Befriending Writer's Block: Creative Screenwriting Magazine

An Interview with depth psychotherapist Philip Ruddy, MA, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

by Brock Swinson      (Reposting 2018.  Originally published March 2016)

Philip Ruddy is a depth psychotherapist with a masters degree in Counseling Psychology, who also happens to have fifteen years’ experience working as a writer and producer. As such, he is well-equipped to understand the creative mind, and he works with writers, artists and performers to help them with creative blocks, anxiety, depression, and the unique stressors of the film and television industry.  Creative Screenwriting spoke with Philip about  breaking down writer’s block through exploring the unconscious, Active Imagination, and courage.

CS: Let’s start at the beginning with your background and perhaps an insider view of Depth Psychotherapy.

RUDDY: I have great respect and empathy for writers and artists. I was an English major at Berkeley and wrote a lot of short stories. My literary heroes were Ray Bradbury, Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Raymond Carver. That’s what I was weaned on and what I loved. After graduating, I moved to Los Angeles and got a dream job as a script analyst and creative executive for British Film Director Michael Apted. He did movies like Gorillas in the Mist and Coal Miner’s Daughter. For an English major, being hired to analyze text and work with writers was a dream come true.

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The focus of Pacifica is inspired from writers and researchers like Carl Jung, James Hillman, and Joseph Campbell, who actually spoke there many times before I was a student there. [Campbell’s] work is vital for the writing community. They actually have his writing desk and personal archives housed on campus at the Opus Archives. I remember seeing his writing desk and thinking, “This is where it all began, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).” For me, I knew I was at the right place.

I graduated with a Masters in Counseling Psychology. I then did clinical training—which is hands-on training—at a place called the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills, where I worked with a lot of writers and filmmakers. That really confirmed that this was the path I wanted to be on. I wanted to use my fifteen-plus years of production to help in a therapeutic way. After two years, I went into private practice, which is what I still do now. I have an office near Paramount where I work with fiction and TV writers, as well as filmmakers and performers, stand-up comics and actors.

CS: When working with artists, do you believe there are levels of creative blocks?

Yes. I feel that, just as no two clients are alike, no two creative blocks are alike. If you were to ask me the most common type of creative block, I would say that it is an expressive creative block. But what usually lies beneath that is some form of anxiety or depression.

For some writers, that means they can’t write at all. They say that they haven’t written a word in two or three months. For others, they say, “I’m just writing so slowly. I’ve got these deadlines and I just keep missing them. I just had to send a treatment over to an agent and I just couldn’t get it done.”

Then, there are those starting out in the business that may express a loss of confidence. They wonder if they’ll ever make it. For guys already in the business, they wonder if they’ll ever sell another project or maybe they’ve sold five projects that haven’t gotten made or fill-in-the-blank…

One common illusion in the film and television industry would be that people have these benchmarks in their mind and they think if they cross certain hurdles, their problems will be over. The truth is that fame or fortune doesn’t really make our problems go away, it often amplifies them. So someone will reach a benchmark and then have this feeling of emptiness afterwards. Whether they’ve sold a spec, got hired as a writer or show-runner, they still feel stressed out and they still feel like a fraud. I look at that as anxiety or depression and we then work together to see what that is about.

 Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation

Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation

Every artistic path has different obstacles or hurdles. Why do you think that Writer’s Block is perhaps the most common, or most well known?

I don’t have an exact answer, but it may be that it seems more accessible to more people—this idea of being a writer. Many people can say that they definitely aren’t a sculptor because they know they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, ever do anything with clay. Or, I’m no Rembrandt, because I definitely can’t paint. But these same people assume they could be a writer if they could focus the time to do it.

I think it’s something that we think we all have access to and who is to say otherwise? There are plenty of first drafts of famous novels that are absolutely terrible, so sometimes it is just the work they put into it. The polishing; the devotion to the craft; that ability to stay with something:  those things beyond talent.

