Creativity and self. Part Two

Continue from “Creativity and self. Part One



3. Creativity according to Gestalt Therapy

For Gestalt there is an analogy between the process of creative thinking and the perceptual process: understanding means capturing connections between perceived stimuli, generating casual or formal relationships. The more marked a change of order appears in these relationships, and the greater the diversity in the connections, the more creative the process and the more novel the product obtained.

The Gestalt speaks of creative adjustment as the essential function of the self, or rather, “the self is the system of creative adjustments”. Since the self only discovers and realizes itself in the environment. “And we are going to consider the self as the function of contacting the ephemeral real present,” taking into account that the self is the contact “.

The inhibition of the self, in neurosis, is the inability to conceive of a situation as changing or, conversely, neurosis is the fixation on an unchangeable and immutable past. “Since the function of the self is something more than accepting the possibilities, it is also identifying and rejecting them, creatively arriving at a new figure, distinguishing between ‘obsolete responses’ and the unique and new behavior that each situation requires.”

This creativity will act and appear spontaneously in any present situation, therefore, the therapist does not have to go looking for anything below the “ordinary” behavior, nor delve into it to reveal the mechanism. Anxiety is the interruption of the ongoing creative arousal.
The theory of Gestalt Therapy is the theory of the self and therefore, the practice of Gestalt Therapy is the theory of the self applied.


4. Creativity in psychodrama

Psychodrama, created by Jacob Levy Moreno, is a method of approaching the individual, the family, the groups and the community, which had its origins in theater, sociology and psychology. Body, play, space and time come together in a poetic way and contribute to creative freedom and spontaneity.

Creativity is intimately linked to spontaneity and we must direct it towards the creation of new forms of art (spontaneity is the opposite of impulsiveness, in which action without reflection, makes us prisoners of our impulses and does not allow us to access the order of the symbolic).

Creativity needs a catalyst to be deployed and one of the most important is the spontaneity that comes from within and that is a willingness to act. Moreno speaks of two forms of creativity: the one that flows freely and the conserved creativity (the cultural preserves, the already created works, the finished products of the creative processes).

Donald Winnicott in his work “Playing and Reality” postulates that creativity is a human attribute, a capacity to be developed by any person in any act or situation of their daily lives. Creativity is an attitude, an approach to reality, a way to live life satisfactorily. The creative impulse is universal, its sources are the first years of the subject’s life. The child’s game is the ancestor of creativity in the adult. Psychodrama is an invitation to play; to resume the game. When the adult believes, in truth, he is re-creating that playful space of childhood, his imaginary childhood world, those fantasies that are repeated over and over in the subject throughout life, often unconsciously.

Creativity, the desire to know, curiosity, are a time of renunciation of unique explanations, always from the hand of a passage from the ideal self to the ideal of the self.


5. Creativity according to Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler (1927) defines creativity as the supreme utility and develops the concept of the individual’s creative force, which depends on other aspects of the personality. The individual creates his own personality based on its constitutive and expressive dispositions. The individual uses his social conscience and his creative force to be useful to society and to realize himself. However, it reduces the motivation to the feeling of inferiority and, in the same way as Freud, attributes to a few the ability to be creative.

Adler rejected Freud’s pansexualism to dedicate himself to constructing his own point of view of man and his psyche, based on the premise that man is an aggressive animal, a concept that gradually led him away from the idea that sex constitutes The main motivator of man. Later, he put aside that conception and came to be convinced that the real motivation of man is not aggression, but his desire for superiority. This desire for superiority is given by a feeling of inferiority (also known as basic weakness), moving this feeling throughout life motivating you to achieve new and better things, by the desire to overcome.

Creative Self: Man creates a structure of the self (of himself) from his hereditary past, interprets the impressions he receives during the course of his life, seeks new experiences to realize his desires of superiority and gathers all this to create a self that is different from any other. “The creative self is an additional step beyond the lifestyle, it is original, inventive, and creates something that never existed before: a new personality creates a self.”

Self conscious: Man realizes what he is doing and on the basis of self-examination can deduce the reason for having acted in certain prescribed ways. “Consciousness is the core of the personality.” The fact that a memory of the past can go unnoticed at any moment does not mean for Adler that the past is repressed. Adler justifies it by saying that memory is a mechanism of the mind, and like all processes, it can not operate efficiently.

Fictitious goals: Although Adler thought that the past is really important, since from this arises the lifestyle and the creative self, it is the future that molds what man will do with his creative self at any given moment. “Only the final goal can explain the behavior of man.” This can be a fiction because it has been manufactured as an ideal to be achieved. Fictitious goals are inseparable from lifestyle and creative self.


