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Zuckerberg, J.O. (1997). Further Reflections on Creativity and Personal Growth: Sculpture and Poetry. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 25(2):317-328.

(1997). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 25(2):317-328

Further Reflections on Creativity and Personal Growth: Sculpture and Poetry

Joan Offerman Zuckerberg, Ph.D.*

To be an analyst, one must be embedded in a highly fluid, transitional zone of relatedness. No two sessions are the same — as no two patients are the same. Each session is unique and irreplaceable. Each patient poses a new set of questions. In any given moment we are responding to a shifting internal world of inner objects, which are competing for prominence and attention. In any given moment we are offering for digestion different aspects of ourselves. What and how much is taken in is ultimately out of our control. We let go of expected outcomes and allow the process to proceed at its own pace, its own rhythm. What emerges is a new creation, a result of the artistry of a living theater. A new script is constructed. Characters (internal objects) are created, and most essential is the opportunity to act and reenact multiple roles, which find their creative vehicle through transference-countertransference. A living stage is created in which all internalized objects are allowed to rehearse (work through) an ever-evolving script. As in a dream, the producer, director, and the actor are all one — multiple aspects of self-in-action. We rehearse, and rehearse, and rehearse, until a new whole is formed.

Very often in class, or in my own studio, one destroys his or her work after varying periods of time. This is frequently an exercise aimed at keeping the artist steeped in “process” as opposed to fostering a kind of premature attachment to outcome. One literally deconstructs in order to perceive again, with new eyes, different forms—forms not seen before. I suppose that if one continued this exercise ad-absurdum, each time one would see anew.

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