Professionals in the creative arts have a very particular set of needs connected with the work they do. This work - frequently demanding, often stressful - can have a serious impact on the self, just as the self can affect, for better or worse, the creative process and its outcomes in terms of quality and quantity, as well as the creative expansion into new areas of productivity - the antidote to stagnation and repetition.
Talking therapies offer a safe, confidential time and place for people to be helped to get a good look at themselves, to understand how they have come to be where they are - in their careers, relationships and self-development - and to see where - without help - they are likely to be heading.
Some people have an intuitive sense that talking helps to bring order out of chaos, reduces anxiety, restores confidence and effects many other changes besides. They will readily seek out professional help.
Others may know someone who has had therapy and spoke of its benefits: how it released new creative energy, settled long-standing conflicts, restored self-belief and put drive and ambition back into creative projects.
Actually people more usually say they found therapy "useful" - omitting all the details of its merits, understandably preserving their privacy.
Others wonder - "h ow can just talking to someone help?" They may see their problems as something to be tolerated, denied or part of the suffering that comes with the creative territory they inhabit. Therapy might be seen as an indulgence or giving into a weakness. This mindset can prevent people from seeking help. The consequences and the cost in terms of lost opportunities and diminished wellbeing can be serious.
Counselling can provide what, for some people, was lacking or insufficiently available to them earlier in life, to the extent that it did not provide a sufficiently firm foundation and buffer against creative pitfalls or blocks.
For those whose self-belief has got derailed through 'knocks', it can restore optimism, drive, hope and conscientiousness. It can help you to find new ways of thinking about your work and yourself - and the relationship between the two.
If you are not sure if counselling is what you need - or know little about how it works - t here is a wealth of information that you can access. Having some understanding of what being in therapy involves will help you make good choices in preparing to make this serious investment in yourself and your future.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website provides some very useful information about the different kinds of therapy available, and will help you with some of your doubts and concerns about seeking help. I recommend, also, the website of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy .
Feel free to contact us if we can help you decide if counselling is the right option for you.