Tag Archives: creativity

SAD and Creativity

Posted by: Priya Senroy on December 16, 2015 10:26 am

Nearly the end of the year and it has been an eye opening time for me both personally and professionally. The number of my clients who are experiencing SAD or seasonal affective disorder is on the rise and I am choosing to take a different and more creative intervention approach to address this issue. Clients have mentioned that they are able to cope better with their indisposition when they are being more creative.

We know that there is a direct relation between mood and creativity. I know that when I am sad, I want to listen to upbeat music to help bring me out of the funk. However, crayonshere is what I found after doing some research as part of my work.

The first finding is that our fleeting feelings can change the way we think. Because sadness makes us more focused and diligent, it sharpens attention. The second takeaway is that many of our creative challenges involve tasks that require diligence, persistence and focus. It’s not easy making a collage, writing a poem or solving a hard technical problem. Sometimes, being a little miserable can improve our creative performance.

While there has been speculation that there’s some correlation between sadness and creativity, I am finding that as my clients are reaching rock bottom, they are reaching creative peaks. Some of their expressions have been more creative and cathartic than at times when they were not SAD-emotionally and diagnostically.

There are numerous blogs and articles which offer some rich information on this subject, including the following article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prescriptions-life/201204/little-weird-prone-depression-blame-your-creative-brain.

So the next time there is SADness in the air, open the windows and let it fuel your creativity.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Reflections on Time Management

Posted by: Denise Hall on July 17, 2015 8:06 am

A common complaint from my friends and colleagues is that we should manage our time better. We think it is just a matter of “getting organized”. I would like to reflect on what I think managing our time actually involves and why it is important that we address the issue of our time constraints.time-608876_640

“Time is money” and the thinking goes if we are more efficient with our time the more money or benefit we will accumulate. Also being “on time” is a quality that some people get obsessive over and it is considered a major affront if someone is late for a meeting or event.

Managing time is illusive, sometimes the more we pay attention to it the more it slips away, the more we ignore it sometimes the more we actually have “control” over. It is the worry rule; the more we worry about managing time the more likely we are to not accomplish our goals in that area.

In our technology crazed world we are constantly accessing our phones, Facebook pages and You Tube videos. These devices are tools, not masters and instead of us managing them and using them to manage our time more efficiently, they tend to manage us. And when these gadgets consume every waking moment, there is no time left for creativity, interpersonal connection, and just plain “veg’ing out”.

In hunter/gatherer societies food gathering was an intensive short-term activity and there was a great deal of time to feast, relax, play, and socialize. In so-called “modern” society work consumes a great deal of our time whether it is household tasks, childcare, volunteer work or paid work. We tend to be consumed by work with little time for thinking, reflecting and creating let alone socializing and developing solid relationships with others. The reasons for this are not something for this article.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Diversity and Creativity

Posted by: Priya Senroy on September 15, 2014 3:49 pm

It’s back to school time and also a time for refresher trainings and courses. In one of the palces that I work, we had a refresher on diversity and creativity.There has beena big turover in stfaffing broing with it not only perople from a variety of backgrounds and experiences but a variety of thinking styles. It is crucial for any orginisation to have some kind of common vision and be able to work creatively within a diverse framework.

One of the group exercises was to mix up the counsellors from different departments and then strategically group them according to their diversity. The rationale behind this is that an intellectually diverse group operates more creatively and is more likely to generate innovative solutions as when all members are alike, they often reach agreement quickly — and although that may seem to be an asset, it is more often a liability. Only later might they realize that they lost a chance to see things differently and to create something truly groundbreaking, by tapping the experience of outside experts.

Therefore, even though there is unity in diversirty, often it might be benefitial to have opposites work together just to get creative results.Unusual connections produce-exciting results; Steve Jobs said that innovation occurs at the intersection of technology and the arts.

By: Priya Senroy

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

So What’s Your Creative Quotient?

Posted by: Priya Senroy on March 15, 2014 12:39 pm

I think this winter has zapped my creativity and the only canvas I see around me is white…every time I try to infuse color…BAM comes the snow and wipes it clean…even my children are saying my food is not colorful…so have I lost my mojo or winter is just an excuse not to be creative….so I came across this website that I was exploring with a client around career assessment  on creative quotient…and I thought to myself…well mine must be zero at this time and I surprised myself with a   57%–

So what is Creative Quotient or CQ….well…Just as IQ and EQ has proven to be measures of specific capabilities, the capacity for creativity is increasingly the core to building value in these uncertain and treacherous times. And just as IQ and EQ scores can be raised significantly for anyone by teaching and training, so too can CQ be bolstered for clients, individuals and organizations. Perhaps we can use CQ as an assessment/evaluation tool in our counselling process

I do not know if  such tests  are right or wrong, valid or not  and I definitely  do not know the scientific validity behind it or if it is backed by best evidence based practice ,but it was interesting to think of the questions-even though I did not take it for my career exploration-it might be worthwhile to try it to get over the creative blah if anyone is feeling up to it..

It has definitely raised my mojo and now I am striving to see how I can improve it further.

So the websites where these tests and more information can be found are:





*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

How Can Creativity Be a Cure?

Posted by: Priya Senroy on October 25, 2013 4:01 pm

I recently felt a jolt of creative blah!!!!! And then slowly the blah began to shift…… and the shift came when a client reconnected after being hospitalized for severe depression. She said that the only thing which kept her going was making bracelets and necklaces for her ten year-old daughter who visited her each day with her mother. My client shared that, just when she thought that there was nothing else left, the simple pleasure of threading bracelets brought joy to her daughter and that made her reconnect with her inner soul which she felt was gone. This narrative couldn’t have come at a better time…not only to jolt me out of creative blah and try to look at simple things that could bring me joy in my life…like watching my own daughters making me bead bracelets or reading the book Creativity Cure  authored by  Carrie and Alton Barron. In a synopsis Carrie utilizes writing and meditation, and Alton emphasizes exercise and physical exploration as creative actions which lead to long-term happiness and well-being. One of their tools is using hands for happiness. Carrie  makes a powerful statement that purposeful hand use enhances well-being in a technologically saturated culture and backs it sharing that research has shown that hand activity from knitting to woodworking to growing vegetables or chopping them are useful for decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, and modifying depression. There is value in the routine action, the mind rest, and the purposeful creative, domestic or practical endeavor.  Functioning hands also foster a flow in the mind that leads to spontaneous joyful, creative thought. Peak moments occur as one putters, ponders and daydreams. One can be tickled, moved or transformed by a thought or idea along the way as well as by the endpoint. And trying it all together-a simple act of making bead necklaces is all it takes.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Creative Blah’s

Posted by: Priya Senroy on December 13, 2012 12:00 pm

2102 is nearly over…..Like many, I have reflecting on this year….in terms of my career-projects  that I started, projects that had to be axed, people who enriched me, people who brought me down and most important—the people I interacted with . As the year winds down, I am also taking stock of my creativity and  thinking what can I do different next year, what ‘out of the box’ ideas can I incorporate in my ’talk therapy’ ….How can I challenge my practice and my clients to  engage creatively as they  problem solve or have a shift in their paradigm of thinking ?????  So I went around looking for some quotes in the cyber world on increasing creativity that I could perhaps keep as reminders whenever I feel a ‘CREATIVE BLAH’. So here they are

Quotes for increasing creativity

“Do tie creative interventions to evidence-based practices and be sure to have a solid case conceptualization,” “Do seek out resources,” They’re out there to help you.”

 “Don’t limit yourself by thinking, ’I am not a good artist, I’m not a photographer, I don’t do yoga, I don’t have an herb garden,’” “Remember, it’s about the process, not the product.”

“Do invite clients of any age to exercise their creativity,” “No matter what age we are, we can be stuck in our typical ways of solving our problems — ineffective or not!”

“Do seek supervision, research and consult on the appropriateness and effectiveness of your method,”

“Do ask clients to try only those activities or experiences that you, yourself, feel comfortable experiencing,”

“Don’t underestimate your own creativity and ability to develop creative interventions,”

“Do be aware of the depth that the creative process may lead a client to experience,” “Always make sure you leave time at the end of the session to help your client transition from the creative world back into everyday reality.”

 “Do not in any way judge or assess clients’ work,” “It is important that you take on the role of witness, not critic, when clients engage in the creative arts.”

“Do not force any clients to ’create’ if they are not ready or invested,” “Even children should be able to make choices about their therapy time.”

Happy Holidays!!!!!!

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Will This Grief Ever End…?

Posted by: Priya Senroy on September 6, 2012 3:22 pm

Dear readers…..
I am digressing this month from sharing about what’s happening in the filed on creative arts in counselling in other parts of the world to sharing some recent experiences that I have been dealing with at work.
It seems that one fourth of my clients are dealing with grief and loss issues at some level .Its either directed linked to them or somebody they know.
I have been supporting children, families, caregivers, grandparents to process the feelings of transition, endings and closures in my counseling sessions and wanted to share some of the activities that I have found to be useful when talking hasn’t helped…….
Most of these are that what I have been taught, have read or have researched and modified to suit the particular client, depending on their ages and stages of grief.
Some of my trial and tested ones include:
Creating a grief or memory collage to a favorite music listened to by the person.
Creating a family tree painting using the handprints of family members as the leaves with wishes for each other.
Developing messages in art (if you could create a message for your special person using art as a form of expression, what would you want to communicate?).
Making a  paper boat with messages for the person who has passed and sailing it in open water.
Using T-Shirts and other paraphernalia bearing the picture and facts about the deceased, to symbolize the life and death of their loved ones. 

I found these to be self reflective as well as helping in the grieving process so if anybody finds anyway to modify and use them……please do so.

By: Priya Senroy

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA