Drawing from Creativity

Harnessing the strength and vitality of your internal creative energy in harmony with external pressures and demands.

Artists, scientists, teachers, musicians, writers, researchers, engineers, inventors—people who expect creativity from themselves—face a unique challenge in managing the demands of their creative energy with social and professional expectations.

A life that engages the creative process can be a source of great joy, pleasure, and vitality. Many people hold their creativity as their central guiding philosophy and as their foundation. Creativity, while not genetic, is a powerful impulse that drives the need to express through invention. It’s an inherent part of human biology and a source of energy and significance that is close to sacred.

The creative process is an organic, evolutionary experience that requires careful nurturing, and when it collides with a rigid, results-hungry professional culture, it can be profoundly disruptive. Given such inevitable pressures, the fear of being found a fraud or creatively inadequate, haunts many creative individuals. The reality of “dry periods”—a part of every artist’s experience—can compound that anxiety.

Many creative people focus so completely on their craft that other skills often suffer. The ability to draw freely and spontaneously from one’s creative well is a necessity for nourishing the process of expression, and outside pressures may be seen to interfere. As psychologist Czikszentmihaly put it, creative people must be able to understand and conform to social norms, while at the same time be able to break away from them. People whose lives skew towards too much conformity may have trouble accessing their vitality through their creative pursuits. Those who cannot or will not live inside the fray can pay a heavy cost through isolation or ungroundedness.

At its core, psychotherapy is a creative process; like most creative endeavors, it navigates a course somewhere between charted and uncharted waters. In this respect, psychotherapy is a uniquely powerful tool for helping artists, writers, musicians, actors, composers, architects, designers and others to source their creativity and deep vitality.

For Dr. Wu, working with such creative forces is the heartbeat of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.