Category: Psychology

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 […]

Harvard research: We can think ourselves younger and healthier

Harvard research: We can think ourselves younger and healthier

-+*Harvard Professor Ellen Langer and colleague Alia Crum reported that they took 84 hotel workers and told one group that “the work they do (cleaning hotel rooms) is good exercise and satisfies the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle.” Langer and Crum told the control group nothing. Four weeks later, the control group hadn’t […]

 Directing our feelings and thinking to be more creative

Directing our feelings and thinking to be more creative

-+*Do you remember how much you felt and thought as a child? Probably a lot, especially if you were gifted and creative. As an adult, we may have learned to cover up or set aside much of our inner life, in order to get along with others and do our jobs. But if we want […]

Anger and creativity

Anger and creativity

-+*Actor and Singer/songwriter Melora Hardin said in our interview: “Anger is the best propeller for any kind of action, it really gets you moving. It’s a good thing. A healthy thing. “But I also think a lot of people — like some songwriters I interact with — get really caught in the trap of feeling […]

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 […]

Book: “The Creative Mind: Identity and Confidence”

Book: “The Creative Mind: Identity and Confidence”

-+*This is the first title in my planned Creative Mind series, which explores creative talents and creative expression in terms of personal development and psychology. A number of topics are included, such as personality, inspiration, self-concept, high sensitivity, beliefs, mental health and mood, fear and courage. Information from multiple coaches and experts in psychology is […]

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 […]

James C. Kaufman, PhD on creativity research

James C. Kaufman, PhD on creativity research

-+*James C. Kaufman, PhD, is an Associate Professor at California State University, San Bernardino, and a creativity researcher. His books include : The Psychology of Creative Writing Creativity 101. Topics in the interview include the use of mood-altering substances by writers and other artists; the genius myth stereotype; how the idea of a creative muse […]

Performers and Excitabilities

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 […]

Bill Harris on formal operational thinking

Bill Harris on formal operational thinking

-+*Formal operational thinking — the ability to think about the thinking process — allows a person to investigate a problem in a systematic manner. … The formal operational person will imagine the possibilities before they begin. They have the cognitive ability to imagine them all, hold them in awareness, and compare them. … But you […]

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, […]

Marge Piercy on myth and reality

Marge Piercy on myth and reality

-+*One of the characters in Marge Piercy‘s novel He, She and It is Malkah, an older woman who writes chimeras, decoy code used to hide sensitive corporate information on the Net. Malkah says, “I cannot always distinguish between myth and reality, because myth forms reality and we act out of what we think we are; […]

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. […]

Entertainment psychology - A Jungian perspective on the feminine in film

Entertainment psychology – A Jungian perspective on the feminine in film

-+*A new look at the Wizard of Oz John Beebe, MD is a Jungian analyst, and co-author, with Virginia Apperson, of the book, The Presence of the Feminine in Film. In a Shrink Rap Radio podcast interview, he talks about how movies bring to life female characters and the feminine aspect of our psyches, whether […]

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 […]

Video Gaming for Mental Health

Video Gaming for Mental Health

-+*“When the player becomes stressed or fearful, the game will increase in intensity and difficulty. When the player calms himself, the game returns to its default state.” Game designer Erin Reynolds There are many different sorts of video games, and many studies on their psychological and social impacts – research that is often critical or […]

The science of feeling good

The science of feeling good

-+*While psychology has mostly concentrated on mental health disorders and how to deal with them, the field of positive psychology is exploring what helps make us happy and fulfilled – feelings that support our personal development and achievement. The photo is psychologist Jeanne Nakamura appreciating the joking scowling of her colleague Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of Claremont […]

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 […]

How we talk about ourselves may keep us afraid to be ourselves

-+*Phyllis (Barbara Stanwyck): We’re both rotten. Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray): Only you’re a little more rotten. [Double Indemnity, 1944] Those sort of critical insults may be fun in movies or novels, but how we think of ourselves – or what we accept others saying about us – can have a deep influence on how we […]

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 […]

What about intuition?

What about intuition?

-+*Can intuition be a useful extension or complement to rational thought? Many think so. Others caution it can be uncertain and misleading. Author and coach Tama J. Kieves notes we may block intuitive understanding because “It’s hard to let insights in, if we’ve dead bolted the doors. “Sometimes we are begging for clarity, just as […]

Director Joe Wright on His Dyslexia

Director Joe Wright on His Dyslexia

-+*“Because I think visually, not being able to read meant that other parts of my brain were pushed further…” That is a comment by movie director Joe Wright about being dyslexic, from an NPR / All Things Considered show which I found thanks to the Dyslexic Advantage Facebook page of Brock Eide, MD, MA, and […]

Hilda Huang on Bach and video games; Gina Trapani on multitasking

Hilda Huang on Bach and video games; Gina Trapani on multitasking

-+*Creative expression involves many skills and cognitive abilities, which may be enhanced by activities such as video games. And creative performance can enhance skills outside of art. Hilda Huang, 14, is acclaimed for her piano performances of Bach. She made her debut at Carnegie Hall at age 11. This is from a recent interview: Question: […]

Our Shadow Self

Our Shadow Self

-+*Carl Jung: “The shadow is the negative side of the personality, the sum of all those unpleasant qualities we like to hide. … There is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection.” ~ ~ “I think many of us feel like we must wear a happy face all the time and overlook […]

Developing creativity - using our bad thoughts and dark side

Developing creativity – using our bad thoughts and dark side

-+*Our shadow side is the multitude of personality qualities, instincts, urges and thoughts we may be offended by and actively ignore, deny or try to cover up. But this secret or unexplored inner landscape can be a source of personal growth and creative expression. It isn’t a matter of freely acting on our urges or […]

It Can’t Be Done

It Can’t Be Done

-+*By Morty Lefkoe “It can’t be done” is never the truth. What people really are saying when they utter these words is: “I don’t how how to do it.” Or, “it can’t be done the way we’ve always tried in the past.” Or, “it can’t be done according to the only way I can think […]

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 […]