Dr Ruth Richards

ImagineFX - - Imaginenation -

In­dus­try in­sight The ex­pert says cre­ativ­ity leads to im­proved not wors­ened health…

What was the think­ing be­hind the book of es­says you edited, Ev­ery­day Cre­ativ­ity?

I be­lieve there are se­ri­ous mis­un­der­stand­ings about cre­ativ­ity and men­tal health that can even be danger­ous to peo­ple. The real mes­sage is about health, not ill­ness – even with a per­sonal or fam­ily his­tory of a mood dis­or­der.

What are you thoughts on the con­di­tion of mad­ness as an el­e­vated state, just as the Ro­man­tics be­lieved?

The mes­sage is about mod­er­a­tion, bal­ance, har­mony, if you will, be­tween a creative source of in­spir­ing thoughts and the ex­ec­u­tive func­tions to use these pro­duc­tively. That is, a bal­ance of di­ver­gent think­ing and con­ver­gent think­ing. We found at Har­vard Med­i­cal School a “creative ad­van­tage” that peaks dur­ing bet­ter func­tion­ing times. Yet some peo­ple think the sicker the bet­ter. Too many peo­ple think that ther­apy might hurt their cre­ativ­ity or they may stop tak­ing very im­por­tant med­i­ca­tions. This is not the way to in­crease cre­ativ­ity.

Is the idea of a tor­tured artist, then, some­thing of a self­ful­fill­ing prophecy?

Cre­ativ­ity is seen as heal­ing by many art ther­a­pists, ex­pres­sive artists, hu­man­is­tic psy­chol­o­gists and mul­ti­ple oth­ers. It might even be pre­ven­ta­tive for cer­tain per­sons who are “at risk.” So this mis­un­der­stand­ing about tor­tured artists may not only put peo­ple at risk, but also keep them from the treat­ments that may help them feel im­mensely bet­ter and bring out un­der­ly­ing tal­ents and abil­i­ties to con­trib­ute to our so­ci­ety.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.