Writing seems to be something that can appear easy because most people have a laptop or typewriter and they can move their fingers. Some people feel that they can direct because they’ve seen a million movies, but that same logic doesn’t apply to someone who wants to perform brain surgery because they’ve seen a million operations. Those who devote the time and are willing to learn tend to have the most success in the long run.

Reading a screenplay is like reading blueprints for a building and that construction will be wildly different depending on who is building it. That’s an uphill battle that writers historically face.

F. Scott Fitzgerald came to Los Angeles in the 1920s as a young wunderkind writer and novelist with plans to crank out some screenplays and found it to be a nightmare. Being a screenwriter really is a unique set of skills and you don’t get the same level of acclaim as a novelist. People are going to change many of your words and even the story because it’s a blueprint. It’s tough for a writer to get the respect they deserve in this industry. They never really have. It’s certainly a calling and it’s as challenging as it is rewarding.

Among your clients, are the majority mainly new writers, veterans, or is it somewhat across the board?

It’s really across the board. Some are new while others stick with it for a longer period of time. Depth Therapy is different than other modalities like CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) where someone may want to quit smoking tomorrow and not care how they accomplish this goal. I think there is a reason why artists and writers are attracted to Depth Therapy. We look at a much deeper approach, hence the name. We look at exploring dreams or other unconscious material as it may show up in writing, or art, or images, or archetypes that seem to be reoccurring again and again in a client’s life.

We look at mythology and not just that of Greek or Roman mythology, but one’s personal mythology. If you talk to someone long enough, you realize that there is a certain narrative that they are operating on, based upon childhood events or just things in their mind. They tend to repeat those experiences over and over again because it’s coming from an unconscious place. They don’t realize that they are doing it.

Think of someone in a series of bad relationships because they keep dating the same type of person, even though this is obvious to everyone else. So working with these unconscious actions and bringing that to a conscious level, then they can decide whether or not to make a change.

We can read all of the self-help books we want but there’s the same blind spot if you’re not working with a trained therapist to help guide you and point that out. Otherwise, you’re liable to repeat the same things over and over again.

Are there certain treatments that appear to be more successful than others?

One technique that I like to use is called Active Imagination. It’s actually a very old practice and it was made well known by Carl Jung. I find it effective because many writers do something similar, almost intuitively, as part of their writing work. Active Imagination is creating a conscious dialogue with unconscious parts of our self. So you open up a page of your journal or on your laptop and open up a dialogue with yourself, or, perhaps with your Writer’s Block.

Many writers come in and tell me they have Writer’s Block and ask me to kill it, exterminate it, or remove it. Instead, I’ll say, “Let’s befriend it, then we can transcend it.” They immediately think that they don’t want anything to do with it, [much less] befriend it. I then ask what would their Writer’s Block look like if it were a person or an entity. We’ll literally have that client describe it physically. Particularly for writers and artists, they’re not afraid to enter that magical realm because they live there, or work there all the time. Then, they may tell me, “It’s this huge guy that’s twenty-five feet tall. He’s an ogre or has a club or battle axe and he comes pounding at my door to stand between me and my desk and tells me that I’m not writing today.” I’ll then encourage them to really make that character come alive to animate that Writer’s Block.

Then, I’ll encourage the writer to begin a dialogue with the Block and simply ask it, “Why can’t I write today? What do you want of me? What would you rather I do today?” Often, they’ll find that once that Block is acknowledged or respected in one way or another, it starts to give really good information. Maybe it would say, “Well, I want to write a comedy today but you keep writing these action/adventure pieces because that’s what sells.” So it’ll often say something that may make sense to the writer, but it’s something they’ve often ignored.

It’s usually that material that we oppress into the shadow-side that we don’t want to acknowledge. We tend to stick with what we think will sell, but that Writer’s Block has something important to tell us, because it’s speaking from the soul’s point-of-view, which is often ignored. The negative aspects will start to recede and the more positive aspects will begin to come back out. The overall goal is integration and it’s important to integrate your gifts with your shadow side. There is light and darkness and the combination of the two makes great writers.

