Today we talk about The five dynamics of creative development, a book by Johannes Ziskoven and Ad Van Vugt published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the authors Johannes Ziskoven and Ad Van Vugt to get to know them better, when they decided to write about their personal experience and make it the book The five dynamics of creative development. Ad Van Vugt also told us how it was like to work on this book together with his son Johannes Ziskoven.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- When did you decide to write about your personal experiences and make them a book to publish?
I began my work in psychiatry in 1970 in the Netherlands. At that time there was hardly any form of therapy. Most treatments were aimed at suppressing symptoms with medication and repression. In the seventies there was a big movement towards change in the Netherlands from repression to development. We wanted to emphasise the value and the potential in people. We worked with the clients to find a way to better their life. Pain, depression and confusion were symptoms of a lack of love, confidence, and repression through compulsion, fear and focus on the negative. My generation wanted to move away from that and find a way to love, trust and creativity. To express our feelings, discover ourselves and find new forms that suited us. I had the privilege of exploring and experimenting with my colleagues and clients to find new ways to do this. For me, creative expression was a “way in”. It made it possible to express feelings, to acknowledge them, and to look for alternatives. It was about feelings, but at the same time it was very concrete and practical by making feelings and thoughts visible, tangible and experimenting with them. For more than 40 years I researched with my clients and my colleagues in the Netherlands, in order to find out which methods were helpful,which methods gave practical tools to help the clients to go further. They started to understand themselves and others better so that they could shape their lives forward in a positive way. Our work was “work in practice”. Nowadays one would call it practice-oriented research, but for years research was mainly done in labs or offices based on theoretical concepts. I am a practical person, not a writer or scientist. I realized that the result of our work easily could disappear with us. My desire to find a way to get my experience down on paper arose. I wanted to make it available to others who, like me, are looking for ways to change life in to the better.
- What is the message you want to send out to your readers?
That we have an enormous and natural potential within us to grow and develop and how we can recognise and use this. That this potential is frustrated by getting stuck in conditions and concepts, that we impose on ourselves or others in the course of our lives. That creativity is the basis of all change and development. That we are blocked by concepts and limited forms and assumptions. That nothing is fixed, everything is always in motion, which offers us the possibility and gives us the chance to renew, to grow. That nature shows us which dynamic “laws” teach us how to achieve these changes. I was looking for those basic dynamics from which new life and new forms emerge. They are not ready-made recipes, but dynamics that have been given to us to shape and rejuvenate our lives.
- What was it like to work together on this book?
For both of us a chance to do something we really wanted to do. Not only to realise a personal ambition but also to have the opportunity to work together. My experience and Johannes’ fresh outlook, critical mind, and desire to open to new experiences plus his ability to put experiences into words was a great opportunity for both of us. For me personally, it was the completion of a long period of work. On the other hand Johannes’ studies at university only emphasized the academic and intellectual aspects of life. He felt there was something missing. It didn’t offer him the movement and experimental freedom that he needed to feel fulfilled. Now his head, heart and hands could work together again. This helped him to discover what he wanted to do with his life. After writing this book, Johannes started to complete his studies as a Creative Therapist. We still work together when I, for example, give a course or when Johannes is busy developing new plans. It’s a pleasure to be able to work with my son.
- What sensations did you feel by ‘reading’ your life experiences on the pages of your book?
Gratitude and love for my son was the first thing that strongly reached my heart. Also, gratitude for the wonderful time and adventures in my carrier, which was such an important part of my life. The love for my clients, the bond with my teachers, colleagues and friends with whom I was allowed to work. I was happy that my wish to put my experiences on paper was achieved. Without Johannes’s help I would not have been able to do it.
Thank you, Johannes!
I hope that others can use my experience to continue and further develop this wonderful work with clients but also with children and with themselves. I think it is needed now more than ever.
- Are you thinking of working together on a new writing project again?
At the moment it is important for Johannes to develop and shape his own practice. There is still a lot of material in my desk, but for now, with this book, there is a basis that I hope others can use. I am, as always, very willing to support people. If there is a desire for more material, I am thinking of writing a book about working methods in therapy, education, supervision and other forms of personal development.
Europe Books thanks the authors Johannes Ziskoven and Ad Van Vugt once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside them on the editorial path that led to the publication of their book The five dynamics of creative development. We wish them the best of luck for this book and for their future works.
To you, my dear reader, I hope that the themes dealt with by the authors can illuminate your path, helping you to bring out your hidden potential and to give it a different and new form of expression that will provide you “the possibility and the opportunity to renew yourself, to grow”, as the author also wishes in our interview.
So, my dear reader, I just have to wish you a regenerating and creative reading!!!