I’ve noticed in the last few years that my practice attracts a lot of artists, creatives and performers. I wanted reflect on why this might be.
One way to think of the artist’s role is to push the boundaries of society, questioning how we think, feel, act, love, hate, interact. Artists and innovators are not about staying within the lines or in the box, but expressing an edge for us to move toward.
This is why the Social Therapy approach goes well with creatives looking for emotional support and growth. That’s because Social therapy is not about helping people adjust to the world, but to develop and grow in new ways. For example: a client complains about getting into the same fight with their partner, the social therapy group suggests that the next time they fight that the couple strip naked and stand on their heads to see if they can hear each other differently.
I often hear comments from clients like ‘it is so refreshing that you are not telling me I’m crazy, or too emotionally unstable; you are not trying to calm me down, make me behave. There is space here for my quirks’.
These comments are music to my ears. Traditional psychology can be quite conventional and want people to stay inside the lines, so to speak. What’s appropriate? What’s normal? What’s acceptable? are questions of traditional Psychology. The therapy I practice is working with people in groups to see, feel, and live with others in new and different ways.
Added bonus: We are all creative in the sense that we wake up every morning and are charged with creating our lives every day. The unconventionality of Social Therapy is a powerfully helpful match for developing the skills that artist and the rest of us.