Monday, April 18, 2011

New Yorker article on "The Tools" for Writers

This New Yorker article on the Hollywood therapist who primarily serves writers really hit me where I live.

Barry Michaels and his mentor Phil Stutz have developed an approach that uses Jungian archetypes (very appealing to us storytellers), but in new and unconventional ways. For instance:

Patients are told to visualize things going horribly wrong, a strategy of “pre-disappointment.” The tool for this, which Michels and Stutz teach to those who are hoping to win an award or who are about to submit a script for approval, involves imagining yourself falling backward into the sun, saying “I am willing to lose everything” as you are consumed in a giant fireball, after which, transformed into a sunbeam, you profess, “I am infinite.”

Sounds weird, I know, but Stutz's patients have won over a dozen Oscars. And I'm a great believer in the adage "If you want what somebody has, do what they do," so I'm intrigued. I'm particularly drawn to the idea of embracing your shadow self and welcoming pain.

Take a look. I think they're on to something.

1 comment:

therese said...

This sounds like great therapy. With so much chatter about the "fear of failure" go there first thing. Lose everything and burn out all that baggage.

Creatives need to embrace the shadow archetype and welcome pain because without it art has no depth or joy. It may scratch the surface of the story we live but even in success will be a disappointment.