 Ogre (2008)

Ogre (2008)

As an interviewer, I ask about difficulties in the writing process and while some writers say, “Every step is difficult,” others do not believe in Writer’s Block. Are certain people more susceptible to Writer’s Block than others? 

I would say that each issue is as unique as the individual. There is a theory that there is anxiety behind all of this. Whether or not you’ve mastered your anxiety, there is a way to channel that into a productive form. Workaholism is certainly common in America, especially in Los Angeles or Hollywood. You are constantly under pressure to succeed and there are always people around you who seem to be doing more or doing better. That can result in people working 24/7 to manage that anxiety or it can show up as that individual feeling frozen, unable to work.

For those that seem to be prolific, it may be that they have three shows on the air but they haven’t seen their wife in three months or they’ve missed their kid’s birthdays by being on location, shooting. My goal as a therapist is to help them define a fulfilled life and make sure they can integrate that vision whenever possible.

In the film and television world, it’s often not possible to do so on a daily basis—you can’t be the great dad and the great television producer at the same time—but, maybe you work nine months of the year and then spend three months on hiatus being 24/7 dad for a while. You have to find what works for you in your lifestyle, which can take some soul searching and other inner work. There is nothing wrong with working 24/7, but you need to be honest with yourself and the people in your life. Share your goals and realize there is not one set of rules for everyone. We’re usually working unconsciously, which can lead to unhappy results. So look at what you’re doing and what your goals are.

How does irrational thought play into Writer’s Block? How often does actual failure happen due to anticipated failure?

I guess it would depend on when Writer’s Block shows up for someone. I’ll start by going through a person’s day, asking them if it shows at breakfast or while they’re driving or once they enter the office. What I’ll often notice is that when someone is writing, they will often switch into critic mode. They’ll start editing or criticizing as they are doing their imaginative work.

I often point out that Coppola or Scorsese or Tarantino do not invite the New York film critics to hang out on set to give them advice while they’re directing. There is a time and a place for all of that. Many writers will metaphorically invite their inner critic to sit down with them while they’re in the creative process and wonder why they are getting stuck.

Doing imaginative work is a really noble and difficult process. If you consider The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell, it’s important for writers to remember that it’s not just the characters going on this journey, but the writer is also on the same journey. It’s called a monomyth because each individual is going on this same journey. If you’re a writer, that challenge is part of it, but when you’re in the deep, dark woods and can’t get out of the second act, many people will want to quit.

It’s usually better to finish that original journey and ask for help from your writer’s circle or even seek the guidance of a therapist like myself. Seeking those mentors or guides can help because imaginative work is so difficult.

Most people who work a regular nine to five do not have to consider entering and exiting that world everyday. That’s another reason why temptations like drugs or alcohol are so prevalent in this world. It’s hard to live and work inside of your head and then leave that world at the end of the day. My job is to help create a threshold for them to enter and safely exit without having to reach for a shot glass.

Are these meetings as personal as any therapeutic session or does it depend on the style of writing, meaning personal or purely fictional?

I also work with non-writers and my style is exactly the same. People tend to get as much out of therapy as they are willing to put into it. I strive to create a safe and relaxed environment. I avoid most jargon and theories. It’s really just two people in a room having a frank conversation. We can talk about whatever issues come up. It’s a non-confrontational, non-judgmental space. 

Some people are really willing to go into some deep places while others simply are not. It’s really a partnership and my goal is to meet them where they’re at. When they’re ready, then they’re ready. I don’t push. I’m not trying to be anything other than a partner for them. I’m empathetic to the journey.

When you’re helping writers get past this block—especially those who experience lifelong success—is there some key element these individuals have that others may not?

