Emotional Health Resources
Emotional Health Resources: Programs, books, articles and sites
to improve your emotional balance and enhance your creative life.
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“Creating art has always been a way to channel emotional intensity…Finding ways to maintain that optimal zone where we are neither under- or over-stimulated allows us to use our minds to respond rather than to react. The greater access you maintain to yourself, the richer and broader your array of creative tools.”
From article: “Affect Regulation and the Creative Artist” by psychologist Cheryl Arutt – see articles list below.
Also read more about the contents of this page at the bottom.
Main contents of this page:
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Radio show: Change You Choose – a weekly radio program hosted by Michele Rosenthal , a survivor of a horrific medical trauma as a teenager, who struggled with PTSD for over twenty-five years, but today she “joyfully lives 100% free of PTSD symptoms.”
Her book on recovery from PTSD: Before the World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future, A Memoir.
You can hear her inspiring and informational podcast “How to Access Your Healing Potential: Taking Control of Your Path to Recovery” by purchasing the package of recordings by the Mental Health Telesummit, which includes a number of other speakers on healing. See more info below.
I was a guest on the show, in the episode Creativity & Trauma: A Powerful Combination.
Here is a brief excerpt. Follow link above to hear the full length program.
The other guest was Dr. Marlo Archer, CP, PAT, a psychologist who uses psychodrama.
The Mental Health Telesummit
Video: Host Neseret Bemient about the Telesummit:
Video: Adult Children of Trauma: Is It Possible to Heal and How?
The Mental Health Telesummit MP3 recordings package.
The 12 Mental Health Experts:
Neseret Bemient / Darlene Barriere / Eric Maisel /Robert Burney
Andy Behrman / Karuna Cayton / Maggie Reese / Cathy Taughinbaugh
Thomas Sterner / Andrea Paquette / Michele Rosenthal / Sophie Skover
Host Neseret Bemient:
“Our speakers have done the work necessary to heal their own lives. They KNOW what it takes to Heal and Return to Wholeness. They are absolutely passionate about sharing with you the real scoop on how they did it and how you can do the same!”
Article: The One Thing Your Psychiatrist Won’t Tell You About Mental Illness, by Neseret Bemient.
“Your psychiatrist may give you a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, bipolar, personality disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorder, addiction…and the list goes on. The truth of the matter is underlying all of these and thousands of other psychiatric diagnosis is trauma.”
Listen to an excerpt from the Telesummit: Eric Maisel on Rethinking Depression.
The Lefkoe Method
A profile by the Institute of Noetic Sciences notes that Morty Lefkoe “made a series of discoveries that allowed him to help people make permanent changes in their emotions and behavior.”
Video: How to Stop Suffering: Morty Lefkoe at TEDxHoboken
Try this belief-elimination process free at ReCreateYourLife.
Also see more articles (some with videos) about The Lefkoe Method:
Morty Lefkoe on how our strong feelings get conditioned – What causes anxiety and other negative emotions can result from the meaning we unconsciously attribute to events in life. And meaning can be changed. Morty Lefkoe, an expert on changing limiting beliefs, explains how classical conditioning can work against our emotional stability.
The Hidden Power of Emotions
“Unfelt feelings are the cause of virtually all negative life patterns. Including patterns in relationships, career, and health. Learning precisely how to feel unfelt emotions whether new or long-buried, is the key to finally breaking through.” – Raphael Cushnir.
Cushnir has shared his unique approach to personal growth and fulfillment with millions of readers in O magazine, Beliefnet, and Spirituality and Health. He lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. In addition, he coaches individuals and teams at Fortune 100 companies, governmental offices, religious organizations, and leading nonprofits.
He is the author of multiple books including:
Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life
(This title “is currently used as a major teaching text at spiritual centers around the U.S.”)
Here is the introductory video about his online program:
From the program site:
You’ve been ready to take the next step in healing and transformation – impatient, even – yet somehow it hasn’t quite happened. Instead, you’ve read more books, searched out more websites, and kept forgetting that “understanding is the booby prize.”
As a result, your wounds haven’t healed, your harmful patterns haven’t resolved, and healthy, loving relationships have eluded you.
The Hidden Power of Emotions is a unique program designed to overcome those very obstacles, to meet you where you are, and to help you find freedom and fulfillment when you’re not even sure it’s possible.
All of this is possible when you learn how to access your difficult emotions directly, without reactivity. In the process your emotions are soon able to dissipate much more quickly, leaving you peaceful, energized, and at your best. Often this happens without any need to even express how you feel.
