By Rich Simon A few decades ago, when young therapists like myself watched Salvador Minuchin, Virginia Satir, Carl Whitaker, or other leading lights, it was like watching magicians—you didn’t know whether they were going to pull rabbits, iguanas, or some other strange, unexpected creatures out of the therapy hat. We watched as the clients they worked with changed before our eyes—becoming more alive, more open with one another, and more inventive in resolving their own problems. Take a few minutes to see it all come together in this classic video of Virginia Satir at the resolution of a family session.
Satir’s work has a quality of aliveness that is the fruit of her creativity and authenticity, and it has an energy and emotional ease that we’d all like to have more of in our practices.
So what gets in our way?
These days it seems as if we’ve entered a Beige Era of Therapeutic Practice. Treatment is more and more shaped by predetermined DSM categories, insurance company constraints, and empirically validated standardized treatment protocols from which deviation isn’t welcomed, if even tolerated.
Another part of the problem is that we live in cautious times with heightened concerns about HIPAA guidelines and confidentiality, making it much harder to actually see therapists at work who inspire us to push the boundaries of the familiar and show how to engage clients with a spirit of daring and invention. We think it’s time for psychotherapy to reclaim some of this freedom, authenticity, and inspiration in their practices. That’s why we’re launching this all-new webcast series:
Creativity in the Consulting Room:
New Tools for More Energizing and Effective Therapy
It’s packed with innovative approaches drawn from the arts and new tools you can use right away to bring more humor, play, and emotional exploration into your practice. We’ll be giving you an in-depth look at consulting room creativity with videos of masters like Erv Polster, Peggy Papp, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson. We’ll also introduce you to younger innovators—like Stephen Gilligan, Courtney Armstrong, Jeffrey Zeig, and Steve Andreas. As presenters in this all-new series, they will draw upon their own experiences and cases to offer insight, examples, powerful tools, and concrete guidance to help you bring more spontaneity, curiosity, and excitement into your work.
Don’t miss this chance to learn how to incorporate humor, metaphor, fantasy, theater arts, poetry, and other aspects of creativity into your work to make it more enlivening and effective than ever.