One word: courage. The people that come the furthest are those that actively take it upon themselves to make a change in their lives. It’s a really difficult thing to make change. Most of us don’t do it. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. I have a lot of respect for those who are willing to put in the work to help themselves make a change. There are so many technological distractions that it’s terribly easy to not to come do difficult, inner work. It’s easier to watch reality shows and space out for an hour. It’s hard to come into a room and face yourself. They’re speaking to me, but I’m really just a mirror reflecting what they are telling me about themselves. I’m humbled every time someone comes to my office, willing to put in the work.

After all of these sessions, can you sit down a read a screenplay and determine things about the writer? Or, is the actual work somewhat irrelevant?

I keep my past life separate from my current profession. I do not usually read my client’s screenplays even though we will talk about their inspirations for writing these stories. As a viewer, films today are not like the films of the golden age. Personal, dark stories like The Godfather or Apocalypse Now or Taxi Driver are made less and less each year, mainly due to the economics of the industry.

 Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in  Taxi Driver

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver

Not that these are new theories, but the online buzz seems to encourage journaling or meditation to aid productivity. Is there someone you would recommend to help with either overcoming or avoiding Writer’s Block?

I’m definitely a fan of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way series, particularly the idea of morning pages. Essentially, it’s a way to derail anxiety. You’re waking up and writing so fast that you can skip over that anxiousness.

I’m always surprised when I meet writers who do not journal or do morning pages because that’s your own internal gold mine. These are your personal, individual experiences. You may not even recognize it in the moment, but let’s say you write about a surprise party you threw for your wife that turned out to be a disaster and a year from now, it may be something to help you with a story. If you don’t put in those details, you’re going to forget about it. Working inward is the gold you can mine forever. The more personal something is, the more universal it is.

  The Artist’s Way , by Julia Cameron

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron

Clients will often reveal something that they believe no one has ever felt before, but in reality, it’s something I hear from many clients. I don’t discuss that similarity due to confidentiality, but we all share the same feelings. People might feel that they are the stupidest person in the writer’s group, for example, even when the show-runner is telling them they’re doing great and they’ve won an award recently. There are certain times in life when we do not feel authentic and we assume we haven’t earned our success.

I tell my clients to do their best, do their inner work, and have an outside life. Pick a time to shut down the laptop and go play baseball with the kids or cook for your wife. When you’re 100 and looking back on life, while writing may be a big part of it, there are so many other roles we play. Son or daughter, father or mother, sister or brother—these are the roles we play and we ignore those roles at our own peril. 

For a free 15-minute consultation or to book an introductory appointment, Philip Ruddy can be reached on (+1) (424) 354-3910 or via his website: ActivelyImagine.com.

Part 1 of 3: Is "Creative Block" Really a Thing?

"Well, I haven’t given poetry up, but I rather think poetry has given me up." -- Philip Larkin

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by Philip Ruddy, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

As a therapist who helps writers, comedians and film and television professionals transcend writer's block, I'm often asked by others who aren't in the industry, "What IS "writer’s block" (or creative block) anyway? And is it really a thing?"  (The unspoken subtext often being, "Isn't that just a term that starving artists, or lazy, overpaid creatives use, when they don't feel like actually working?")

"Yes," I tell them.  "It's a thing.  Really.  And no - they're not making it up to get out of work.  What they actually want more than anything, is to get BACK to work.  Only there's a brick wall (or devouring ogre, or demonic clown, or deadly quicksand, or . . . fill in the blank here), that is preventing them. "  I've worked with enough creatives who suffer from it,  to see the ugly reality of what can occur if it goes untreated for long, including anxiety, depression, job stress (or loss), marital problems, drug or alcohol abuse, and other related life crises.  If they could just get over it - trust me - they would.  

So then what IS it - exactly? 

Part of the challenge in explaining writers block is simply defining the term. For purposes of this post, let's define it simply as:  any unwanted restriction of creative output.  (Note: I use the terms writer’s block and creative block interchangeably throughout these posts.)

