Creative acts can be transformative and creativity can be key to problem solving.
People speak of feeling entirely changed by the arts. Books, music and culture help shape our thoughts and articulate our feelings, often because they can operate outside of our logical brain, closer to the subconscious. But as well as the obviously artistic activities, many of our moment-by-moment behaviours, choices and responses require creativity. As we decide what to do, or how to respond, our subconscious works to keep us safe and avoid things it has learned to fear. As babies we learned through play and experience. Some of those lessons may have served us ok as children, but may now be holding us back. Creative thinking and creative play can help us contact those deeply held beliefs and feelings in a way that rational discussion can sometimes simply cannot access.
It’s not about artistic expression. It’s about engaging more than the cognitive imagination and helping the subconscious to merge into consciousness. Sometimes words and the rational mind need to sink into the background or soften their rational grip. This gives room for a more open perspective or relaxes the rigidity of thinking that may be needed for change to occur.
Sometimes we need to be creative in order to find a way to express or explore our thoughts, feelings or actions.
Sometimes clients and I make drawings or diagrams to represent or catch something elusive. We may come back to these scribbles and schema to help us remember the themes and layers of previous sessions. Patterns appear, symbols speak and feelings become more meaningful.
Sometimes we lay out objects to illustrate tangled relationships or a complex set of feelings. This enables a perspective, or multiple perspectives to be seen, to be layered…. and even to be challenged.
Sometimes we may need to stand tall, curl up, walk around the room or jump up and down. By changing ourselves physically we may allow different psychological perspectives to emerge.
I believe that we are all creative, through necessity. In times of distress, crisis or chaos our creativity can be soothing and so helpful.
And of course it can add humour, fun, relief or distraction where needed.