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Zindel, B. (2013). Notes from the Creative Literary Editor. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(1):183-184.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(1):183-184

Creative LiteraryWriting While the Analyst Is Away

Notes from the Creative Literary Editor

Bonnie Zindel, LCSW

Writing While the Analyst Is Away

People in therapy must inevitably deal with periods of time when the therapist is away. When therapy is on hold, their internal work goes on. In the absence of the analyst, writing can help keep them sane. As Plato said 20 centuries ago, our creative self is a “divine madness.”

I have had patients who need to grab pen and paper in the waiting room, scribbling notes following an intense or moving session. The patient and the analyst become artists for each other, a form of mutual storytelling. And when the analyst is away, stories go on. In these moments we are artists without our analyst. And for those who find writing compelling, we turn to writing to hold the howling, swirling ideas racing though our head—garbled fragments that are hard to process.

Writers can't help but write. They take their unprocessed raw emotions, and with imagination, translate that into the language of their narrative. Some have no choice but to write in various forms. Poetry. Fiction. Plays.

Writing becomes a form of therapy and helps us see what we cannot see with normal vision. Ironically, to express experience beyond words, the writer feels compelled to put that experience into words.

What inspired this issue's Creative Section was a reading at McNally Jackson Bookstore in New York City, When Shrinks Are Away.

[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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