Learn more about the online program and see other free videos :
Louise Hay video – You Can Heal Your Life
From the DVD/movie information site:
Best-selling author Gregg Braden says, “I was working as a defense systems computer engineer during the last years of the Cold War when I first read Louise’s book, You Can Heal Your Life. It came to me at a turning point in my life and I found it so beautiful, so powerful, and so true. Through the simple elegance that’s the hallmark of her work, Louise put words to my view of a life philosophy that includes compassionate self-healing.”
A number of luminaries in the fields of self-help and health and spirituality and new thought – including Doreen Virtue, Gregg Braden, Wayne W. Dyer, Gay Hendricks, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Leon Nacson, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Candace B. Pert, Cheryl Richardson, Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz, and many others – share their personal stories about Louise’s impact on their lives in You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie.
Here’s how Hay House author and cofounder of The Spiritual Cinema Circle Gay Hendricks explains it. (Gay was also instrumental in helping put this film together.)
“When I began making movies, I decided I would only work on projects that went beyond entertainment to become vehicles of positive life-change for people. Making a movie based on You Can Heal Your Life, which has been a beacon of inspiration, hope and healing for millions of people, is a dream come true for me.
“The miracle of this movie began almost from the day we started shooting it. Members of the crew—many of whom are new to the concept that changing your thoughts can change your life—have already experienced profound, positive changes in their lives just from working on the project. This is truly a movie that changes lives.”
Click image to order the DVD from Hay House:
Cheryl Richardson is the author of several New York Times bestselling books, including The Art of Extreme Self Care. “As a professional speaker, Cheryl has designed and presented programs to universities, Fortune 500 companies, educational conferences, and professional associations. Her work has been covered widely in the media including The Today Show, CBS This Morning, New York Times, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, and O Magazine, and she has been a guest on Good Morning America.”
She writes in a post in her newsletter:
“The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able you’ll be to fully and joyfully express your blessed creativity. That’s when your art becomes more and more successful in the world.
“It begins with treating yourself with love, respect, kindness, and compassion.
“If you’d like to lose your self-consciousness and empower your creative spirit, start by answering the following questions: What do you need to do (or stop doing), right now, to become a better friend and supporter of yourself?
“What do you need to stop saying to yourself? What kind of encouragement do you need? Who do you need to spend more time with? Who do you need to avoid?”
Learn about her online course: The Art of Extreme Self-Care
– available from February, 2014 – Feb. 2015.
The Tapping Solution
From The Tapping Solution site:
“Experts like Jack Canfield, Bob Proctor, Cheryl Richardson, Bruce Lipton, Joe Vitale, Dr. Joseph Mercola and so many others have come out in support of Tapping…These experts aren’t just casually saying they think it’s ‘ok’ – they’re saying that they use and and fully endorse it as a powerful tool for creating the life you want.”
Cheryl Richardson: “The technique changes lives. And it’s a tool I’ve used for more than fifteen years.”
Learn more in article: The Tapping Solution for Health.
Or visit The Tapping Solution site and get free material about this approach to health.
Academy for Optimal Living online course by Eric Maisel: Why Smart People Hurt.
- How distressing states like mania, insomnia, and unproductive obsessing are the natural consequences of a good mind gone racing.
- The ways in which our families, schools, churches, work situations, media, and other social and cultural institutions dumb us down.
- The challenges of dealing with more depression and more anxiety than the next person.
Also see related article: Brainpower and The Smart Gap.
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Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, by Francine Shapiro, PhD.
Before the World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future, A Memoir) by Michele Rosenthal.
Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, by Laurence Heller Ph.D., Aline Lapierre Psy.D.
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, by Daniel J. Siegel, MD., who writes: “Mindsight is a kind of focused attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our own minds. It helps us to be aware of our mental processes without being swept away by them, enables us to get ourselves off the autopilot of ingrained behaviors and habitual responses, and moves us beyond the reactive emotional loops we all have a tendency to get trapped in.”
The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit based by Therese Borchard, author of daily blog “Beyond Blue” on Beliefnet.com and on The Huffington Post. Her book is based on her journals and twelve years of therapy sessions.
