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Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity Paperback – June 14, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With exercises at the end of each chapter, Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity probes the forces that may be holding you back -- be they negative messages from parents, society or even your own dark side...O'Doherty's thoughtful chapters on blending creativity with motherhood or aging may resonate with those whose right-brain longings have been stuck on the back burner." -- The Washington Post

About the Author

Dr. Susan O'Doherty is a psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in breaking down barriers to the creative process. She is also an advice columnist whose weekly online column, "The Doctor Is In," helps artists and writers break through their barriers to creativity. Her essays have been published in two anthologies: It's a Boy and Familiar. She lives in Brooklyn with her son.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (June 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580052061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580052061
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,514,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's a well-written book which offers an optimistic hand to those who wish to exert their creativity. Interesting in that it challenges the notion that the artist is probably as neurotic as the rest of us, if not more so. Neurosis does not feed creativity here.

Questions of self-esteem, as manifest in different clients, are dealt with in layman's terms, creating an excellent self-help manual for the would be writer who's just a little stuck and an enjoyable read for the rest of us who avoid exercise in the gym or on the couch.
Peg
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Every woman who has had experiences - positive or negative - with expressing her creativity should get value from this book. Although I don't normally trust authors who create "combination characters" in order to make their points, in this case I was able to accept it because there was probably no way to avoid doing this without serious confidentiality consequences. And I am totally impressed and respectful of O'Doherty's obvious honesty and courage in relating her own life experiences and insights in order to further her readers' willingness to work on their issues. As with all good writing no matter what the genre, the more specific the material, the more it allows the universality of the concepts to emerge.
I confess that I did not do the recommended exercises. However I find I've been writing more. Hmmm....
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Format: Paperback
Marketed as a self help book for women artists, I personally found this book to be extraordinarily useful to both women and men.
The author of "Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued" describes in deceptively simple terms
psychological phenomena, which then become clear and accessible to the reader. She talks about them in an interesting way, and I think that both men and women will relate to them.
I have learned from this book without ever feeling lectured to, or overwhelmed.
I am a male professor of literature, and I have found this book most useful and enlightening, thanks to its pragmatic approach to creativity. While I was reading, I felt that the author actually knew the personal mechanisms of my own creativity as an educator, as well as the many issues that students struggle with--whether students are male or female, young or older.
So I highly recommend it to anyone interested in any artistic production. The author's great achievement is to actually lead
the reader to achieve his or her personal goal.
Alors, toutes mes félicitations à l'auteur, Susan O' Doherty, et merci !

Émile Bedriomo, Ph.D. in Literature (French) from New York University,
author of the book "Proust, Wagner et la coincidence des Arts", and others.
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Format: Paperback
Wow. This book is excellent.
The best thing about this book is the author's completely realistic view of the obstacles facing artists; particularly women. I immediately trust a psychotherapist who knows that having to do the dishes can be just as obstructive as a destructive Jungian "shadow self."
No. The best thing about this book is the writing. Dr. O'Doherty tells the reader she has been a speech writer, a poet, a playwright and an author of fiction - and it shows. Her sample composite-patients' portraits are vivid. Their life stories and the author's are told with a captivating narrative voice. Self help books aren't normally this well written!
I especially appreciate that Dr. O'Doherty points out that there really are external obstacles that exist - created by our society, our communities, our families, friends and colleagues - that all of us, but especially artists, may have to confront in order to be creative and productive. It's not all in our heads. Dr. O'Doherty makes novel, positive use of the examples of other women's experiences. She stresses the importance of role models, and even provides a list of inspiring women who created great works in their middle age and beyond.
In 1929, Virginia Woolf wrote, "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Dr. O'Doherty takes this idea many steps further with practical advice and effective guidance through the complex process of self-examination as it relates to becalmed inspiration or a "deferred dream."
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Format: Paperback
I doubt that there's a female writer, artist, painter, or musician out there who hasn't absorbed some kind of negative message about her talent or her right to pursue it. Such messages might not come from those near and dear to her, but they are everywhere in the culture--still, today. Yes, we've come a long way, but we have miles left to go.

Who better to guide us than a woman who is both an artist herself (a writer of both fiction and nonfiction) and a clinical psychologist who specializes in counseling creative women?

Sue O'Doherty weaves her own struggles and doubts into her discussion of the countless ways in which women are informed, subtly or blatantly, that they are lesser citizens in the world of art. Her personal voice only underscores the authenticity of her professional one, and I, for one, heard the same honesty and wisdom in both. I found the insights and calm perspective in this book inspiring and helpful, not because I was blocked when I read it, but because O'Doherty's overall take on women's position in the arts is one worth bearing in mind even when we are productive.
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