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Emotional Health, Waves and Creativity

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“A wonderful emotion to get things moving when one is stuck is anger. It was anger more than anything else that had set me off, roused me into productivity and creativity.”

Mary Garden (Scottish musician, via brainyquote.)

As creative people, we may experience emotions very deeply and intensely, and feel at times we need to shut off or escape from some of them.

But those feelings can also fuel creative work, as many artists know.

Sharon M. Barnes, MSSW, LCSW is “a Psychotherapist, Speaker, Trainer, serving children, teens and adults with social & emotional needs of GT, HSP, 2E & SPD.”

She notes, “Many highly sensitive, creative, gifted or twice exceptional people struggle to find their balance emotionally.

“It’s not that they don’t have emotions or aren’t in touch with their feelings, but they tell me that they are often challenged in finding ways to cope with them and manage them.”

She asks, “Why are social & emotional needs so crucial and yet so difficult for so many CASIGYs™, (Creative, Super- Sensitive, Intense,  and/or Gifted You-s), AKA Highly Sensitive, Gifted or Twice Exceptional People?

“One thing I see is that often our high sensitivity makes highly in tune to things like the cultural, familial or organizational taboos against feeling and expressing emotions while at the same time it heightens our own perception of our own and others’ emotions.”

(From post on her site: “How CASIGYs Can Become Social-Emotional ACES.”)

In another post, she recalled “helping one of my counseling clients learn how to cope with overwhelming emotions connected to the hard times he was going through.

“A picture popped into my head: emotions are much like ocean waves.

“Ocean waves come in many shapes, sizes, speeds and intensities. So do emotions.

“Ocean waves are influenced by many things including the gravitational pull of the moon, the tides, the shape and movement of the ocean floor and the weather.

“Our emotions are influenced by the gravitational pull of our relationships, the ebb and flow of our health and energy, the ‘weather’ of the events in our lives.

“Sometimes life can seem like the experience of a surfer caught in the ‘washing machine’, where you get caught in wave after wave and can have trouble even coming up for air.”

(From “How to Ride Out Life’s Tough Times: Hang Loose in the Washing Machine!”)

In addition to other articles and webinars addressing these topics, Barnes recently started presenting a weekly online course.

The first session provided an excellent overview of the multitude of issues that can impact anyone, but especially high ability and creative people.

Follow the link to learn more about the course on her site – the page includes a video of one of her webinars.

If you sign up for the course, you get video recordings of each session, including any that have already been presented.

HSP-GT-2E Social-Emotional ACES ProgramHSP-GT-2E Social-Emotional ACES Program – a Social & Emotional Empowerment Program.




Emotional Health, Waves and Creativity

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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Some excerpts from The Creative Mind are included in his newsletter .
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Emotional Health Resources - Programs, books, articles and sites to improve your emotional wellbeing.

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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2016). Emotional Health, Waves and Creativity. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Nov 2016
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