To be creative is to be inventive or productive, and in that sense we are all creative: we all tell stories during sleep by dreaming, and most of us daydream and tell stories to ourselves and others while awake as well. We literally make up our lives as we live them. This process is important for people: it is a way to have a narrative that makes our own lives meaningful to ourselves. People sometimes develop, refine, or otherwise work to understand their self-narratives through therapy.
In a second way, which we customarily associate with artists and inventors, creativity is the act or process of deliberately making something beautiful, as in art, or useful, as in science and technology. Some people assert that true beauty is useful, and truly useful things are inherently beautiful.
There is still another form of creativity that is available to us all but does not become part of our lives without effort. That is the creativity inherent in being consciously aware, and of having the experience of actually “creating” every moment. The process of being conscious in this way is also the process of living in the present.
While painters and poets and other artists famously embraced psychology during the 20th century as a way to explore their inner lives and plumb the wellsprings of their creativity, creative people of all sorts often come to psychotherapy to deal with the same kinds of issues that confront us all, that include:
- resolving communication difficulties with a partner, friend, relative, or colleague;
- renewing interest in sex or other passions;
- discovering meaning in their lives; or
- integrating disparate aspects of their lives.
Like others who seek the growth-oriented aspects of psychotherapy to further their life journeys, creative people sometimes consult psychotherapists to work through creative blocks, clarify their goals and paths, or resolve intra- or interpersonal difficulties their work has uncovered.