Although no official diagnostic category exists for this condition in the DSM-5, in Understanding Writer’s Block: A Therapist’s Guide, psychotherapist Martin Kantor (1995) proposed diagnoses of more than 10 forms of creative or writer’s blocks, including affective spectrum disorder block, obsessive-compulsive disorder block, post-traumatic stress disorder block, and addiction block, and maintained that clients’ treatment needs differ according to the source and presentation of their block. Kantor also questioned the decision by scientific experts not to include creative block in the fourth edition of the DSM (APA, 1994) while including other far less common ailments such as the fear of going outside or eating in public (Kantor, 1995, p. 4).  I must say, I find his argument compelling. 

Historically, references to writer’s block abound, and are usually traced back to mid-century psychologist Edmund Bergler (1950, 1955), who first coined the term. A Freudian by training, Bergler viewed writer’s block as a form of “psychic masochism” and “the unconscious wish to defeat one’s conscious aims” (as cited in Ghorayshi, 2012, para. 1).  He also considered it “oral masochism, entrapment in rage over the milk-denying pre-Oedipal mother” (Acocella, 2004, para. 7). American literature scholar Kevin C. Moore (2013) suggested that the broader concept of writer's block actually predates Bergler however, crediting philosopher and psychologist William James, circa 1890.  I will explore some of my own experiences and beliefs in future posts, but suffice to say for now that my leanings are closer to those of Carl Jung than the Freudians.  Whatever the origin, and however one defines the term, the fact that writers block does exist is bolstered by the legions of writers and artists who have suffered from it. 

Among the more famously afflicted were:

Leo Tolstoy, Gustave Flaubert, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, Henry Roth, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Walsh, 2008), to name a small group.  Impressive company, you say? 

Here are more:  

Novelist Henry Roth, who published his much-acclaimed book Call It Sleep, in 1934, took 60 years to complete his follow-up novel.  It was panned. (Walsh, 2008).

John Fowles (1969), best-selling author of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, spent the last 20 years of his life in seclusion, working on a follow-up to his book, which he never completed (Walsh, 2008).

Southern Gothic novelist Harper Lee (1960), was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book, To Kill a Mockingbird, and spent the rest of her life working on a second novel while simultaneously insisting she had nothing more to say (Toohey, 2011).

In his book, The Courage to Write, Ralph Keyes (2003) described the life of beloved children’s book author E. B. White, who, despite having written the best-selling classics Stuart Little (1945) and Charlotte’s Web (1952) and winning The Presidential Medal of freedom, the National Medal for Literature, and the Pulitzer Prize (Mitgang, 1985), once told his friend and fellow author James Thurber that he “considered himself the second most inactive writer living, and the third most discouraged” (Acocella, 2004, p. 4).

New Yorker staff writer Joseph Mitchell published an acclaimed story entitled “Joe Gould’s Secret” for the magazine in 1964 and then faithfully reported to his office for the next 32 years, where he sat, allegedly typing, but never completing another assignment (Overbey, 2013).

In 2008, Britain’s former poet laureate Andrew Motion revealed that despite years of previous creative productivity, once he received his illustrious appointment, he found himself unable to complete any poetry of significance whatsoever.  Can you imagine how that must have felt?  (Walsh, 2008).

More recently, in an interview regarding his recent TED talk “How Do You Get Over Writer's Block?” acclaimed singer-songwriter Sting (2014) revealed that after an enviably long career in which he wrote and performed dozens of hit songs and sold millions of albums, his creative muse suddenly abandoned him for almost a decade. Like others before him, he searched for spiritual and psychological insights to understand "Why?" He asked, "What have I done to offend the gods that they would abandon me so? Is this gift of songwriting taken away as easily as it seems to have been bestowed? Or perhaps, there’s a more, deeper psychological reason. It was always a Faustian pact anyway. You’re rewarded for revealing your innermost thoughts—your private emotions on the page for the entertainment of others—for the analysis, the scrutiny of others. And perhaps you’ve given enough of your privacy away." (para. 52)  

This question, “What have I done to cause this, and what can I do to restore myself?” plagues everyone with on-going creative blocks, and a cornucopia of treatment ideas have been suggested and explored over the years.  In the next post, I will explore some, as well as some of my own experiences regarding its origins, and ways that, with intention and practice, one may finally begin to heal and find relief. 

