Paul Kiritsis, PsyD, is an interdisciplinary scholar, poet, professional writer, artist, certified hypnotherapist, and a doctoral graduate in clinical psychology. He is an adjunct professor at Sofia University in the disciplines of clinical psychology and neuropsychology. His current postdoctoral training experience involves working with individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and severe mental illness at the Community Institute for Psychotherapy in San Rafael, CA. He is also the psychological testing liaison officer for The Community Institute for Psychotherapy (CIP) in San Rafael, CA, as well as their primary evaluator for neuropsychological testing. Kiritsis’ volunteer and service work encompasses endeavors that are disparate and heterogeneous in scope and subject; from offering psychoeducation and counselling to war veterans via Sponsor a Vet for Life, a non-profit organization based in Wharton, NJ, to offering hands-on practical aid to vulnerable giant pandas through the special volunteer program at Dujiangyan Panda Base in Chengdu, China, to serving as a committee member for literary projects spearheaded by the Greek-Australian Cultural League.
He has authored six books in total, including the creative compendium Confessions of a Split Mind (2017) and a work on the intersection of creativity and disorder entitled The Creative Advantages of Schizophrenia: The Muse and the Mad Hatter (2019). Paul has also authored several unreleased titles, one of which is entitled Shades of Aphrodite - an adventure through past and present Hellenic metaphysical consciousness as seen through Greece’s religious practices. Paul Kiritsis, himself of Greek origin, tells several interwoven stories of a man traveling through his ancestral land, the evolution of the archetypal Mother Goddess in Greece, and a fictionalized account of Aphrodite herself and the legend of the Golden Apple, the instrument of discord that caused the Trojan War. His fusion of mythology, history, and first-person anecdote reflect the inextricably bound threads of Hellenic culture, everyday Greek life, and the worship of the divine feminine that persists even today.
His diverse academic interests straddle cognitive neuroscience, clinical neuropsychology, and philosophy of mind on one end of the spectrum and esotericism, comparative religion, history, and mythology on the other. He enjoys playing the keyboards, reading, drawing, exercising, and scuba diving in his spare time.
“Kiritsis’ study is painstakingly argued—he furnishes a model of experimental meticulousness. In addition, the analysis is not just scientifically exacting, but reasonable as well—he draws on both his work as a “burgeoning clinician” and his experiences as an “untutored eyewitness.””
– Kirkus Reviews
A scholarly analysis explores the link between psychopathology—in particular, positive schizotypy—and creativity.
As debut author Kiritsis observes, creativity has long been associated with “divine madness” and the inspired artist with tortured insanity. He aims to make the case that there is, in fact, a “connection between the schizospectrum, bipolar, and substance abuse disorders and creativity.” More specifically, the author investigates the possibility that psychosis and creativity “share polygenetic roots” and that “the inner mental processes experienced as delusional beliefs and hallucinations by the inwardly disordered may also be the fountainhead and raw underpinning of creative thought.” Kiritsis focuses on positive schizotypy, which characterizes “highly imaginative” and “internally preoccupied” people who tend to hold beliefs about the world that are unconventionally drawn to the mystical and supernatural. The author furnishes a rigorously synoptic history of schizophrenia and its treatment, including an edifying discussion of the modern tendency to overinterpret it as a “brain disease” and handle it accordingly by pharmaceutical means. He raises provocative questions about the peculiar evolutionary resilience of schizophrenia, which, he argues, suggests that creativity is among its “compensatory advantages.” As Kiritsis points out, his study has “profound clinical and social implications,” not just for the understanding of psychopathology and its treatment, but also as a potential means to disabuse the “profusion of ignorance around mental illness” so common today. Furthermore, the work also points the way to a less idolatrous embrace of “the hegemony of the Western-mind sciences,” which, as a consequence of an unbridled materialism, immediately classifies spiritual experiences as aberrant hallucinations. The book is brimming with haunting images by debut illustrator Christos Stamboulakis, the author’s cousin, and others, many of which depict the struggle with psychosis. Kiritsis’ study is painstakingly argued—he furnishes a model of experimental meticulousness. In addition, the analysis is not just scientifically exacting, but reasonable as well—he draws on both his work as a “burgeoning clinician” and his experiences as an “untutored eyewitness.” The subject matter is drawn from Kiritsis’ doctoral dissertation and often reads precisely like that: long, crashing sentences brimming with gratuitously technical jargon turbidly conveyed. But beneath the topsoil of academic-speak, there is a genuinely intriguing exploration of creativity.
Despite some dense prose, this work offers a stimulating investigation into an important scientific topic.
Pub Date: June 1, 2019
Page count: 133pp
Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
The Handmaid's Tale
Psychotherapist, Adjunct Professor
Unexpected skill or talent
Passion in life
THE CREATIVE ADVANTAGES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA: THE MUSE AND THE MAD HATTER : Winner of Best Psychology Book in Pacific Book Awards , 2020
Confessions of a Split Mind : Pacific Book Review Star, 2017Interview with the Online Gazette , 2019 Review of the Creative Advantages of Schizophrenia by the US REVIEW OF BOOKS , 2019 Review of Confessions of a Split Mind by THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS, 2017
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