The notion of creativity in therapy is frequently conflated with the creative/expressive arts and play therapies. This is both unfortunate and limiting. This stereotype can (a) create a barrier for therapists and clients who are not attracted to artistic activities, and (b) stop therapists from recognising their own creative abilities and thus taking steps to cultivate them deliberately.
Creativity in this book means the application of creative thinking to perceive, imagine, and improvise alternate responses to a situation. Creative thinking is a powerful way to increase a therapist’s responsitivity to a client. As it is used in Design Thinking – a creative problem-solving method popular in business and the sciences – creative thinking can be applied methodically without needing to pick up paints, break out the clay, or engage in psychodrama. Established therapeutic approaches – including Existential Therapy and Gestalt Therapy – advocate actively leveraging the therapist’s and client’s creativity to progress the work.
This book introduces a straightforward model for conceptualising creative thinking in a practical way within the context of the talk therapy process. The 12 cases have been derived from real-world engagements. Each case is accompanied by an analysis illustrating the application of creative thinking. Questions for the reader’s consideration are also provided to facilitate reflective practice.