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Gargiulo, G.J. (2015). Creative Analysis: Art, Creativity, and Clinical Process. By George Hagman. New York: Routledge, 2015, 129 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 102(3):426-430.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Review, 102(3):426-430

Creative Analysis: Art, Creativity, and Clinical Process. By George Hagman. New York: Routledge, 2015, 129 pp.

Review by:
Gerald J. Gargiulo, Ph.D.

Bombarded as we are with cell phone calls, Internet postings, Twitter comments, and Facebook updates, we struggle to make time to read. Additionally, there are so many texts coming out in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis that selection can easily become another daunting task. Stepping aside from many of the current discussions as to whether psychoanalytic therapy is a science or not, whether it can be validated or not, Hagman, in this most recent publication, offers a clear, insightful, and concise text understanding psychoanalysis as intrinsically—art. Hagman situates his thesis within the broader discussion of art in general, rescuing it from psychoanalytic shadows and bringing it to the central role it must play in human development. He notes that “art is a means by which the mind and the self are maintained, elaborated and repaired when necessary” (p. 9). Each analysis is a coming to be of inner needs and outer form and the result is art—unique and necessary, as all art is. Hagman's first chapter, in particular, is a well-argued case for his understanding of art and the need for psychoanalysis to broaden its appreciation of the role of art in human experience. He writes “by failing to identify what makes art unique, most writers essentially select some psychological dimension of art and promote it as a defining attribute … [and] … one crucial aspect of this process, which psychoanalysis fails to adequately address is the artist's perfection of the artwork, and the relationship between the quality of the artwork and the artist's inner life, especially his aesthetic needs and motivations” (p. 9).

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