Mastering Creative Anxiety: 24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians, and Actors from America’s Foremost Creativity Coach -by Eric Maisel, PhD — ‘In his decades as a psychotherapist and creativity coach, Eric Maisel has found a common thread behind what often gets labeled “writer’s block,” “procrastination,” or “stage fright.” It’s the particular anxiety that, paradoxically, keeps creators from doing, completing, or sharing the work they are driven toward. This “creative anxiety” can take the form of avoiding the work, declaring it not good enough, or failing to market it — and it can cripple creators for decades, even lifetimes. But Maisel has learned what sets successful creators apart.’ [Amazon.com review]
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. – “If the imagined future is better, it gives you hope or pleasurable anticipation. If it is worse, it creates anxiety. Both are illusory.” – From my post: Uncertainty fuels our distress.
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“Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Getting past pain to be more creative
In her article Affect Regulation and the Creative Artist, psychologist Cheryl Arutt writes that “Many creative people carry the belief that their pain is the locus of their creativity, and worry that they will lose their creativity if they work through their inner conflicts or let go of suffering.
“Learning how to regulate internal states, how and when to use self-soothing techniques, and how to know when we are actually safe — these are key to emotional well-being for anyone, but for artists, they are especially useful.
“The ability to self-regulate provides an all-access pass for traveling the internal world, allowing the artist to mine for the gems that can be found there . . . without losing touch with the light of day.”
Related article: Psychologist Cheryl Arutt on Mental Health and Creative People.
“I don’t think you learn how to act. You learn how to use your emotions and feelings, and my first teacher was my mother [Niseema Theillaud] and then I worked with my father [Jean-Claude Cotillard], who helped me to find in myself all those emotions and how to play with the emotions.”
Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard [imdb.com]
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Changing Our Thinking and Beliefs – Beliefs about life and abilities affect our identity and self esteem, how much we develop creative abilities and pursue other interests.
Belief change expert Morty Lefkoe, psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel, and others address how self-limiting beliefs can be challenged.
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“May you live in interesting times” is reputed to be an ancient Chinese proverb – and curse. We are certainly in an amazing period of history, with wonderful changes and opportunities for social and personal growth – but also with much cause for overwhelm, especially if you are highly sensitive, or dealing with challenging emotions like anxiety or depression.
Eric Maisel, PhD [author of multiple books on creativity and emotion] notes we need to be able to use our emotional sensitivity to help realize our creative talents: “You want your full measure of emotion, as emotion is the life blood of art… But that doesn’t mean you should be a slave to your emotions.”
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Elaine Aron, PhD thinks “high sensitivity increases the impact of all emotionally tinged events, making childhood trauma particularly scarring.” [From the post Elaine Aron on High Sensitivity and the Undervalued Self - about her book.]
That is a helpful concept, I think: that being highly sensitive increases the potency of any experiences with emotional elements.
In her book The Highly Sensitive Child, Aron notes that some sensitive adolescents may drink and use drugs to try to overcome anxiety or depression through self-medication – see the addiction articles below.
A related article of mine: Sensitive to Anxiety and Depression – Being highly sensitive probably increases our vulnerability to anxiety and depression, which for many of us go together to some extent.
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How to Sit with Painful Emotions
By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
“Feeling painful emotions, not surprisingly, can be painful. This is why so many of us don’t do it. Instead, we ignore our emotions, or dismiss them. We try to numb the pain with a glass of wine or three. We isolate ourselves. We cut or burn ourselves, or engage in other kinds of self-harm. Basically, we turn to anything that’ll help us get rid of our feelings.
“As humans, we do everything we can do to reduce our suffering and to avoid pain — emotional or physical. So it is difficult to accept the pain [of our emotions] and not try to do anything to fight it,” said Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, a psychotherapist in Sharon, Ontario, Canada.
“Some of us learn early on from our caregivers — that throwing tantrums or turning to substances or self-harm is the way to deal with painful emotions, she said.” [See link to her book "Calming the Emotional Storm" below.]
“Others may be highly sensitive. Highly sensitive individuals make up 20 to 30 percent of the population. They “experience things more intensely, and therefore have had more difficulties learning to manage emotions because they become so overwhelmed by them.”
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Making More Calm and Less Stress for A Better Life – “Being more intentional, grounded and grateful is a way to live all year long. And not only that, it’s the quickest way to transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary.” Carrie Contey, Ph.D.
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Creative People, Trauma and Mental Health
Pretty much all of us experience some kind of trauma in life. How does creative expression help people deal with it, to heal and recover? How do people make use of traumatic experiences in their creative work?
What impacts on mental health can trauma have, and how can people regain health?
One example: Halle Berry was abused as a child by her violent father.