Wishing you courage and creativity!

Philip Ruddy, MA, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Philip Ruddy, MA, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #89594, works in private practice under the supervision of Jennifer Bergman, LMFT #44775. He helps creative artists, writers, producers, directors, punks, comics, rockers and film / music professionals explore, manage and often transcend anxiety, depression, career / creative blocks, midlife transitions and relationship issues.  Call  (424) 354-3910 today for a free 15-minute consultation, and take the next step on your personal creative journey.

Did Metallica’s Lead Singer Really Earn a Ph.D. In Astrophysics In His 50's?

 
   Image by Pete Linforth  /  CC License 2.0

 Image by Pete Linforth / CC License 2.0

by Philip Ruddy, MA, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

A friend recently forwarded me a news story about the lead singer of heavy metal band Metallica's James Hetfield, who the article declared, at the age of 52, had just achieved his secret, life-long goal of earning a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, 

The article quickly circulated around social media, with many fans and readers expressing surprise, congratulations, and in some quarters, sheer disbelief.

It turns out, the article was purely satire — and untrue.  But, I wondered why the concept was presumably funny for many to imagine.  Is it really so hard to accept that someone in middle age might secretly have a passion for something seemingly contrary to their outward, public persona?  The humor of the piece is based upon the idea that a seemingly rough and tumble guy like James Hetfield would never really do such a thing.  Yet, I know from my own work with clients, that middle-age is a time where we often do ask ourselves the big questions, and take more risks, including pursuing our as yet unexplored personal goals

As a Los Angeles-based depth psychotherapist,  I myself chose to re-direct the course of my life and career toward the field of therapy in my 40’s — after working for almost 20 years in film and television production.  That transition was not always easy, and I could not have done it without the support and encouragement of many others, but the decision brought a range of joy and fulfillment into my life that I never could have imagined when I was younger, and there is not a single day where I regret my choice to do an honest inventory, gather my courage, and take action.

Many of my clients now come to me because they are going through similar life transitions, asking how they might focus, or perhaps re-focus, their lives and career in a manner that has more personal meaning for them.  The opportunity to work with them is deeply meaningful for me, and provides a satisfying bridge from my past career to my present. 

Psychologist Eric Erikson, best known for his pioneering work on the stages of human development, looked at the fundamental opportunity of Midlife (age 40-65) as a choice between Generativity vs. Stagnation.  

Choosing the path of Generativity includes looking inwardly to identify our integral personal values and goals, and then moving outwardly to productively connect and share these values with our friends, family, and community — giving something of value to the next generation. 

Choosing the path of Stagnation means avoiding opportunities for inner reflection, personal growth, meaningful productivity, and deeper connection to the people in our lives and community.

The truth is, we as humans do make radical and surprising changes in mid-life, every day. 

James Hetfield may not have gone back to school, but rock guitar legend Brian May, of the band Queen actually did earn a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the Imperial College London in 2007, completing studies which he had started decades earlier, prior to becoming a professional musician. 

Similarly, punk rock icon Greg Graffin, lead singer and songwriter for Bad Religion earned a Ph.D. in Zoology from Cornell, published two books on science and math, and teaches paleontology at UCLA  

Truth can be stranger than fiction. 

For many of us, this period of midlife is incredibly rich and exciting.  A time in which we have enough life experience to have gained a little wisdom and perspective — and with luck, enough energy to re-direct ourselves in a manner that’s more in alignment with our inner compass.

