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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding and Treating Creative Block in Professional Artists
by Gallay, Lillian Hemingway, Psy.D., Alliant International University, 2013, 269; 3567547
Abstract (Summary)

This project provides a broad exploration of factors that can enhance or inhibit creative performance in professional artists, including writers, visual artists, and musicians. Potential causes of the difficulties creative clients contend with are surveyed, as well as a range of interventions to address them. The first section reviews six major factors that can impact artistic creativity (also called Big C or eminent creativity) both positively and negatively, including the relatively stable and enduring factors of artists’ personality traits, cognitive makeup, and psychopathology. This section also reviews more malleable elements of creativity that the therapist may be able to affect directly, namely, motivational orientation, mood, and environmental influences. The second section is an investigation of creative block: its antecedents, phenomenology, and proposed classifications of different types of block. The final section focuses on interventions to facilitate creative performance in artists, both those who are suffering from artist block and those who are seeking to boost their creative achievement more generally. Interventions reviewed include cognitive-behavioral, Gestalt, psychodynamic, meditative, and compassion-focused approaches. In addition, field interviews conducted with psychologists with expertise in the clinical treatment of professional artists are summarized. The project concludes with a discussion of possible reasons for the scarcity of empirical literature on the subject of creative block and potential avenues of exploration for future research.

Keywords: Arts, artists, musicians, writers, creativity, psychotherapy, self-compassion, perfectionism, self criticism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Holloway, Judith
Commitee: Cohen, Victor
School: Alliant International University
Department: Los Angeles, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Psychology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Artists, Arts, Creativity, Psychotherapy, Self-compassion, Writers
Publication Number: 3567547
ISBN: 978-1-303-19372-9
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