Category: Psychology

Restlessness and Jagged Edges

Restlessness and Jagged Edges

“I believe that curiosity, wonder and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways that less intense emotions can never do. “I believe, in short, that we are equally beholden to heart and mind, and that […]

Too much pursuit of happiness?

Too much pursuit of happiness?

“I believe the ultimate aim of all human beings is to obtain happiness and a sense of fulfillment.” The Dalai Lama “The effort to try and feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable.” Oliver Burkeman Seemingly endowed with endless effervescent glee, Drew Barrymore has expressed an attitude about happiness and positive […]

More than conscious thinking in The Secret

More than conscious thinking in The Secret

In her article The Secret Behind The Secret, Susan Fuller reminds us that more than conscious thinking impacts our lives and success: “As The Secret streaks across the planet with dizzying speed, this seems like a good time to revisit this thing called ‘The Law of Attraction’. “Every book on achieving your goals and attracting […]

Jack Canfield on the subconscious mind

Jack Canfield on the subconscious mind

Personal development author and teacher Jack Canfield notes: “Your thoughts are powerful. They are real, they are measurable, they are energy. “The conscious mind has: – Limited processing capacity. – Short term memory (about 20 seconds) – The ability to manage 1 to 3 events at a time -Impulses that travel at 120 to 140 […]

Creating and Fear

Creating and Fear

Karen Moncrieff, after working for years as an actor, became a screenwriter. In a magazine article, she notes “Writing felt so comfortable in a way that acting never really did. With writing, I was using all parts of myself, all of my skills.” She said, “I let my emotions and feelings be my guide. I […]

Creative People: Robert Fritz on Believing vs. Creating

Creative People: Robert Fritz on Believing vs. Creating

Robert Fritz notes that most creative people do not always hold positive attitudes and thoughts, or think that well of themselves. Here are excerpts from an article of his: For years we have heard that what you believe will determine how well you will succeed in life. So every year, people diligently attempt to change […]

Resources on Creative People, Personality and Mental Health

Resources on Creative People, Personality and Mental Health

This long page includes a video of my online 1 hour presentation, plus multiple short video excerpts, plus notes and multiple links to articles and other resources. Main topics: Personality: High Sensitivity | Self Concept / Self Esteem Mental Health: Anxiety | Depression | Trauma Sections include: A Complex Personality Insecurity and Androgyny High Sensitivity […]

Toxic Criticism and Developing Creativity

Toxic Criticism and Developing Creativity

Healthy criticism can help refine our creative talents and projects, enabling our pursuit of excellence. But when criticism is based on excessive perfectionism or an unrealistic self concept, it can be destructive and self-limiting, eroding our creative assurance and vitality. In one of his podcast series, creativity coach and psychologist Eric Maisel declares, “Criticism is […]

Tripping ourselves up with blind spots

Tripping ourselves up with blind spots

The idea of a mental ‘blind spot’ may imply some kind of deficiency of cognitive ability, but psychologist Madeleine L. Van Hecke argues in her book Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things that even people who are very astute and intellectually capable can suffer lapses in reasonable behavior based on awareness. She argues […]

Matt Weiner, Lili Taylor, Carl Jung on using our subconscious

Matt Weiner, Lili Taylor, Carl Jung on using our subconscious

What lies beneath our usual waking consciousness provides so much of the material we can use for creative expression. The Red Book is a new publication of Carl Jung’s journals and explorations into his soul and psyche. More on that later, but first – two artists talk about using their subconscious for creative inspiration. A […]

Beliefs and self-deception and the cold water study

Beliefs and self-deception and the cold water study

Our beliefs can have a profound impact on our health, personal development and how well we live consciously and creatively. A PsyBlog post summarizes a social psychology experiment* demonstrating how potent and self-limiting beliefs can be. his project involved a group of students who were told they were taking part in a study about the […]

Bill Harris on consciousness technology & holosync

Bill Harris on consciousness technology & holosync

The image is from the book Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge, by B. Alan Wallace, founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. The book notes “There are certainly kinds of neuronal activity that causally contribute to the emergence of specific states of consciousness and mental activity.” Bill Harris, Director […]

Sensation-seeking and ADHD and developing creativity

Sensation-seeking and ADHD and developing creativity

How do you respond to sensory input? According to research, some of us are more likely to be augmenters, or have nervous systems that amplify or increase sensory stimulation (which may help explain the trait of high sensitivity), and other people are reducers, who dampen or decrease sensory input, and find a need to pursue […]

The psychology of creativity: Performers and Excitabilities

The psychology of creativity: Performers and Excitabilities

“I’m an only child and I’m just a real loner kind of person, and yeah, kinda dark. But I’m happy. Not sad. I’m just shy and nervous… I was a loner in high school. I keep to myself, but I love life.” Actor Clea DuVall  [imdb.com] One of the qualities of many actors, musicians and […]

Albert Einstein on the numinous and the creative individual

Albert Einstein on the numinous and the creative individual

Albert Einstein wrote in an essay about the mystical or numinous aspects of reality: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us, the manifestation of the most profound reason coupled with the most brilliant beauty. I cannot imagine a God who rewards […]

Creative People and Mental Health: Self-Injury

Creative People and Mental Health: Self-Injury

“It’s like having a drink. But it’s quicker. You know how your brain shuts down from pain? The pain would be so bad, it would force my body to slow down, and I wouldn’t be as anxious. It made me calm.” That is a quote by Christina Ricci from a 1998 Rolling Stone interview. Studies […]

Emotional intelligence and/or high IQ

Emotional intelligence and/or high IQ

“Academic intelligence has little to do with emotional life… people with high IQs can be stunningly poor pilots of their private lives.” Daniel Goleman In her article Emotional Intelligence of the Gifted, Joanna Fletcher notes that Goleman gives examples of high IQ people “who are not achieving the heights they were destined for.” But she […]

