Michael Shaffran, LCSW

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Accepted Insurance Plans:

  • APS,Inc.
  • Aetna
  • BlueCross and/or BlueShield
  • ComPsych
  • CuraLinc
  • Medicare
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • PacifiCare
  • TRICARE
  • TriWest
  • United Behavioral Health
  • WellPoint

Quick Facts

  • CARING, COMPASSIONATE AND CONCERNED COUNSELOR
  • 35 YEARS IN THE MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHIATRY PROFESSION
  • TRAINED IN MULTIPLE THERAPIES: GESTALT, EMDR, HYPNOSIS, SOLUTION FOCUSED,
    PSYCHODYNAMIC AND FAMILY THERAPY
  • PROVIDES THERAPY IN SPANISH AND UNDERSTANDS LATINO AND HISPANIC CULTURES
  • MULTICULTURAL BACKGROUND: TAUGHT ENGLISH IN KOREA; TRAVELLED THROUGH ASIA, RUSSIA, EUROPE AND THE CARIBBEAN

Men and Creativity
Written by Mike Shaffran   
In my psychotherapy with men of all ages, I noticed that many men have given up on their creative personalities. Many were coaxed or even forced into jobs or careers that they really disliked, if not despised. They were told:" You need to make a living so you can support your (future) wife and children or you can't be a struggling artist, this will be tough on you and your family." There were many variations on these type of admonitions but the common denominator is that one should play it safe and think financial security at all costs (pun not intended) or else there could be serious consequences, ie. divorce, separation from children, financial ruin, homelessness, poverty, shame etc. These societal and familial threats have kept men stuck, in many instances, and these passionless jobs or careers have added to men drinking, drugging, having affairs, pornography and gambling to name a few addictions and destructive behaviors. Ironically, what was predicted to happen if men didn't keep their lackluster jobs led to the very behaviors that were suppose to be avoided if they conformed to societal demands. I am not saying that every man everywhere needs to quit his job and start painting or sculpting but I am saying that without creative outlets--and possible job or career changes--many men will become bitter, disillusioned and even depressed and hopeless. Sadly, some will become suicidal or even succeed. So, in reading a book recently called Wired To Create by Kaufman, Ph.D and Gregoire, a journalist, they suggested that some men are geared to create. They say ways to access this creativity is through 10 steps: 1. Imaginative Play, 2. Passion, 3. Daydreaming, 4. Intuition, 5. Openeness to Experience, 6. Mindfulness, 7.Sensitivity, 8.Turning Adversity into Advantage, 9. Solitutude and 10. Thinking Differently. Wouldn't be a wonderful world if boys and adolescents were encouraged to access their creativity so that by the time they arrived at adulthood, they would have choices on the types of profession they might choose. Whether their creative outlets led to a career or simply an avocation would not be as important as supporting them in the pursuit of happiness. Happy boys and men will lead to a happier society, whether men marry or not. Happier men who marry will mean happier spouses and children. Final thought: as more girls and women choose to become lawyers, doctors, engineers or run for President of the United States, so too can men choose to be artists, writers, painters, designers and caregivers.
 
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