What is Gateways Coaching?

Gateways is a coaching method designed for artists and other creative professionals in transition. The method helps clients to master their creative process for optimal results: to sharpen presentation and marketing tools, and to bridge career transition successfully. Gateways Coaching is goal-oriented. While it often addresses thematic challenges of the inner levels of creative process, Gateways has expanded throughout the years to include coaching services for the outer levels of presentation and marketing. As clients gain insight, they are led to develop action plans for sensible risk toward new goals, or new careers –on their own terms. Each step forward is supported by momentum-building tools, custom designed to client needs. Gateways Coaching was originally inspired by the writings of Carl Gustav Jung, Robert Fritz and other mavericks of the creative process, as filtered through the lens of founder Barbara Bowen’s professional expertise and training. Contact Barbara with your questions.

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About Barbara Bowen


Barbara Bowen is a New York based writer/photographer and founder of Gateways Coaching for Creative Professionals. She has been deeply involved in artistic expression for over 20 years and a consultant to many visual art careers in photography, design, writing and others, for over twelve years. She has long been fascinated by the creative process itself and holds a 500-hour certification in healing arts through the National Association of Poetry Therapy. Her career experiences and training led her to develop a unique coaching method for professional artists and others in related fields.

Barbara’s photography has been featured in the Solus-Veer Collection and through the Corbis Images website since 2005.  She created her Contours landscape images as an independent project for wall art, and for her love of connecting with nature, now shown in local Brooklyn and Rhode Island stores.

Artistic Background:

In Chicago during the 1990s, Barbara owned and managed a successful 12-year business representing artists and photographers. She was also immersed in theatre and film during those years, and many of her original scripts were staged in Chicago theatres, including Dramatists Workshop, Circle Theatre, Writer’s Bloc/Theatre Building, Lifeline and Famous Door Theatres, as well as later in New York at Urban Stages Theatre. Barbara directed and performed her original material and other works with Cabaret Nomadica and Canones del Alma of Chicago in such venues as Cafe Istanbul, Urbus Orbis, Sheffield’s Cafe and Links Hall. She also acted as script supervisor for Vital Vision Productions, and adapted for stage raw play translations for La Barraca Theatre Company.

Barbara’s articles and essays about the creative process have been published regularly online. In print, her prose has appeared in Spirituality and Health Magazine, the Traveler’s Tales series about travels in Turkey, and the internationally acclaimed New City arts magazine, Chicago. Her poetry has appeared in Hammer’s Magazine and Needed Words Journal, Chicago. In 2005 she conceived and designed “Write Through the Lens,” a class for New York’s Upward Bound program at Manhattan’s BMCC Cuny, teaching high school participants bound for college the art of the essay using text and photography.

View her photography, blog and other projects at: Barbara-Bowen.com..

Pathway to Gateways Coaching:

Barbara’s background includes a duel major in Theatre and Communications from Hope College, MI, whose summer repertory theatre season has garnered international acclaim. Through her artistic journey, Barbara discovered significant universal keys that tap the roots of creative expression. She learned that symbolic values in myths and dreams offered stunning “windows” into her own creative process, motivating her study. She found effective models in the works of Carl Jung, Robert Fritz and others, who helped her to live from her creative core, and to actualize a deeper sense of calling. The Gateways Coaching method is a unique integration of basic Jungian ideas and Barbara’s professional experience, and is a fulfilling way to share valuable tools that enhance the creative process and career growth. Barbara is enjoying a wonderful balance between her own creative endeavors and helping others to reach their goals.

Over the years, Gateways Coaching has developed a comprehensive program that helps clients on the outer levels of presentation and marketing, as well as the inner levels of the creative process. Clients are guided to strike a balance between creative/art career demands and personal fulfillment, –and to achieve success on their own terms. Whether you are a professional artist, or working in a related creative career, or simply wish to pursue a new creative goal, your obstacles can become “gateways” to deeper alignment with creative calling. (See How Does Gateways Work?)

Gateways Philosophy:

We live in a society which often fails to nurture the creative aspects of our nature. Systems–educational, religious, corporate and family–are essential for their contribution to social order. However, when systems become rigid they cease to be life-giving and rarely foster the creative process. In fact, they often become life-depleting. The flow of the creative process and its disruption is a cycle composed of thematic aspects. These themes may be discerned and addressed according to individual need.

More on Carl Jung:

The works of depth psychologist Carl Gustav Jung have significantly influenced Barbara’a artistic work.  His central ideas also inform the core of her Gateways Coaching method for artists and creative professionals.  Jung viewed the unconscious as a repository of wisdom. He asserted that human growth is an inner process whereby the “shadow” (or hidden) elements may emerge into the light of consciousness. That clarity emerging from within the creative process brings us closer into touch with nature, self, society and spirit. By living more richly and fully, we enlarge our lives.  Jung gave us valuable insight into the bridges between nature and spirit, body and mind, self and universe.  Author Robert Fritz has also influenced Barbara’s approach to the creative process, especially his writings on the nature and enhancement of creative momentum. Gateways Coaching often employs universal themes to shed light on clients’ unique creative process.  Universal themes provide “windows” into creativity. As we peer into the universal, our singularity is revealed, and we are propelled into action by the understandings gained.  In this way, each window becomes a “mirror.” Ultimately, Gateways Career Coaching helps artists and creative professionals to build bridges between creative calling and its actualization.

World View:

Barbara views the creative process as being the fundamental force for positive change on both the personal and macro levels of life, which led to her blog, a work in progress, featuring creative voices on the defining lines of global change: Gateways to Action.

“SHADOW RIVER” (a short essay on freedom):

(artist: Robert Roth)

In his eloquent book, “The Unconquerable World,” author Jonathan Schell traces the grim and brutal history of warfare. A core notion of the book is that war has become unwinnable in the settling of disputes. Due to the evolution of nuclear weapons and the mutual annihilation inherent in their use, the reliance of politics on violent means throughout the centuries is called into question. While tracking the evolution of violence, Schell reveals a simultaneous force, moving in counterpoint to the martial system; a tradition of non-violence, born of the world’s spiritual traditions.

Like a sort of “shadow” river, flowing beneath the turbulent surface of the historical ocean, this force has been more persistent than we might suppose. Indeed, our United States constitution was created from tributaries that tapped the ancient river of peaceful means. Its principles form a cauldron within which we are scorched in the flames of our mistakes, yet blessed with the freedom to correct ourselves. Most of us sense that violence, as a means to settle our differences, has run its course. We sense, urgently, that in order to supersede global disasters, we must learn to think and act differently.

Enlightened leaders claim that the age-old dream of a more peaceful world begins with individuals. They implore us to look into the mirror–-into our hearts–-and be honest about what we see. They invite us to live in the moment. To stay awake to the notion that, in the deepest strata of life’s mysteries, the others are us and we are them. To engage this awareness in good faith is to empower the ancient river–-to dissolve our mistakes in new choices–to construct new reality from old dreams via hearts and minds.

–By Barbara Bowen, 1998

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