DOI: 10.14704/nq.2011.9.3.458

Creativity Revalued: How Professors, Students, and an Innovative University Are Turning the Tide

Ruth Richards, Judith Kolva, Mindy Atkin, Harvey Cheatham, Ruth Crocker, Marta Davidovich Ockuly, Terri Goslin-Jones, Claire Jones, Stefan J. Kasian, Robert M. Kenny, Gina Smith

Abstract


Everyone has creativity, and it is central to survival itself; yet many don’t know this. Furthermore, our human creativity not only keeps us alive but can help us learn what we are living for. Nonetheless, in our culture, creativity—and especially everyday creativity, our “originality of everyday life”—often goes under-recognized, underdeveloped, and under-rewarded (the 3 U’s). Here are capacities, indeed a way of life, that can be both physically and psychologically healing, and not just for individuals, but for groups, cultures, and our greater environment. At Saybrook University, we are returning human creativity to its rightful place in the history of human growth and transformation, through inspired scholarship and dissemination. This article first describes the beginnings for one creativity scholar and the challenges of working off the beaten path—along with correction of misunderstandings about ways creativity contributes to mental health. It then moves to Saybrook University—a founding school in the crucial “third force” movement called humanistic psychology—where Dr. Richards fortunately became professor. Noted too are innovative Saybrook faculty and programs in creativity that have also pushed the mainstream and inspired Saybrook’s amazing students. It is our privilege to mentor and encourage them. The contributions of Drs. Stanley Krippner and Steven R. Pritzker are noted in particular, as well as the burgeoning Creativity Studies programs including a Certificate program, M.A. degree and, recently, a Ph.D.—unique offerings in this country. Ways to preserve these advances and build further on them are mentioned. Last but not least, in the second half of this presentation, we hear directly from the future—from ten remarkable Saybrook students or alumni, who tell us, first, about ways in which Saybrook mentorship and offerings have inspired them, and then, going forth from Saybrook, about ways in which they are truly changing the world.

Keywords


bipolar disorders; everyday creativity; graduate education; humanistic psychology; mentoring; self-actualization; Ruth Richards; Stanley Krippner; Steve Pritzker

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