, but also safeguard your emotional well-being in future.