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60 Innovative Cognitive Strategies for the Bright, the Sensitive, and the Creative


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Table of Contents

Introduction Part I. Dynamic Self-Regulation and Healthy Indwelling 1. Humane Help for Smart, Sensitive, Creative Clients 2. Dynamic Self-Regulation 3. Healthy Indwelling 4. Existential Traditions and Underpinnings 5. Unhealthy Indwelling Versus Healthy Indwelling 6. Driven, Unsatisfied, Happy and Tortured 7. Keys to Healthy Indwelling 8. Using the Exercises Part II. 30 Cognitive Strategies for Mental Health 1. Installing Windows 2. Safety Valve 3. Easy Chair 4. Second Answers 5. Admonishing Trickster 6. Empty Platform 7. Exit Door 8. Tantrum Mind 9. Tactics Table 10. Dance, Smile, Scone 11. Left Index Finger 12. Sorting Through Injustices 13. Mind Party 14. Saying Goodnight 15. Hot Lava, Ice Water 16. The One-Word Solution 17. River Path 18. Bedrock 19. Rebound Corner 20. Winter Overcoat 21. Old Friend 22. The Complete Answer 23. Calmness Switch 24. Non-Magnifying Glass 25. Resilience Mat 26. Meaning Fountain 27. Drama Royalty 28. Beauty Drawer 29. Power Bars 30. Wallpaper Part III. 30 Cognitive Strategies for Increased Creativity 31. Blazing Fire 32. Snow Globe Collection 33. Altar 34. Speaker's Corner 35. Selection Table 36. Mug Collection 37. Hat Drawer 38. Life Purpose China 39. Screen Time 40. Mirror, Mirror 41. Appointment Calendar 42. Crystal Ball 43. Stumble Zone 44. Hope Chest 45. Corrective Lenses 46. Appetite Artistry 47. Seven-Word Corner 48. Identity Pledge 49. Anxiety Vows 50. Sitting on Your Hands 51. Costume Closet 52. Straightjacket Storage 53. Shoes of the Other 54. Day Job Skin 55. Comparison-Free Zone 56. Ice Cube Tray 57. Still Life with Apricots 58. Pad of Checklists 59. Grandeur Corner 60. Mattering Sweater In Conclusion

About the Author

Eric Maisel, PhD, is a retired family therapist, creativity coach, and internationally respected expert in the field of mental health reform. He is the author of more than 50 books and reaches a substantial audience with his personal list, Psychology Today blog, print column for Professional Artist Magazine, guest editorship for parent resources at Mad in America, and weekly appearance in the Fine Art America newsletter.


"Eric Maisel is at the cutting edge in the field of creativity and health. He reminds us that `being smart, sensitive, creative, and troubled go hand in hand,' but the current system, which calls these problems a mental disorder and prescribes drugs or `talk therapy,' is inadequate and outdated. This is a must-read book for clinicians and clients alike. I've used these practices myself, and they really work. Plus, they are fun to read and easy to use. I highly recommend this fine book." Jed Diamond, PhD, author of The Enlightened Marriage and From Madness to Manhood "Once again, Eric Maisel takes the arcane topic of mental illness and transforms it into everyday language, avoiding the inhumane pitfalls of the illness model of human distress. Using the visual metaphor of `the room that is your mind,' he presents practical applications that can restore well-being in times of existential angst. This book is especially geared for people of existential sensibility, given their creativity and resistance to cultural conformity and the emotional anguish of such rebellion." Chuck Ruby, PhD, executive director of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry "Imagine each day going to the garbage and spreading it throughout your house. Few would argue this is sane behavior. Yet within the room that is our mind, many people spread anger, guilt, worry, and resentment everywhere. Dr. Eric Maisel teaches us how the mind has the ability to enter into self-conversation and how to utilize this to choose our inner dialogue and enter into dynamic self-regulation. The results are profound and bring expanded awareness, insight, inspiration, creativity, and focused concentration." Lee Jampolsky, PhD, bestselling author of Healing the Addictive Personality and Smile for No Good Reason "With humor and compassion, Maisel outlines 60 exercises for trading one's self-pestering for healthy indwelling. He explains how to replace anxiety with freedom and joy and convert our mental bed of nails into an easy chair. The book's engaging and practical tools teach readers to be gentle with themselves and achieve new heights of understanding and creativity. For self-doubters, this book is not just inspirational, but a profound relief." Judith Schlesinger, PhD, author of The Insanity Hoax: Exposing the Myth of the Mad Genius

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