“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” –Maya Angelou
It has been such a privilege to serve the Hope Street community since April of 2020. Back then, we were all just at the beginning of this unprecedented time that has disrupted so many of our regular routines, choices, and ways that we spend our days. I am grateful to have been invited into an organization seeking to support people and to promote positive change during this time.
The creator of Psychodrama, Jacob Moreno, believed that spontaneity and creativity are key to growth and change. Spontaneity, Moreno describes, is the spark or catalyst that spurs us into action, and creativity is the substance or idea that we enact. When we are warmed up to our own spontaneity and creativity, we are able to adequately respond to new or unexpected situations that come our way, and we can respond in new and effective ways to familiar, repeated interactions and situations (Moreno, 1993).
In my role as a psychodramatist and music therapist at Hope Street, I meet individuals and groups from a place of compassionate support, with a firm belief in each person’s innate spontaneity and creativity. For many who come to Hope Street, those resources of spontaneity and creativity have been difficult to access or have been immobilized by forces such as past trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression, negative self-concept, or inadequate support, among others.
Within the fertile soil of compassion and acceptance, safety, and patience, clients at Hope Street are able to begin to grow seeds of courage and hope. In a collaborative therapeutic environment, individuals and groups have the opportunity to practice new ways of thinking, being, and responding within challenging life circumstances and relationships. Clients are given the needed space, freedom, and support to identify and move toward new goals and possibilities that may have previously seemed out of reach.
As human beings, change is rarely easy or comfortable. We often cling to doing things the way we have always done them, even if that is not working well. A necessary and important part of change is sitting with the uncomfortable and sometimes painful feelings and experiences that we carry. When given a supported, safe space in which to reflect, it is possible to feel the anger, fear, and grief that have been buried, to transform shame into self-compassion and acceptance. When able to connect with and embrace all of who we are, it becomes more possible to let go of those ways of being that have outgrown their usefulness and that block healing and growth. It becomes possible to hold oneself with love, to access the inexhaustible supply of spontaneity and creativity that are within each one of us, and to make choices and take action in healthy ways.
I have found music to be an important resource in the process of growth and healing. Like emotion, music has an ebb and flow that moves and shifts through time. Through listening to songs, singing or playing music, or writing original songs or poetry, clients at Hope Street experience the power of music to hold and support, to release tension, to express their truth, to help them feel less alone, and to find a new rhythm.
Within psychodrama groups, clients step into role-playing as an opportunity to explore past, present, or future interactions. Clients are invited, through writing or action to connect with resources, to practice new thoughts and behaviors, and to step into challenging interactions with the support of the therapist and the group. Different than regular life, in psychodrama, the interaction can be slowed down, paused, or repeated. There is an opportunity to shift perspective through reversing roles with others or with different parts of the self, there is the possibility to include a supportive resource in the drama that was not available in life at a moment when it was desperately needed. Through the engaging process of psychodrama, clients have the opportunity to release what they have been holding on to and to make room for new beliefs, emotions, actions, and connection.
I am grateful to work alongside so many creative and talented therapists, coaches, and administrative staff at Hope Street. Each brings a unique perspective and set of skills to support the process of growth and change. Together we accompany the clients who come to Hope Street on an important part of their healing journey.
Wishing you a hopeful start to this New Year – let your spontaneity and creativity be your guide for living in healthy and fulfilling ways.
Peace and light,
Amy Clarkson, MMT, LCAT, MT-BC, TEP
Music Therapist and Psychodramatist
Hope Street and Chrysalis Way
Moreno, J. L. (1993). Who Shall Survive? Foundations of Sociometry, Group
Psychotherapy and Sociodrama, student edition. American Society of Group
Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.