Van Gogh

Meaning-Making with Eric Maisel, PhD

On Creativity, Coaching, Depression, and Existentialism

Eric MaiselEric Maisel, PhD, is the author of more than fifty books in the areas of creativity, the creative life, coaching, life purpose and meaning, writing, and critical psychology and critical psychiatry. His books include The Coach's Way, Fearless Creating, Coaching the Artist Within, The Power of Daily Practice, Why Smart People Hurt, and Redesign Your Mind. Dr. Maisel, widely regarded as America's foremost creativity coach, is a retired psychotherapist, active creativity coach, and critical psychology advocate. Visit him at

The Coach's Way

Coaching Begins with You

Before talking about techniques, tactics, principles, and philosophies, remember: Coaching begins with you.

The Art of the Drop-In

A coach is like an inventor in that you must improvise when working with clients.

Musing and Wondering

Each coaching check-in is an opportunity to muse and wonder with your client.

Art of the Song

Eric Maisel on Art of the Song Creativity Corner

Eric Maisel is a frequent contributor to Art of the Song. These essays are reprinted with permission from his on-air segment and are excerpted from his books: Creativity For Life; A Writer's Paris; A Writer's San Francisco; and others.

Taking a Creative Escape: 6 Ideas to Get You Started

A creative escape is a little time-out-of-time that you carve from your schedule to devote to running away to art.

Cultural Permission to Create

You feel at home in Paris because you are encouraged to sit and write and people watch, to adjourn to a neighboring cafe and write and people watch some more, and pass an entire day this way.

The Opinions of Others

Isn't this a lesson that we have to learn again and again, that every "objective opinion" is an assertion of idiosyncratic personality and not anything like the truth?

Crafting a Starting Ritual

One of the best ways to help yourself create every day is to craft a starting ritual that you begin to use regularly and routinely. These eight ritual ideas will help get you started.

Taking the Bad with the Good

In order to create, we must take the bad with the good. You are bound to write many bad paragraphs along with the good ones.

Rethinking Depression

Eric Maisel on Creativity and Meaning-Making

Making Your Creative Mark: 97 Creativity Tips

Nine Keys to Achieving Your Artistic Goals. A Refresher Course of Ninety-Seven Creativity Tips.

Mastering Creative Anxiety

If you intend to create, get ready for anxiety. You can handle it beautifully if you use these simple tools. Series features 15 Anxiety Management Techniques and a discussion of the anxiety of Identity, Choosing, Possibility, and Performing.

Rethinking Depression

How to Shed Mental Health Labels and Create Personal Meaning. Series covers the existential ideal and reality, what depression treatments really do, and what psychotherapy proves.

The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path Through Depression

Learn insights from The Van Gogh Blues through this enlightening interview with Eric Maisel on creativity, depression, life purpose statements, and meaning-making. Includes excerpt Meaningful Life, Meaningful Work, Meaningful Days.

The Logic of Brainstorms

Gain deeper insight into productive obsessions in this piece and Q & A with Eric and Ann Maisel about the book Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions.