Bring a Creative Self to Your Sessions

creative practice Apr 23, 2018

A concept I found most compelling while studying for my MSW was “use of self.” The term described the intersection between acquired knowledge and skills on the one hand, and the personal characteristics of the social worker on the other.

Maybe it goes without saying that helping professionals use themselves to do the work, but for me the idea of “use of self” got at something subtle and easily overlooked: that the helper is a kind of instrument or tool with unique qualities. I think it’s more common to think of ourselves as using tools rather than being them. It was eye opening to consider myself a tool - as a self with characteristic features that are instrumental in the client work.

When I tell people of the new business I’m creating to help therapists and other helping professionals be more creative, they usually assume that I’m teaching art therapy techniques - interventions therapists can use in their client sessions. Doing creativity.

But my focus is on being creativity. I’m convinced that the “use” of a more creative self brings more to the therapy process - more possibility, more flexibility, more courage, more invention.

These are qualities that can help us (and through us, our clients) get unstuck, brave the unknown, and find new solutions to intractable problems.

What kind of self do you bring to your life, your work, your clients?

How about a more creative one?


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