The connection between creativity, storytelling, and human development is persistent and profound. The stories we cherish help us to learn, grow, and heal. Stories of trauma and travail match and illuminate our own journeys of struggle and suffering. Stories of discovery and joy guide us toward our own wisdom. Ultimately, all of our stories are maps for navigating the landscape of humanity. This video series explores these deep connections and highlights important insights for building a bridge between the inner life and the wider world of storytelling.

Layers of the Creative Process

Layers upon layers, reaching ever deeper: this is the nature of creativity. It’s the nature of great stories too, and of personal development. How are these things connected? How might we follow those connections?

Wisdom in the Wound of Trauma

The roots and paths of trauma (in life and in storytelling) are complex and sometimes surprising. The approaches that people follow in their search for healing reflect the diversity and resilience of human character. Trauma can be a burden, an opening, a source of wisdom, and many other things. The path of healing does not lead us back to the person we once were. Trauma changes us, shapes us, creates new perspectives for us, and perhaps, even new values. These changes do not feel positive as they are happening. But authentic trauma healing also involves recognizing that wisdom lies hidden inside the wound — that meaning and purpose are to be found through the experience. How do we find the wisdom, meaning, and purpose to carry us forward, and how is this connected to storytelling and creativity?

Creativity and Mental Health

During times of turbulence and stress, the stories we tell ourselves (and the stories to which we are drawn) can help us stay emotionally healthy and connected to ourselves and those around us. The stories we tell can also damage us, leaving us adrift with uncertainty and doubt. Stories and creative practices have the power to both heal and harm. The deep relationship between mental health and creativity is perhaps the most exhaustively studied area in the domain of arts. This video explores that relationship.

Addictions and the Shadow Path

Addictions are perhaps the most common human frailties. What do our stories tell us about this? What is the relationship between creativity and the shadow paths of addiction? How might writers and artists understand the persistence of addiction among so many creative people? What does this mean and what should we do?

Patterns and Pathways

Drawing together the threads explored so far in this series, this video examines the layers of experience that we embody (and that characters in stories embody) and the foundational requirements for healing, growth, and change. What elements do meaningful stories necessarily contain, how might we develop these elements, and what can they teach us about our own lives?

Toward Wholeness

The final video in the series, with further considerations for deepening storytelling and human development.