Out of the field: Elena Patris
Is Creativity therapeutic?
Creativity contributes to generating health; it is one of the elements of which health itself is made. I urge on health topic because I think it’s important to draw attention not only on healing but rather taking care of the aspects it is made of. The world where we are living is complicated and uncertain, and health depends overall on the acknowledgment of this existential condition and the capacity to deal with it. Life proposes different steps, from daily decisions to planning investments, from biographical leaps to stress periods, from unexpected illnesses to social crises, and we have to get ready in order to face them and maintain our vital balance. No one is ready enough for these challenges, but we can do a lot in order to take care of ourselves and others, and thus learn to flow along with life as a river that mold the shores and by them is molded.
It is not always possible to follow a linear logic, but we have to establish connections among contexts and different aspects, transform, imagine, invent possible worlds, we need to learn, in short, to build our own solutions and give ourselves our own meanings. Creativity, then, is useful to imagine other possibilities for us, in order to be able to create with what we have and to imagine what we don’t have. Because creativity is not only the domain of artisans and artists, but everybody can be creative, indeed we are creative even if we are not aware of it. Still, our biographies are rich in solutions we have invented in order to facilitate our lives when they were not going as we wanted.
I don’t think that creative persons do exist, I rather believe that acts are creative and that the capacity of making creative acts is something that can be trained, clearing the camp from judgment. Artists and artisans, if ever, own expertise to create and the habit and talent not only to imagine possibilities but also to realize them, giving them a shape, handmaking. I love the image of the artisanal workshop, because it evokes the precious inventory of possibilities in order to give shape to the world, that we can find in their work, often unveiling some meanings useful for our life and some impulses to start our creative processes.
Elena Patris is a psychologist with a relational systemic orientation, who for twenty years has been taking care of people’s health, accompanying them to explore alternative ways to face a problem and reacquire the competencies for the changeover. She is freelancer counseling individuals, couples, families, groups. She is co-creator of Land Art Lab and runs the blog Mappamondi Caravelle e Cannocchiali: www.elenapatris.it .