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Horner, A.J. (2006). The Unconscious and The Creative Process. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 34(3):461-469.

(2006). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 34(3):461-469

The Unconscious and The Creative Process

Althea J. Horner, Ph.D.

Both psychologist and writer, the author describes the creative process from research, psychological, psychoanalytic, and personal experiential perspectives. The approaches of Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and W. Somerset Maugham to their work are very different, illustrating that the expression of creativity is idiosyncratic and unique. Examples of the author's creative process are also presented. Creativity can be used to help the writer come to terms with and to master his or her conflicts as described by Ray Bradbury. It can also be used simply to discharge those conflicts without coming to terms with them as was the work of Sylvia Plath. The relation between dreaming and creativity is discussed. Creativity is viewed not only as a vehicle for self-expression but also as a vehicle for self-discovery. The therapist's creativity and its relevance to the treatment process is also pointed out.

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