Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: General public, Professionals in mental health, social psychology, education, business, and other agents of change.

Q: What is the book about?
A: The book explores the effects of today’s accelerated pace of change on our psychological, personal, social and political life, and provides evidence that creativity and relationship/networking skills are core competencies for success in 21st century life.

Research shows that people can acquire the “stress-resilient thinking skills” and creative capacities needed to navigate this complex, inter-connected and ever-changing social landscape. This book explores the impact of cultural, economic and political forces on our sense of self, relationships and ways of thinking, and the power that each of us possess to shape our collective future.

Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Creative Arts Therapist and Certified Group Psychotherapist who has been active as an agent of change for 27 years; both in my professional life as a therapist, trainer and writer/performer and in my personal commitment to psychological growth and community service.

As a creative arts therapist working in the medical model, I have always had to break through systemic barriers and conventional thinking to establish the validity of my holistic approach.

My experiences working with a broad range of humanity – from the chronically mentally ill in homeless shelters and psychiatric hospitals at one end of the success spectrum to staff of large organizations (e.g. The New York Public Library) and agencies going through massive institutional change at the other – have provided me a real-time view of the ways social trends impact peoples’ inner and outer lives.

From the very beginning of my career I have designed presentations and workshops that engage professionals and non-professionals in creative ways of thinking that challenge stagnant, but deeply-ingrained habits of mind that are simply not adequate to meet the challenges of 21st century life.

I have published in academic journals on the topic of creativity in the process of personal change and social transformation, and have been interviewed for articles about creativity, stress-resilience, and other creativity and arts-related themes that appeared in Women’s Day magazine, New York Newsday, L.A. Times, Recovery Press, Boomers magazine, and other publications.

Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: This book is different from other books about creativity and the knowledge economy in 21st century life in that it integrates research and information from the worlds of social psychology with marketing, business, and finance to form a more complete picture of the range of social forces that influence our psychological and emotional lives.

It combines knowledge about the ways that advertising and consumer culture are changing our brains and the way we experience life, as well as the brain chemistry and neurological joyride that is creative experience. What separates this book from others about creativity and 21st century life is the inclusion of a wide range of studies connecting the fragmented, compartmentalized knowledge about creativity, connection and consciousness.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about this book?
A: Some key points:

• The ways that advertising, media pressures, and other aspects of high-tech society influence our worldview and habits of mind;

• Social capital and its relationship to mental and physical health, stress-resilience and sustainability in the future;

• Music in brain development, health and social connection;

• The ways that consumer culture continually redesigns what it means to have a good-enough life, with impacts on our sense of self, family life, and health.

• How arts training, creative development, and creative experiences grow the brain, strengthen psychological resilience and the dynamic interactions between our personal choices and the direction of our future.

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