Mental Health and Creative People; Books to Develop Creative Thinking; Jessica Chastain; Eric Maisel programs


Cheryl Arutt, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, specializing in trauma recovery, fertility and creative artist issues.Topics in our interview include:“Bad boy” images and acting-outActors and actresses with “bad boy” or “troubled” images, or problems with issues of anger and acting out, have included Christian Bale, Shia Labeouf and many other talented performers.Dr. Arutt comments about this kind of behavior, and the underlying emotional challenges, that so many people have – not just actors and performers.A difficult childhood and traumaDr. Arutt thinks that actors and other artists who are willing, in their creative work, to delve into the really “messy” feelings of being human (shame, devastations, disappointments, betrayals, traumas and more), probably have a relationship with those feelings.

A number of stimulating, even provocative, books in psychology can provide inspiration and insights into developing creative thinking.Here are a few examples.In her NY Times article The Power of Concentration, Maria Konnikova reports on a University of Washington study on the effects of meditation training on multitasking.She summarizes: “…The only participants to show improvement were those who had received the mindfulness training.”Konnikova is author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes.
Acclaimed for her performance in “Zero Dark Thirty” as a CIA analyst named Maya who untiringly pursues Osama bin Laden, Jessica Chastain has talked about some aspects of her personal life that may have helped her create such powerful characters.
“I was the girl who cut school to go to the park, and the other kids would be smoking and drinking and I’d be reading Shakespeare.””I’m very sensitive in real life.”
Support Programs for Creative People

Eric Maisel’s creative support group

– “Perfect for writers, visual artists, musicians, creative and performing artists in any discipline, and anyone who would like to meet the challenges of the creative life and manifest his or her creativity more regularly, more deeply, and more often.”

Your Best Life in the Arts

– Course by Eric Maisel, PhD, available for immediate download – “You’ll learn to identify the challenges that confront you as an artist-and what to do about them…silence negative self-talk, create and cultivate productive obsessions, institute a regular creativity practice, more effectively meet the marketplace, and more.”