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Urdang, E. (2018). Art, creativity, and psychoanalysis: Perspectives from analyst-artists: by Hagman, G. (Ed.). (2017). New York, NY: Routledge, 194 pp., $52.95.. Psychoanal. Soc. Work, 25(1):74-78.

(2018). Psychoanalytic Social Work, 25(1):74-78

Book Reviews

Art, creativity, and psychoanalysis: Perspectives from analyst-artists: by Hagman, G. (Ed.). (2017). New York, NY: Routledge, 194 pp., $52.95.

Review by:
Esther Urdang, PhD, LICSW

The book Art, Creativity, and Psychoanalysis, presents a range of firsthand experiences of 12 practicing practitioners of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis who also are actively engaged as creative artists. They are painters, photographers, creative writers, and musical and vocal performers. George Hagman, the editor, selected therapists of diverse theoretical backgrounds with “busy and prosperous psychoanalytic and analytic psychotherapy practices for at least ten years… most… have been formally trained in the arts and they maintain studios and exhibit their work in galleries or other pubic venues” (p. xiv). Hagman presents samples of the authors' work, including selections of paintings and photographs, and excerpts of poetry and other writings. Accompanying links provide access to the performing artists' websites and Internet musical shopping sites.

As an editor, Hagman initially raised questions for the writers to address, but found that they preferred telling their stories in their own ways, writing essays “that reflected their own experiences, thoughts and values.” He was “grateful” for this modification, as the essays turned out to be “a rich assortment, sometimes quirky, always honest and thoughtful, invariably unpredictable” (p. xvi).

As a reader, I benefited from meeting these 12 insightful individuals, with rich and fascinating lives to narrate. They provided insights into psychoanalysis, the arts they represented, and the impact this integration had on them, both personally and professionally.

[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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