The Elder Consultancy
James Elder (MBACP) Counselling and Psychotherapy in Guildford and London
Supporting The Creative Life
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Henry David Thoreau
The creative life is the life less ordinary.
It comes with unique challenges and rewards.
Understanding the life of a creative person, from the day to day of being in a freelance profession (there's no such thing as holidays- you're just not working and earning), to the impact of 'sudden' success and the demands of having a 'patron', let alone the inherent lifestyle choices and opportunities for less useful coping strategies.
There's the prejudice that goes with being creative- the nonsense that creative people are more ikely to be mad, alcoholic, drug-abusing, strange, and the ever-present 'Tortured Artist'. Prejudices that become steroetypes and self-fulfilling prophecies.
Fact is, 1 in 4 of us will experience mental health issues within our lifetimes. If you're in a public place, look around the room. That's right. You have more chance of finding someone with a mental health challenge than a creative professional.
What we do is support the creative individual to be productive. We identify the behaviours and coping strategies that are not useful for productivity and happiness and we work to overcome them. We do have access to top rehabilitation facilities if an addiction has become life-consuming, but most of the time it's about giving the creative person more options (something that is easy for a creative professional as ideas are the stock in trade).
You don't have to be mad to work here.