“I think I’ve spent my adult life dealing with the sense of low self-esteem that sort of implanted in me. Somehow I felt not worthy.”
Tips of Helping Gifted, Highly Sensitive Teens & Kids Cope with Trauma
by Sharon M. Barnes, MSSW, LCSW, on the SENG site.
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Turning Adversity into Creative Growth, by Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D. “There’s little doubt that trauma can be immensely painful, often leaving deep emotional and psychological scars long after the stressful experience has passed. But can there be a silver lining?”
Building Your Confidence from Scratch (a Personal Confession) By Emilie Wapnick
“I’ve written before about my experiences with childhood bullying. It’s something that a lot of multipotentialites seem to have experienced (apparently when you do origami at recess and play violin in an orchestra, other kids think you’re weird…)”
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Drugs / Alcohol / Behavioral Addictions
There are many forms of self-limiting addictive behavior that can interfere with realizing our talents and creative expression.
A number of people with exceptional abilities have used drugs, alcohol and other substances and behaviors as a kind of ‘adult pacifier’ – as self-medication to ease the pain and overwhelm of sensitivity and strong emotions, and perhaps also as a way to try to enhance thinking and creativity.
Sometimes we risk addiction doing that. More often, we can limit the emotional health and mental clarity needed for creative excellence.
Addiction psychologist Marc F. Kern, Ph.D., notes that altering one’s state of consciousness is normal and that a destructive habit or addiction is “mostly an unconscious strategy – which you started to develop at a naive, much earlier stage of life – to enjoy the feelings it brought on or to help cope with uncomfortable emotions or feelings. It is simply an adaptation that has gone awry.”
Actor Robert Downey Jr. has reportedly been clean and sober for a long time, but admits to a long history of drug abuse. “For years I took pride in being resilient,” he says.
“But that turned into this guy who can get hit by a brickbat every morning and still look kind of cute.”
Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his NY apartment Sunday Feb 2, 2014, at age 46.
His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose.
One of many responses from other artists: “For the most sensitive among us the noise can be too much.” Jim Carrey on Twitter.
Hoffman once said he used drugs a lot: “Anything I could get my hands on.”
But at 22 he got sober, for a while, because he was “panicked for my life.”
See much more – quotes, articles, resources – in article: Artists and Addiction.
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“If You’re So Smart, Why Do You Need Counseling?” by Deborah L. Ruf, Ph.D.
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Self Care For Your Creative Life – “The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able you’ll be to fully and joyfully express your blessed creativity. That’s when your art becomes more and more successful in the world. It begins with treating yourself with love, respect, kindness, and compassion.” Cheryl Richardson
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Developing Creativity: Three Part Harmony with SARK – She says, “This is the exact process that I’ve used for over 20 years to transform so many areas of my life. This program is about long-lasting Inner Self-Care.”
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Scoop.it collection on Mental Health & Creativity
Anxiety Relief Solutions site – Multiple drug-free self-help products and programs to relieve social anxiety, stage fright, performance anxiety and other forms of stress and anxiety.
About the title image and product links:
Title: The background photo is “sour like a stone” by Demion. Images like this are found on many sites and book covers relating to coaching, emotional intelligence and developing calm. One explanation I found and like: “Rock stacking has carried spiritual meaning across cultures for centuries. The act of balancing stones carries with it a practice of patience and a physical effort of creating balance.” [From post: Rock Stacking.]
Product links – This page (and others on my multiple Talent Development Resources sites) includes affiliate links to books and other products which I have selected to provide potential information and help for you. Following one of these links (for example to Amazon.com for a book) can result in a sales commission to me – if you make a purchase.
There is no extra cost to you (the price is the same) for making a purchase via an affiliate link – but these small commissions help support the expenses of creating and maintaining my various sites.
Author: Douglas Eby, M.A./Psychology – I am a writer, researcher and online publisher on the psychology of creative expression and personal growth. Much of what I write about on my multiple sites (plus Facebook, Scoop.it and elsewhere) relates to emotional health and to challenges like anxiety and depression, because I have had personal experience for many years with those challenges.
Not advice or therapy: I am not a therapist, and what I present on this page and elsewhere is information – hopefully, it is material that will help enhance your life and creativity, but I am not prescribing or advising. If you feel you need more than what you can get with books and self-help programs, I urge you to consult a coach or mental health professional – which I have done several times over the years.
Also see my list of Counselors – Therapists – Coaches.
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Thanks for reading.