Expert Eric Maisel, Ph.D

Expert Life Purpose Coach


My name is Eric Maisel and I’ve written more than 40 books on a wide variety of subjects. My latest book is The Future of Mental Health: Deconstructing the Mental Disorder Paradigm and describes a future of mental health movement that I am spearheading.

My interests include creativity, meaning, life purpose, and mental health. I work with clients as a creativity coach, train creativity coaches, and provide core training for the Creativity Coaching Association. I also offer writing workshops around the world in places like London, Paris, Prague, Rome, New York and San Francisco and at workshop centers like Esalen, Kripalu and Omega.

I am an advocate for a changed and revitalized view of mental health services, one that does away with our current mental disorder naming system, and I write the Rethinking Mental Health blog for Psychology Today. Some of my books in this area include Rethinking Depression, The Van Gogh Blues, Brainstorm, and my latest, The Future of Mental Health. In it, I describe what I conceive of as the helper of the future, the human experience specialist. You can learn more about this by taking my Human Experience Specialist class.

I am also an advocate for a global paradigm shift from seeking meaning to making meaning. I’ve written about value-based meaning-making in many of my books, including in one of my latest, Life Purpose Boot Camp. If this interests you, you can train to become a life purpose boot camp instructor.

Likewise, if creativity coaching interests you, please look into my training and take a peek at some of my books in that area, among them Secrets of a Creativity Coach, Coaching the Artist Within, and Become a Creativity Now!

My efforts for 2016 include life purpose boot camp instructor training, creativity coaching training, deep writing workshops, human experience specialist classes, and the future of mental health initiatives. Please visit the Future of Mental Health site to learn more about these initiatives.

If you’d like to work with me as a coaching client, take one of my training, invite me to speak, sponsor a workshop, interview me, or just chat, I look forward to hearing from you. Please enjoy this page!

About Dr. Eric Maisel, Ph.D.

Eric Maisel was born in the Bronx, New York, where he lived until the age of 5. He grew up in Brooklyn, attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, and briefly attended Brooklyn College. After serving in the Army from 1965 – 1968 he attended Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, where he received a B.S. in philosophy.

Dr. Maisel subsequently lived in Boston, New York and San Francisco and traveled extensively in Europe, spending time in London, Dublin and Budapest. He earned a master’s degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University while ghostwriting mysteries and nonfiction and self-publishing fiction. In the ’80s he returned to school and earned a second bachelor’s degree in psychology, a second master’s degree in counseling, and a doctorate in counseling psychology.

After completing training, Dr. Maisel became a California licensed family therapist and worked exclusively with creative and performing artists. In time he moved from therapy and the medical model to coaching, where he founded the profession of creativity coaching.

Dr. Maisel has a son, David Maisel, by his first marriage, and two daughters, Natalya Maisel and Kira Maisel, with his wife Ann Mathesius Maisel. In 2012 Eric and Ann celebrated 35 years together.  They live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dr. Maisel served as adjunct faculty at St. Mary’s College (Moraga, California) for ten years and created and wrote Callboard Magazine’s Staying Sane in the Theater column. He has presented lectures and workshops for the American Psychological Association, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Paris Writers Workshop, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Savannah College of Arts and Crafts, the U. C. Berkeley Counseling Center, and many other venues.

Dr. Maisel has been a guest on, quoted in, or interviewed by Redbook, Glamour, Cosmo Teen, Men’s Health, Body and Soul, KRON television news, Martha Stewart Living, Self, Marin Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Daily News, The Arizona Republic, Common Boundary, and has provided hundreds of radio, television, and print interviews.

Dr. Maisel has been the keynote speaker at the Jack London Writer’s Conference, Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference, William Saroyan Writer’s Conference, Indiana Arts’ Administrators Conference, Mendocino Writer’s Conference, Santa Fe Conference on Creative Tourism, Arizona State University Arts & Letters Convocation, and many other conferences.

He presents workshops at the Omega Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Esalen Institute, The Hollyhock Centre (in Canada), the Open Center, and Rowe; and at locations worldwide, including in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Antwerp, Prague, and Berlin.

Dr. Maisel writes the Rethinking Psychology blog for Psychology Todayonline, a monthly print column for Professional Artist Magazine, and occasional pieces for the Huffington Post. He hosted a hundred episodes of The Joy of Living Creatively and Your Purpose-Centered Life with the Personal Life Media Network and provides core trainings for the Creativity Coaching Association.

Dr. Maisel is currently developing natural psychology, a new psychology of meaning that articulates the paradigm shift from seeking meaning to making meaning and that presents an updated vision of emotional distress reduction. Dr. Maisel has had forty books published and continues to train creativity coaches and to work with individual clients in his creativity coaching practice.

Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of forty books, among them Rethinking Depression, The Van Gogh Blues, Mastering Creative Anxiety, and Coaching The Artist Within. He is a California licensed psychotherapist and writes regularly for the Huffington Post and Professional Artist Magazine. He is creator of natural psychology, the new psychology of meaning, and an international workshop leader at venues like Omega, Kripalu, Esalen and Hollyhock and in locales like Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Berlin and Prague.

Books Eric Has Written




MURDER IN BERLIN—Singingwood Press, 2011

BECOME A CREATIVITY COACH NOW!—Singingwood Press, 2011

THE POWER OF SLEEP THINKING—Singingwood Press, 2011



A WRITER’S SPACE — Adam’s Media, 2009

THE ATHEIST’S WAY — New World Library, 2009

CREATIVE RECOVERY — Shambhala, 2008

TOXIC CRITICISM — McGraw-Hill, 2007

TEN ZEN SECONDS — Sourcebooks, 2007

CREATIVITY FOR LIFE — New World Library, 2007

EVERYDAY YOU — Conari, 2007

A WRITER’S SAN FRANCISCO — New World Library, 2006

WHAT WOULD YOUR CHARACTER DO? — Writer’s Digest Books, 2006

PERFORMANCE ANXIETY — Backstage Books, 2005

COACHING THE ARTIST WITHIN — New World Library, 2005

A WRITER’S PARIS — Writer’s Digest Books, 2005

THE ART OF THE BOOK PROPOSAL — Tarcher/Penguin 2004

WRITERS AND ARTISTS ON LOVE — New World Library, 2004


THE VAN GOGH BLUES — Rodale, 2002

WRITE MIND — Tarcher/Penguin, 2002

20 COMMUNICATION TIPS AT WORK — New World Library, 2001

THE CREATIVITY BOOK — Tarcher/Penguin 2000


SLEEP THINKING — Adams Media, 2000

LIVING THE WRITER’S LIFE — Watson-Guptill, 1999

DEEP WRITING — Tarcher/Penguin, 1999

AFFIRMATIONS FOR ARTISTS — Tarcher/Penguin, 1996

FEARLESS CREATING — Tarcher/Penguin, 1995

ARTISTS SPEAK — Harper San Francisco, 1993

STAYING SANE IN THE ARTS—Tarcher/Penguin, 1992

THE FRETFUL DANCER—Aegina Press, 1988.


DISMAY—Maya Press, 1982.

THE KINGSTON PAPERS—Manor Books (ghostwriter), 1978.

THE BLACK NARC—Manor Books (ghostwriter), 1977.

BIORHYTHM—Simon & Schuster (ghostwriter), 1976.

Eric's Blog

  • 8 Tools You Need to Survive Your Crazy Family! |

    Overcoming Your Difficult Family If you’ve ever struggled with your family, whether at home or away, then do we have the Overcoming Your Difficult Family show for you! Today I’ll be talking with Eric Maisel, Ph.D., retired family therapist, creat

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