Perfectionism and Brene Brown on The Gifts of Imperfection

Perfectionism and Brene Brown on The Gifts of Imperfection

Perfectionism can be an unhealthy way to try to satisfy distorted ego needs or defuse shame or low self-esteem, for example – but it is a simple name for what can be a complex set of drives and attitudes that can also fuel our pursuit of excellence and motivate social change. Hilary Swank: “The great […]

Louise Bourgeois: A Balance Between Extremes

Louise Bourgeois: A Balance Between Extremes

Her creative work can be “psychologically disturbing, sexually loaded and wickedly funny” according to an interview article, in which artist Louise Bourgeois talked about her emotional and social influences: “My work is a form of psychoanalysis. It is a way of coming to grips with my anxiety and fears. It is an attempt to be […]

Natalie Goldberg on accessing our energy in writing

Natalie Goldberg on accessing our energy in writing

“All the other rules of writing practice support that primary rule of keeping your hand moving. The goal is to allow the written word to connect with your original mind, to write down the first thought you flash on, before the second and third thoughts come in. “Because that’s where the energy is. That’s where […]

The Power of Subconscious Thinking

The Power of Subconscious Thinking

Director Mike Nichols recognizes the value for creative expression of our unconscious depths. “In making movies,” he said, “time is so short — because it is so expensive — that we tend to neglect the place from which the best ideas come, namely that part of ourselves that dreams. “The unconscious is our best collaborator. […]

Unconscious decisions and intuition: Tim Burton and neuroscience

Unconscious decisions and intuition: Tim Burton and neuroscience

Much of what we do, including our creative motivation and work, comes from or is strongly influenced by subconscious aspects of our mind – our intuition and shadow self, among other concepts. In an interview about his films including the “Alice in Wonderland” (with Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp), director Tim Burton commented about his […]

Oliver Sacks on music and the brain

Oliver Sacks on music and the brain

We engage in creative expression out of many circumstances: a passionate calling to make life more meaningful, or in response to emotional or mental turmoil, or simply a need to earn a living, to survive. In his book “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” neurologist Oliver Sacks describes many of the personal and mental […]

Enhancing Our Creative Flow And Achievement

Enhancing Our Creative Flow And Achievement

Ideas and beliefs can fuel our creative expression – or stifle it. Fiona Apple once talked about a notion that can affect any kind of artist: self-imposed schedules or deadlines. Of course there are often “real” deadlines: a date to submit a book proposal, or to have a collection of artwork ready for a gallery […]

The Artist’s Unconscious

The Artist’s Unconscious

By Cheryl Arutt, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, specializing in creative artist issues, trauma recovery, and fertility. I am continually amazed at the work of the unconscious in the minds of creative artists. The capacity to hold many details in the conscious, wakeful mind may seem limited; the unconscious is capable of holding […]

Developing creativity by nurturing divergent thinking

Developing creativity by nurturing divergent thinking

Divergent thinking is one of the defining qualities of creative and high ability people. While it may be a prominent trait of children and many gifted adults, encouraging out of the ordinary ideas can be suppressed as we “grow up” and learn to fit in. But it can also be actively nurtured. Some examples of […]

Be more creative - Part 2

Be more creative – Part 2

Articles and other resources for helping you gain new perspectives and be more creative: ideas for enhancing creativity and innovation. ~~~~~~~ The Secret to Creativity: Mike Dillon at TEDxEastsidePrep “Creativity is not some sort of rare magic, it’s actually an infinite resource – and it’s kinda like a virus.” “Mike Dillon’s background spans over three […]

We do not fear being called meticulous

We do not fear being called meticulous

“We do not fear being called meticulous, inclining as we do to the view that only the exhaustive can be truly interesting.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain Photo: FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in Twin Peaks (1990-1991 TV series), recording a memo about his investigations. Concept and photo from Slaughterhouse 90210 > Related […]

Letting Go of Perfectionism

Letting Go of Perfectionism

“We are constantly bombarded with perfection.” This is a poster for the movie “Closer” (2004) with Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen, directed by Mike Nichols. Flawless faces – probably airbrushed. Owen has been a powerful image and personality to me in all his films I’ve seen – a mensch, someone of strong […]

Your Creative Mind with Learning Differences

Your Creative Mind with Learning Differences

“There were a lot of benefits to being dyslexic for me…I think I came into an appreciation of all those qualities of language…” Novelist Richard Ford The traditional framing of ADHD, dyslexia and some other conditions as “learning disorders” seems to be increasingly challenged by the views of many researchers and artists that these can […]

Shelley Carson on developing creativity

Shelley Carson on developing creativity

Shelley Carson, Ph.D. of Harvard University teaches and conducts research on creativity, psychopathology, and resilience. Topics in our audio podcast interview related to the creative mind and developing creativity include some of Dr. Carson’s seven brain activation patterns she discusses in her book Your Creative Brain. Listen to the podcast: Shelley Carson on enhancing our […]

Allan Snyder on savant syndrome and creativity

Allan Snyder on savant syndrome and creativity

Darold Treffert, MD explains, “Savant Syndrome is a rare, but spectacular, condition in which persons with various developmental disabilities, including Autistic Disorder, have astonishing islands of ability or brilliance that stand in stark, markedly incongruous contrast to the over-all handicap.” From his article The Savant Syndrome: Islands of Genius. Daniel Tammet , as one example, […]

Creative Thinking Without Thinking

Creative Thinking Without Thinking

Much of the Talent Development Resources series of sites is about creative thinking: exploring perspectives and ideas that can help us make more sense of how we operate, and be more fully conscious and creative. In his stimulating book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell writes about “rapid cognition, about the kind […]