Creativity in Psychotherapy

Reaching New Heights with Individuals, Couples, and Families

By David K Carson, Kent Becker

© 2003 – Routledge

260 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780789015792
pub: 2003-10-21
US Dollars$46.95
Hardback: 9780789015785
pub: 2003-10-30
US Dollars$130.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Examine the dynamic role of creativity in therapy!

Creativity in Psychotherapy: Reaching New Heights with Individuals, Couples, and Families examines the nature, role, and importance of creative thinking in counseling and therapy. Authors David K. Carson and Kent W. Becker combine extensive backgrounds in marriage and family therapy and counseling to give you a unique resource that fills a crucial gap in the therapy literature. The book explores various aspects of creative thinking, personal characteristics of highly creative therapists, creative techniques and interventions, barriers to creative work, and creativity development. Not designed as a “cookbook” for conducting therapy, Creativity in Psychotherapy features practical techniques and interventions for conducting therapy with children, adults, couples, and families.

Creativity in Psychotherapy: Reaching New Heights with Individuals, Couples, and Families is a much-needed response to the need for a pragmatic approach that makes sense, using methods, techniques, and applications based in respected, established theoretical principles and empirical research. The book establishes a mind-set the therapist can use to work with clients in discovering creative solutions, instead of viewing creative interventions as a grab bag of techniques. Creativity in Psychotherapy includes:

  • a look at the various dimensions of creativity in counseling and psychotherapy
  • an overview of the relationship between creativity and healthy functioning
  • an examination of the connection between creativity and dysfunction
  • a review of the role of creativity in supervision
  • a survey of 142 therapists in the United States on the use of creativity in their practices
  • in-depth discussions, practical examples, and illustrations
  • “Creative Incubation” and “Break Out of The Box” exercises in each chapter!
Creativity in Psychotherapy: Reaching New Heights with Individuals, Couples, and Families is well-suited for use as a primary or supplemental textbook for graduate and undergraduate courses in marriage and family therapy, psychotherapy, and counseling, and can easily be adapted for use in social work, counselor education, and clinical psychology courses. The book is an essential read for practicing psychotherapists, family therapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other human service professionals.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Psychotherapy with Individuals, Couples, and Families As a Creative Enterprise
  • Old Wine in New Wineskins: What Is Creativity in the Context of Therapy?
  • Strengths and Limitations of Creativity in the Therapeutic Process
  • Getting the Most from the Incubation and Breaking Out of the Box Exercises
  • Section I: The Importance of Creativity in Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy: Health, Dysfunction, and Resiliency
  • Chapter 1. Essential Components of Creativity in Individual, Couple, and Family Treatment
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #1: Setting the Tone
  • Creativity As an Ecological, Contextual, and Systemic Concept
  • Eminent and Everyday Creativity
  • Creativity in Some Prominent Theories of Counseling
  • Creative Problem Finding and Problem Solving
  • The Importance of Divergent Thinking in Therapy
  • The Creative Process in Therapy
  • The creative Use of Play and Humor in Therapy
  • Breaking Out of the Box: Creating My Box
  • Chapter 2. An Overview of the Role of Creativity in Individual Mental Health, Psychopathology, and Family Dysfunction
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #2: Changing Lenses
  • The Importance of Creativity to Mental Health
  • Creativity, Mental Health, and Psychopathology in Adults: An Overview
  • Breaking Out of the Box: Creating My Metaphor
  • Chapter 3. Creativity and Resiliency in Children, Adults, Marriages, and Families
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #3: A Fresh Perspective
  • Creativity and Resiliency
  • Creativity in Marriage
  • Creativity in Families
  • Other Ways of Facilitating Creativity and Creative Thinking in Children and Adults
  • Conclusion
  • Breaking Out of the Box: Creating Spice
  • Section II: Therapists’ Perceptions of Creativity in Their Work with Couples and Families
  • Chapter 4. The Meaning, Importance, and Role of Creativity in Couples and Family Therapy
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #4: Creativity is . . .
  • The Multifaceted Nature of Creativity
  • Summary of Qualitative Findings Regarding the Importance of Creativity in Therapy According to Study Participants
  • Breaking Out of the Box: From the Eyes of Babes (and Beyond)
  • Chapter 5. Characteristics of the Creative Family Therapist
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #5: My Creativity Time Line
  • Qualities/Characteristics of Creative Family Therapists
  • Enhancing Creativity in Individuals, Couples, and Families As Part of the Therapeutic Process
  • Breaking Out of the Box: Finding My Flow
  • Chapter 6. Creative Interventions in Couples and Family Therapy: Therapists’ Descriptions
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #6: Creating Options
  • Therapists’ Descriptions of creative Interventions in Couple and Family Therapy
  • Creative Closing Rituals and Terminations in Couple and Family Therapy
  • Contraindications in Using Experiential and Play-Oriented Approaches
  • Breaking Out of the Box: A Session of Possibilities
  • Chapter 7. Barriers and Constraints to Creativity in Family Therapy
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #7: Barriers and Beyond
  • Social-Psychological Inhibitors of Creativity
  • Institutional/Organizational Rules, Policies, and Turfism As Inhibitors of Creativity
  • Responses from Study Participants Regarding Barriers to Creativity in Therapy
  • Breaking Out of the Box: Designing a Creative Ritual
  • Section III: Creative Interventions in Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy and Supervision
  • Chapter 8. Creative Interventions in Ten Contemporary Schools of Thought, Part 1: Psychodynamic, Intergenerational, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Emotion Focused
  • Creative Incubation Exercise #8: Herding Cats
  • Introduction
  • Psychodynamic Approaches
  • Intergenerational Approaches
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions
  • Emotion-Focused Interventions
  • Breaking Out of the Box Creating Shifts
  • Chapter 9. Creative I

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