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Therapy for Creatives: Ending the mental health crisis.

Mental health difficulties in the creative industries which includes Film, TV, Radio, Music, Fashion, Art, Performing Arts, Media, Gaming, Design, Broadcast, Advertising and Architecture has been found to be higher than the average population. In a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders (2019) they found that creatives are 25% more at risk to develop mood related disorders.

This clearly needs to change. An increase in therapy for creatives that is adapted to suit the creative industries and the people who work in the creative industries is a good start.

therapy for creatives

Why is mental health difficulties higher in creatives than in the general population?

The answer to this is not straightforward but includes the following:

The creative process itself can be exciting and fulfilling but it can also be emotionally taxing. The creative process can involve facing your fears, exploring difficult feelings, sharing personal thoughts and emotions, and putting your work out in the world to be critiqued. All of which can be emotionally taxing. Therapy for creatives can focus on helping people work through emotions and learn how to manage distress in a healthy way.

High pressured work. Work in the creative in industries can be pressured for many reasons including deadlines imposed by others or self-imposed, pressure to constantly innovate, high level of competition with others, juggling different roles and managing the expectations of others. Therapy for creatives may involve learning coping strategies to manage these pressures.

therapy for creatives

High levels of Imbalances of power between roles which can make it difficult to speak up if something doesn’t feel right. Therapy for creatives can help process past difficult situations that have involved power balances and develop skills of assertiveness and communication.

Lots of work is freelance which can be freeing and empowering but can also bring its only set of challenges including long hours, working away from home, a lack of feedback and a lack of HR. See this article for details on the stressor’s freelancers face. Therapy for creatives who are freelance may involve how to understand and cope with the unique stressors that freelance work brings.

therapy for creatives

Highly competitive industries. This can lead to competition over cooperation which can impact relationships and increase the likelihood of bullying. Therapy for creatives might involve learning how to manage stress associated with high levels of competition.

There has been found to be high levels of bullying and discrimination. See this article for more details. Therapy for creatives may involve processing past bullying, work with low self-esteem and self-doubt that has developed from being bullied.

therapy for creatives

What does therapy for creatives involve?

As with anyone therapy for creatives is individualised and adapted to each individual person but below are some examples of common elements in therapy for creatives.

Working through creative blocks.

It is common for creatives to experience what is known as creative blocks. This involves period of times with no ideas and lack of inspiration for new work. Therapy for creatives in this instance involves looking at what is the cause of the creative block and working through the cause to bring an end to the creative block. Common causes of creative blocks include low self-esteem, self-doubt, perfectionism, and high levels of pressure.

therapy for creatives



Perfectionism in creatives can get in the way of people starting projects, sharing new ideas and starting new ideas for fear that their idea/ art is not perfect. Both Picasso and Monet were famous for destroying art that they felt did not meet their standards. The downside of this is we do not get to see and appreciate this art. Therapy for perfectionism looks at what the cause and specific fears of not being perfect are and looks at ways to manage these fears. Therapy for creatives with perfectionism therefore involves helping you to manage your fears so you can produce the art you want to.


Coping with criticism

The creative industry at times can be a harsh industry. The creative industry can involve high rates of rejection.  There has also been found to be high levels of criticism which is not always constructive. Read this article on details of the difference of criticism and feedback. Both criticism and rejection can impact self-esteem and create self-doubt. Therapy for creatives can help people develop coping strategies for receiving criticism and techniques on how to be assertive.

therapy for creatives


Challenges of work life balance

Lots of the creative industries have periods of lots of work followed by no work which can cause financial stress as well as other stress. Therapy for creatives in this case would look at understanding why periods of little and lots of work can be stressful and how to manage. See this article for more details.


Building resilience

Therapy for creatives can involve learning how to see setbacks and failures as learning opportunities and generally build resilience which is the ability to get through challenges that life throws at you.

mental health for creatives

Managing mental health difficulties

Therapy for creatives may involve working on pre-existing mental health difficulties which may be impacting work.

Self-exploration/ Reflection

Therapy for creatives can involve helping people to think about what it is they care about, goals and how to achieve these goals.

therapy for creatives


Why have a therapist who specialises in working with creatives?

1.Therapy for creatives carried out by therapists experienced in working with creatives and mental health difficulties means you can be sure that your therapist is experienced in working with the difficulties you are likely to present with.


2. You do not have to spend a long time in your sessions explaining how your industry works in order to help the therapist think about how to adapt techniques to you and your industry. Working in the creative industries can often involve working long hours, away from home, unpredictable work, insecure work and changing deadlines. Therapists here at creative in minds are experts in working with these difficulties.


3. Your therapist will be expert in adapting evidence-based techniques to work in industries where regular shift patterns may not be the norm.


Therapy for creatives will help improve mental health within the creative industries by increasing access to evidence based ,tailored healthcare. Contact us if you would like to start therapy with therapist who specialise in working with creatives.


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