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Spitz, S. (2006). Creative Use of Self and the Therapeutic Relationship in Psychoanalytic Child Psychotherapy. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 5(4):486-498.

(2006). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 5(4):486-498

Creative Use of Self and the Therapeutic Relationship in Psychoanalytic Child Psychotherapy

Steven Spitz, Ph.D.

I have long been Interested in the Creative process in both the arts and in my work. While we can debate whether psychoanalysis is science or art, or some combination of both, few would deny the relevance of the creative process to both individual development and therapeutic process. I often find myself thinking about creativity in my work. Many patients’ difficulties can be thought of as the inability to create something new in their lives; new behaviors, new experiences, and new ways of thinking and feeling about themselves. In a two-person model of psychoanalysis the relationship of the therapeutic couple takes a privileged position. How can I establish the possibilities for creativity within the therapeutic relationship?

I have been fortunate to know some artists in various fields and had the opportunity to talk with them about their creative processes. This is part of my ongoing attempt to understand and appreciate how it works for them. There are many parallels between what they do and what we try to do. For one, there is the all- important linking of the unconscious and conscious. Another way to think about this link is in terms of taking something that is relatively unformulated and formulating it in a new way. Both good art and good psychoanalysis incorporate a reconfiguration or reorganization of something already in existence in some form. When it is expressed the resultant feeling is that something new has been brought to life.

I recently had the chance to talk with a singer/songwriter whom I have been a fan of for some twenty-five years. I told him of my interest in his songwriting and the process of artistic creation.

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