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Creativity and destructiveness in art and psychoanalysis

Townsend, P; (2015) Creativity and destructiveness in art and psychoanalysis. British Journal of Psychotherapy , 31 (1) 120 - 131. 10.1111/bjp.12123. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the creativity of the patient in analysis and compares it to that of the artist. Taking artists’ descriptions of their practices as its starting point, the paper suggests that the relationship between patient and analyst parallels that between artist and medium. Psychoanalysis and artistic process can both be seen in terms of a complex interplay between oneness and separateness in which aggression and destructiveness play an essential part. The paper includes a discussion of different forms of aggression and destructiveness within the creative process with particular reference to Winnicott’s paper ‘The Use of an Object’ and Rozsika Parker’s ‘The Angel in the House’. It suggests that a consideration of artists’ creative processes can shed light both on the experience of the patient in analysis and on the role of the analyst in facilitating the development of the patient’s creativity.

Type: Article
Title: Creativity and destructiveness in art and psychoanalysis
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/bjp.12123
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjp.12123
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the British Association of Psychotherapists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Keywords: Art, Psychoanalysis, Creativity, Destructiveness, Process
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > The Slade School of Fine Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1462612
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