Dr Anna Haigh

Psychology for Creative Artists: Rediscover Creativity with Tools from the Therapy Room

An interactive, self-reflective guide that applies techniques from contemporary clinical psychology to benefit creative artists and anyone seeking to increase their capacity for personal and professional creativity, innovation, originality and growth.



Most creative artists encounter ‘dry spells’; similarly, many of us feel there is a creative project inside us that never quite gets out. Either way, wherever there is a block, there is an opportunity for enquiry and exploration. If all creativity is generated by the mind, then psychology is uniquely placed to speak to the creative process.

Using a psychological lens to explore this subject in fine detail, Psychology for Creative Artists considers questions such as how to develop as a creative being, how context shapes our response to our own and others’ work, and how psychological blocks can prevent action.

Drawing on her personal experience as both a psychologist and a creative artist, Dr Anna Haigh looks at the powerful role of emotions and inspiration, and employs tools drawn from her clinical work to take readers on an enlightening and interactive journey through ways in which they can discover, deepen and sustain a more creative life.


Anyone who considers themselves creative, wants to develop creatively or has an interest in the science of creativity, including but not limited to artists in all media. Art students; artists experiencing a block or wishing to increase authenticity. A broad range of professionals who need to be creative in their work, for example therapists, entrepreneurs, software developers, architects, designers, investors, researchers.


Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd

ISBN: 9781803882833

Publication Date: July 2023



1. Setting the scene
2. The creative self in context
3. The development of creativity
4. The role of emotions
5. Inspiration
6. Action
7. If you build it, they will come
8. Moving forwards


Anna Haigh is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) practitioner with over twenty years’ experience working with adults and children, both in the NHS and in private practice.

During this time, she has facilitated supervision groups and reflective practice sessions for creative artists within education institutions and in the community. Dr Haigh is also a published writer, ceramicist and musician and can therefore reflect on the creative process through both a professional and personal lens.


  1. Rita Hardwick

    Not since Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has there been such an empowering, enlightening and life-changing book as this. The wisdom revealed will take you on a journey away from everything that constrains you, leading you to your true, authentic, and creative self. I anticipate great and exciting outcomes for the future of creative expression.

  2. Emma Williams

    This is the sort of book I would like to revisit again and use a reference in future, repeating the exercises over time. My initial impression is that the narrator’s voice is warm and kind, non-judgemental and curious about my own experience. She asks questions that allow the reader to gently explore their backgrounds, where they are at now and where they are going. At every point there are signposts for additional support if required.

    I would recommend this book to those who would conventionally refer to themselves as ‘creatives’ as well as those who might not. I’m planning on giving a copy to a friend who is an illustrator as I’m sure she will find it useful. I read parts of the book aloud to my partner while on a long car journey and was interested to hear that for him, coming from a working class background, the arts were considered unimportant, unlikely to bring in any money and frankly unnecessary. Even though as an adult he has developed an appreciation for several forms of creative expression that resonate with him, he still struggles to accept the creative side of himself and is tentatively keen to develop this further. While I was never discouraged from exploring my artistic side, it was never prioritised, and a career in medicine left it for the most part sidelined. As a result, that part of myself has remained largely unexplored for the majority of my adult life. This book is a licence to explore creativity further no matter where you are coming from. The author encourages the reader to play, moving away from the idea that the goal is to produce work. This can be surprisingly challenging for those of us who are accustomed to pursuing goals and striving but I think particularly important if we are to nurture the creative child inside of us. I also enjoy the idea of ‘mulling’, allowing space for ideas to develop and pop up naturally.

    One of many insights from the book I found interesting was the concept that artists have the power to set a narrative for the future. It is true that we look around us for something tangible to base a vision on, and creating an image or story of the future, or giving a voice to a part of society that is unheard, gives the arts a power that is very often underestimated.

    Overall this book includes some fascinating insights into the arts, exploring creativity and overcoming challenges. It will have appeal to a wide audience and supports the reader through the process with a kind, approachable voice that feels like an old friend. I will definitely be recommending it to others.

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