6. Creativity according to Horward Gardner

Howard Gardner in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences says that the creative individual is a person who solves problems regularly, elaborates products or defines new issues in a field, in a way that at first is considered new, but in the end becomes accepted in a specific cultural context.

Gardner states that “creativity is not a kind of fluid that can arise in any direction. The life of the mind is divided into different regions, which I call ‘intelligences’, such as mathematics, language or music. And a certain person can be very original and inventive, even iconoclastically imaginative, in one of those areas without being particularly creative in any of the others. ”

Howard Gardner (1995), delving into the ideas of Csikszentmihalyi, states that creativity requires four levels of analysis: a) the subpersonal (biological substrate); b) the staff (psychological substrate); c) the impersonal one (the field); and d) multipersonal or social.

Gardner (1999) assumes that the configuration of a creative personality influences both genetics and the environment and learning, which enhance creativity. He declares that he does not believe that the characteristics of the personality of the creators are innate, although they can be correlated with certain innate temperaments, such as energy or tolerance to stress.


7. Creativity according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

According to Torrance (1962) and Csikszentmihalyi (1988), the ability to detect and delimit a major problem where most people see only normality or insignificant problems is a fundamental skill of creative people. It is a direct consequence of his greater perceptive sensitivity and his ability to intuit alternatives. In the same way that a scientist must start from an initial hypothesis to develop, a creator must start from the detection of something to solve or, at least, improve.

For Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1995) creativity is a conjunction of three elements: domain (discipline or place where creativity occurs), authorship (who performs the creative act) and criticism (social group of experts who evaluate it).

For Csikszentmihalyi creativity is at the individual and social time. It is individual because it is an idea, action or product made by a single mind (or by a group that works in unison). It is social because that new idea, action or product are recognized by society and incorporated into the culture of the place.


8. Creative self-concept (Creative self-concept) by Peirce

Stresses the theoretical and analytical relevance of creativity and spontaneity, considered as a central aspect of the semiotic model of Charles Sanders Peirce, and does so through the study of its impact on human identity, in the self.

Creativity as an inseparable component of our imagination and our behavior in the world. Being creative is inseparable from the being in which we are becoming, at each moment of our life. These elements are associated, although not exclusively, with one of the universal categories of experience, according to Peirce’s phenomenological analysis.

Pierce aspires to demonstrate that imagination is a key component of our self or identity process conceived as a sign in continuous development, whose increase in complexity and ability to understand others and ourselves occurs through communicational encounters.


9. Creativity according to Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti says that creativity can only exist through self-knowledge. Most of us are not creative; we are machines of repetition and such repetition is not creative existence, but it is what allows us to be safe in our innermost selves. This destroys understanding, that spontaneous serenity of the mind in which only a state of creativity can exist. Only in freedom does creativity fit.

Our difficulty, certainly, lies in the fact that most of us have lost that sense of creativity. Being creative does not mean that we have to paint pictures or write poems, and become famous. That is not creativity; it is simply the capacity to express an idea that the public applauds or disdains. Ability and creativity should not be confused. The ability is not creativity; This is an entirely different state of being.

Creativity is a state in which the “I” is absent, in which the mind is no longer the focus of our experiences, ambitions, endeavors and desires. Creativity is a movement in which there is no “me” and “mine”, in which thought is not focused around any particular experience, ambition, realization, purpose or motive. Only when there is no “I” can there be creativity.

This state of creativity comes only when the “I”, which is the process of recognition and accumulation, ceases to be; because, after all, the consciousness of “I”, of “myself”, is the center of recognition, and recognition is simply the process of accumulation of experiences.


If you want to know a little bit more…


Gardner, H. (2005) Arte, mente y cerebro. Una aproximación cognitiva a la creatividad. Paidós. Barcelona.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1998) Creatividad – El fluir y la psicología del descubrimiento y la invención. Paidós. Barcelona.

Amendt-Lyon, N. (2001) Art and creativity in Gestalt Therapy. Gestalt Review, 5 (4): 225-248, 2001.

Andacht, F. (2008) Self y creatividad en el pragmatismo de C.S. Pierce: “La incidencia del instante presente en la conducta”. Utopia y Praxis Latinoamericana, vol. 13, núm. 40, enero-marzo, 2008, pp.39-65.

Martínez, B et al. (2012) La creatividad (en psicodrama) como reinvención. Congreso Internacional de Intervención Psicosocial, Arte Social y Arteterapia. De la creatividad al vínculo social. Archena, 2012.

Severino, G. et al. (2015) Psicodrama: cuerpo, espacio y tiempo hacia la libertad creadora. Arteterapia – Papeles de arteterapia y educación artística para la inclusión social. Vol 10/2015 (139-151).

El estado creativo de la mente. Pláticas de J. Krishnamurti en Europa. 7ª Ed. Editorial Kier, S.A. Buenos Aires.


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