Playful, discerning, courageous eye.

Creativity & roles.

In my day job, and I will be returning soon after a four month sabbatical, a psychotherapist. My main modality for the work I do is Psychodrama, which provides a sold basis for thinking about creativity, spontaneity, and life as well as practical approaches. Moreno, the founder developed a way of thinking about humans and their life in terms of roles. Roles are not, in the Psychodrama conception, something that overlays the personality, but rather the stuff it is made of. They are not only behaviour, but include the world-view and feelings.

The process I am in here I am mostly just in, but if I stand and look as a Psychodramatist I see two types of roles, my more deeply psychological ones and ones I am developing as a artist, well, at least as a creative person. As a therapist I work mostly with people at that psychological level. Role training is another field almost. I am branching into that field as a creativity coach, bringing together my experiential learning here with my Psychodrama skills. I am drawing a firm line between therapy and coaching.

All this is preliminary to wanting to name some roles I see as important for the artist, and would like to clarify for my future work! (And for myself of course).


I don’t have a name for this role yet & I want one. It is about being able to throw out rubbish and also to accept and honour every gesture, every scribble, every paragraph. I do more sketches than I post here. But I also post ones I value just as steps on the way, or because they remind me of something to explore later. Or because I think someone might like it even if I don’t, or because I just don’t know why but I do.

There is a lovely little book out in Christchurch – “You are here.” There is a photo of a girl by the Peacock fountain, a Victorian monstrosity in Hagley park. The caption is something like “Nice fence, pity about the Fountain. Or maybe it is not meant to be beautiful, maybe it is art.”

The role I am describing is at the very core of being able to do creative work. Over-developed to the point of dismissing everything is perfectionism. We could become technocratic too, over-rating production values, the perfectionist world view could stifle any and all work. On the other side, what is the work? We don’t fully know till we get going, we don’t know without action. So just get going, don’t judge at all, any thing will do. Go for it. The opposite of perfectionism is not much use either, indulgence, self-inflation. This role needs to kick in. Hmmm, nope, Hmmm, yes. Yes! er…no. Discernment. Playful discernment. Discerning eye. Courageously going forth when it all looks like nothing, and also courageously throwing out stuff even if it took all day, or cost a fortune to produce if it is not right. Ah. It is about knowing what is “right”, and knowing that we never reach that point, because there weill always be the next move.

Playful, discerning, courageous eye.

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