“My therapist gives me permission to accept that I’m human.”

Actor Claire Danes also commented in an interview that, earlier in her life, she was “on this whole perfection trip. And that’s just totally boring. And arrogant!…

“I finally realized after years of therapy… that you can encourage yourself to move further in a nurturing way. You don’t have to be abusive.” [Allure, Nov., 1997]

Many creative people have talked about how valuable it can be to use therapy or counseling for dealing with challenges, or to enhance self-understanding.

For example, following the breakup of her marriage with Brad Pitt years ago, Jennifer Aniston said, “I believe in therapy; I think it’s an incredible tool in educating the self on the self.”

Reese Witherspoon and her former husband Ryan Phillippe were open about using counseling, and she has said, ”It’s always struck me as odd that people grabbed onto that story and made it sound so negative. In what capacity is working on yourself or your marriage a bad thing?”

Educational consultant Annemarie Roeper, Ed.D. notes “Gifted people see life in the most brilliant colors and are capable of the greatest joy and the greatest desperation. They try to build all this into a functioning Self.

“They may need help to access themselves as well as the world outside. Making sense of themselves and feeling fulfilled are often the forces that lead toward seeking counseling.” [From her article Reflections on Counseling Gifted Adults.]

Like many people who use the experience as a strategy to know themselves better, Maggie Gyllenhaal says she began therapy without a “specific, clear, rational thing” that made her start, “but as soon as I did, everything in my life changed, almost immediately.”

She continued, “There’s another part of me working that isn’t the intellectual side – the unconscious – and that was not awake most of my life. Not actively. There were times when it would push through, but now I feel I’m really honoring it.”

[Interview mag., Feb, 2003 – from my site page on Counseling.]

Deborah L. Ruf, PhD in her article If You’re So Smart, Why Do You Need Counseling, writes: “A reasonably clear perception of self appears to be one prerequisite to advanced emotional development. For people who are outside the norm in any significant way, as gifted people are, obtaining accurate feedback about their abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and the acceptability of their personality characteristics is difficult.”

One of the challenges for many creative people is in finding a therapist who understands the multiple emotional, intellectual and personality issues related to giftedness.

Of course, not all actors, writers, musicians or other creative people are necessarily gifted – but many are, even if they don’t recognize or acknowledge it.

See my post Acknowledging our gifted adult personality.

Related to therapy and counseling, see my article: Learning to befriend our demons.