I invite you to reflect upon where you are in your own life and consider Erikson’s simple question:  Generativity?  Or Stagnation? 

No matter where we are in life, every moment of every day provides us with new choices and new opportunities. And if there is anything I’ve learned from my own journey — and the journeys of so many of my clients, it is this simple phrase:  

It is never too late to start.  

Philip Ruddy, MA, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #89594, works in private practice under the supervision of Jennifer Bergman, LMFT #44775. He helps creative artists, writers, producers, directors, punks, comics, rockers and film / music professionals explore, manage and often transcend anxiety, depression, career / creative blocks, midlife transitions and relationship issues.  Call  (424) 354-3910 today for a free 15-minute consultation, and take the next step on your personal creative journey.

Sources:

Erikson. Erik H. and Joan M. (1997) The Life Cycle Completed: Extended Version. New York: W. W. NortonImage "Rock Guitar Heavy Metal Guitarist" licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.  It is attributed to Pete Linforth. The original version can be found here.

Slater, C.L. (2003). Generativity versus stagnation: An elaboration of Erikson's adult stage of human development. Journal of Adult Development 10, 53-65.

https://www.verywell.com/generativity-versus-stagnation-2795734

https://www.quora.com/Did-James-Hetfield-really-earn-a-PhD-in-astrophysics

Image: "Rock Guitar Heavy Metal Guitarist" created by Pete Linforth.  Llicensed under Creative Commons 2.0.  Original version can be found here.

 

 

The Hero's* Journey ... for Writers, Artists & Performers

by Philip Ruddy, MA, MFTI

As a writer, artist, comedian or performer, you are probably familiar with Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey model.  But do you realize that YOU TOO are on this great, mythic journey?  Click below to learn more . . . 

Philip Ruddy, MA, MFTI is a Los Angeles-based depth psychotherapist and registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern #89594, working in private practice under the supervision of Jennifer Bergman, LMFT #44775. He loves helping writers, comics, actors, artists and other film/TV professionals explore and transcend anxiety, depression, creative blocks, midlife transitions and relationship issues.  Why wait any longer? Call  (424) 354-3910 today for a free 15-minute consultation, and take the first step in your new creative journey. 

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New L.A. Dads:

A Support Group for New Fathers

** New Group forming Now **

Are you feeling . . . FRUSTRATED?  ISOLATED?  OVERWHELMED?

Being a new Dad can be a joyful blessing

and an incredible challenge

Why not consider joining a group? 

            • Share your fatherhood wisdom and experiences with other Dads

            • Gain support, validation and helpful tips

            • Learn how to improve communication with your partner AND your child

            • No drum circles, poetry reading, or primal screaming required

When: Thursdays @ 7:00pm in the Mid-Wilshire area

Cost:  $45 per session, with a 6-session commitment.  (Maximum of 5 Dads per group)

Group Facilitator: Philip Ruddy, MFTI is a depth psychotherapist and pre-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in private practice in the Mid-Wilshire district.  He is also the loving father of a four-year-old son, holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and specializes in men’s issues, as well as working with writers and artists in the areas of creative blocks, anxiety, depression and the unique stressors of the film and television industry.

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Why Should We Actively Imagine?

by Philip Ruddy, MA, MFTI

What does it mean to Actively Imagine, and how can it help us in a therapeutic, healing capacity? As both psychologist Carl Jung and creative pioneer Steve Jobs remind us, all human creations must first be incubated in the mind or imagination before they can become manifest. Click BELOW to READ MORE.

 

Philip Ruddy, MA, MFTI is a Los Angeles-based depth psychotherapist and registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern #89594, working in private practice under the supervision of Jennifer Bergman, LMFT #44775. He loves helping writers, comics, actors, artists and other film/TV professionals explore and transcend anxiety, depression, creative blocks, midlife transitions and relationship issues.  Why wait any longer? Call  (424) 354-3910 today for a free 15-minute consultation, and take the first step in your new creative journey. 

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