I work extensively with creative people and artists in Denver who struggle with creative blocks and feeling stuck.
Creative blocks are rooted in our emotions and affect and even though they might appear as coming out of nowhere, they can always be traced back to one or a series of emotional reactions that result from events in or around us.
As an artist and a creative person, I grapple with the issue of creative blocks quite often and I also see a lot of people in my practice facing the same issues. I notice that many times people are tempted to avoid focusing on themselves by distracting themselves or trying to repress the very feelings that cause the creative block in the first place. Doing so only intensifies the block while raising your stress , anxiety, and depression levels and decreasing your self-esteem and sense of confidence in your abilities.
There have been times when deeply rooted creative blocks left unresolved turn into full blown identity and existential issues. If creativity is a large part of your life, insisting on ignoring your emotions and continuing to stay creatively stuck can translate into a state of loss of your identity , of who you are.
This is the reason why self-awareness becomes so critical in situations like this: if you don’t know what you’re dealing with it will be close to impossible for you to do something about it and resolve it.
Certainly things could be much more complicated than this. Childhood trauma carried into adulthood will require much more than being self-aware, even though that is still the first step you will need to take.
Deep trauma is carried through life by means of isolation (seclusion) and a continuous (sometimes unconscious) effort to keep trauma locked in. And since creativity requires an open environment with clear access to emotions, the existence of trauma creates a void of internal conflict and contradiction which in turn becomes translated into a creative block.
Such complex situations require the detailed attention of a professional, a depth psychotherapist that is trained to look beyond the surface of the symptom (the creative block) to the root cause of it (feelings attached to the trauma). Once you understand where the source of your problem is you can direct your attention there and find resolve and relief. This process can feel terrifying particularly if you’ve been protecting yourself by ignoring your emotions.
Just like the process of creativity, therapy focused on getting creatively unstuck is one filled with ups and downs and backwards and forwards movement, and movement none the less.
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