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Levine, L. (2012). Into Thin Air: The Co-Construction of Shame, Recognition, and Creativity in an Analytic Process. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(4):456-471.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(4):456-471

Into Thin Air: The Co-Construction of Shame, Recognition, and Creativity in an Analytic Process

Lauren Levine, Ph.D.

In this paper, I explore ways in which shame, recognition, and creativity are co-constructed in an analytic process. Focusing on my work with an artist who is extraordinarily creative in her dreams, metaphors, and artistic vision, yet has spent much of her life struggling to make art, I consider factors that open or close down vitality and creativity in our work with patients. I explore how patients' access to their imagination, dreams, and other unconscious realms may be intimately connected to the analyst's variable and shifting receptivity to her own imagination and creativity and consider the ways in which creativity is both solitary and co-constructed. Furthermore, I consider the powerful impact of shame on the creative process, both intrapsychically, blocking access to memory, and leading to the negative, critical voices that block one's capacity to create art; and intersubjectively, how “shame can travel insidiously across relational realms, passed back and forth, alternately projected and introjected, from analyst to patient” and back again (Levine, 2009b,p. 482), deadening spontaneity, imagination, and creativity.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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