1st Edition

Creativity as Co-Therapist
The Practitioner's Guide to the Art of Psychotherapy

ISBN 9781138852730
Published February 11, 2016 by Routledge
248 Pages

USD $40.95

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Book Description

In Creativity as Co-Therapist, experienced psychotherapist and creativity expert, Lisa Mitchell, bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and therapeutic application by teaching psychotherapists of all backgrounds to see therapy as their art form. Readers are guided through the five stages of the creative process to help them understand the complexities of approaching their work creatively and to effectively identify areas in which they tend to get stuck when working with clients.  Along the way workbook assignments, case studies, personal stories, and hands-on art directives will inspire the reader to think outside the box and build the creative muscles that hold the key to enlivening their work.

Table of Contents

Prologue Acknowledgements Introduction  I: The Art of Therapy  1: The Therapeutic Process is a Creative Process 2: Getting Started  II: The Five Stages of the Creative Process  3: Incubating 4: Initial Idea 5: Diving In 6: Flexible Commitment 7: Flow Conclusion Appendix References

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Lisa Mitchell, LMFT, LPC, ATR, veteran art therapist with over twenty years of clinical experience, runs the Art Therapy Studio in Sacramento, California. Through her website, InnerCanvas, she writes, teaches, and facilitates retreats for therapists showing them how to harness the power of creativity and facilitate individualized handcrafted therapy sessions.


"A beautifully written book that shows therapists how to breathe life into their sessions by viewing therapy as a form of art. Guiding readers through the five stages of the creative process, Lisa Mitchell presents inspiring exercises and delightful story examples that help therapists awaken their creativity, deepen therapeutic relationships, and elicit transformation for themselves and their clients. A masterpiece that will make you fall in love with your practice again!"  ~Courtney Armstrong, author of The Therapeutic "Aha!": 10 Strategies for Getting Your Clients Unstuck.

"As Yin to the Yang of creativity stage theories and separations between process and product, I admire and celebrate Lisa Mitchell’s vision of therapy as art, the embrace of uncertainty as the opening to the new, and the way she talks directly and naturally about therapy. Mitchell’s considerable literary talent makes the intricacies of the psyche accessible to all. I take delight in the way she reframes the current therapeutic language of interventions and directives, to offer "invitations" to create. This subtle shift toward a more welcoming and respectful stance whereby the therapist invites, supports, witnesses, and is personally transformed by the engagement, is just what therapy and therapists need if we are to live the creative process and practice the art of therapy." ~Shaun McNiff is University Professor at Lesley University and an artist and author whose books include Imagination in Action: Secrets for Unleashing the Creative Expression.

"Lisa Mitchell's delightful book is like The Artist's Way, but this time just for therapists! Creativity as Co-Therapist: The Practitioner's Guide to the Art of Psychotherapy takes helping professionals on a journey of self-discovery, guiding them with a series of art-filled exercises and ideas. She urges readers to step out of their familiar habits and bring more creativity into therapeutic sessions in exciting ways. This is a great book to enlighten the mind of a new therapist just starting out or refresh the routine of a more experienced clinician" ~Lynn Grodzki, LCSW, MCC, author of Building Your Ideal Private Practice.

"In her beautifully written Creativity as Co-Therapist, Lisa Mitchell deepens the meaning of 'trust the process,' skillfully offering readers permission and practices to wholeheartedly embrace the creativity inherent in the therapeutic process. This book richly illuminates the life-giving possibilities of healing when spontaneity, creativity, and intuition are utilized as the natural guides to the art of therapy. An extraordinary resource." ~Linda Graham, MFT, author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being.

"[This book] is an invitation to all therapists to approach our work as a creative art form in itself - to help therapists and clinicians understand the creative process and how it applies to our work in relationship with our clients... [A] warm, inspiring and engaging book. In a profession where burn-out is a very real phenomenon, anything that encourages therapists and helpers to play, to get in touch with our own creativity, and demosntrates the magic that can happen when we bring this into our therapeutic relations is to be applauded and celebrated." ~Diane Parker, creativity coach, dance movement psychotherapist, editor of Coaching Today journal, Therapy Today