Category Archives: Creativity

The Day Came When It Was Time To Call It Quits

The Day Came When It Was Time To Call It Quits

Well, this is the end of Trauma’s Labyrinth. It’s been a great experience for me, more rewarding than I could have imagined. Thank you so much for reading my writings. I’ve closed comments, and will redesign my website as I proceed in new directions. I also plan to create a better way of searching the blog’s content. I hope you continue…

A Big Thank You

A Big Thank You

At the end of October, I’ll be ending Trauma’s Labyrinth Blog. I want to thank you for reading my posts. I have greatly appreciated the emails, comments, and exchanges I have had with many of you, and the opportunity to learn and grow together, especially with regards to challenging topics and experiences. I have been…

Seeking the Muse … Again … And Again …

Seeking the Muse … Again … And Again …

I took time off from working on my manuscript to prepare a short paper and present at a conference. As I shift my focus back to book writing, I feel the weightiness of a large, creative project, along with the need to regain momentum that I typically face after a break. A friend once described…

How Chronic Traumatization Interferes With Meeting Goals and Completing Actions

How Chronic Traumatization Interferes With Meeting Goals and Completing Actions

Trauma-related stress reveals itself in many ways: flashbacks, nightmares, emotional overwhelm, shame, obsessive thoughts, decreased concentration, apathy, and even loss of a sense of self. When trauma-related stress is chronic, which is a common outcome of early life abuse and neglect, these symptoms become a way to live without actively recalling the past. As one…

An Update on the Journey of a Tortoise

An Update on the Journey of a Tortoise

Almost five years ago, when I finished my counseling psychology degree at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and was a tad bit burned out from the school work yet excited to practice psychotherapy, I wanted to start a Big Research Project. I was interested in exploring how to join Jung’s analytical psychology with trauma-focused psychotherapy. The trauma…

Where would we be without writers?

Where would we be without writers?

Lately I have been “filling the well,” as Julia Cameron likes to describe our creative souls’ need for a regular diet of stimulation. You might be able to tell this from my recent blog posts. Lots of reviews — articles, books, a documentary. You can tell a lot about a person by what she puts…

History After Trauma

History After Trauma

In 2012, I saw on display at SFMOMA Sam Durant’s “History never ends, I hate to bother you”: Sadie Coles HQ gave this explanation of the piece: “The show’s title [History Never Ends, I Hate to Bother You] may furthermore be read as a sardonic refutation of Francis Fukuyama’s famous postmodern thesis ‘The End of History?’, which proposed…

Embracing the Shadow Side of Creativity

Embracing the Shadow Side of Creativity

In a blog post, “What is Creativity?,” Maria Popova quoted designer Charles Eames on the cultural obsession with the creative process: “Recent years have shown a growing preoccupation with the circumstances surrounding the creative act and a search for the ingredients that promote creativity. This preoccupation suggests we are in a special kind of trouble —…

An Ambivalent Writer

An Ambivalent Writer

I spent the weekend at my alma mater, Pacifica Graduate Institute, attending “The Writer’s Journey” conference. In a plenary given by Michael Meade I learned some Native Americans believe that if you don’t give away what you possess, what you possess will rot inside you. When I heard this juicy, albeit necrotic perspective of the…

Finding Heart

Finding Heart

A long time ago, before the One God replaced the many gods and before Man ruled Nature, two children were born the same instant under a full moon, yet on opposite sides of Earth and to very different clans. The boy child, called Gabriel, was born to a matrilineal clan, the Amazonia, and learned to…

The Loveless Trajectory of Sexual Abuse

The Loveless Trajectory of Sexual Abuse

Long before their falling-out, Jung wrote in an intimate letter to Freud, “… as a boy I was the victim of a sexual assault by a man I once worshipped” (cited in John Kerr’s A Most Dangerous Method). Jung also wrote of his infatuation with Freud: “… my veneration for you has something of the…

On Imaginal Ground

On Imaginal Ground

In Waking Dreams, Mary Watkins wrote the following on engaging the imaginal on its own, watery ground: “How would we deal with the image in an imaginal way? What would that mean? First of all, we would have to watch carefully as we relate to an image for the points at which we try to…

Taking for Real the Imaginal

Taking for Real the Imaginal

In my current research, I am exploring the role of the imaginal (i.e., dreams, fantasies, the imagination) for the evolution of the human psyche. I am also looking at how the imaginal supports transforming traumatic events into a return to growth, which often involves creative acts of self-expression. I have found the early works of…

“A Healing Exhibition”

“A Healing Exhibition”

I spent a good part of my youth in San Antonio, Texas, where Bihl Haus Arts exhibits the work of artist Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez. My grandfather owned a couple of Mexican curio shops on the River Walk. As a child I was given piñatas on birthdays and sugar skulls on the Day of the Dead.  Like many, I am…

Does Trauma Increase Creativity?

Does Trauma Increase Creativity?

A 2011 study suggests there may be a connection between creativity and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research conducted by Robert Miller and David Johnson revealed PTSD correlates with a greater capacity for symbolic representation, which is necessary for artistic as well as scientific endeavors. The study compared 56 Vietnam combat veterans with 14 veterans who…

Responding to the Aging Revolution

Responding to the Aging Revolution

According to author and historian Theodore Roszak, “in another generation, every industrial society will include more people above the age of fifty than below it, an unprecedented condition.” Inevitably, societies will have to change to adapt to a significant part of the population living in the advanced stages of life. However, the scenario does not…