In writing and lecturing over the past two decades on the relationship between psychoanalysis and art, Danielle Knafo has demonstrated the many ways in which these two disciplines inform and illuminate each other. This book continues that discussion, emphasizing how the creative process in psychoanalysis and art utilizes the unconscious in a quest for transformation and healing. Part one of the book presents case studies to show how free association, transference, dream work, regression, altered states of consciousness, trauma, and solitude function as creative tools for analyst, patient, and artist. Knafo uses the metaphor of dance to describe therapeutic action, the back-and-forth movement between therapist and patient, past and present, containment and release, and conscious and unconscious thought. The analytic couple is both artist and medium, and the dance they do together is a dynamic representation of the boundless creativity of the unconscious mind. Part two of the book offers in-depth studies of several artists to illustrate how they employ various media for self-expression and self-creation. Knafo shows how artists, though mostly creating in solitude, are frequently engaged in significant relational proceses that attempt rapprochement with internalized objects and repair of psychic injury. Dancing with the Unconscious expands the theoretical dimension of psychoanalysis while offering the clinician ways to realize greater creativity in work with patients.
About the Author
Danielle Knafo is a Professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Long Island University and an Adjunct Clinical Professor and Supervisor at New York University’s Program for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She has written and lectured extensively on psychoanalysis and creativity, trauma, and gender. Her books include In Her Own Image (2009) and Unconscious Fantasies and the Relational World (2006, with Kenneth Feiner). She maintains a private practice in Great Neck and New York.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Part I: The Art of Psychoanalysis. Dancing with the Unconscious: The Art of Psychoanalysis. One Step Back, Two Steps Forward: Regression in the Service of Art and Psychoanalysis. The Senses Grow Skilled in their Craving: Thoughts on Creativity and Substance Abuse. Creative Transformations of Trauma: Private Pain in the Public Domain and the Clinical Setting. Alone Together: Solitude and the Creative Encounter in Art and Psychoanalysis. Part II: The Psychoanalysis of Art. Dreams of Genius: Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung. Egon Schiele: A Self in Creation. At the Limits of the Primal Scene: Revisiting Blue Velvet. Ana Mendieta: Goddess in Exile. Bruno Schulz: Desire's Impossible Object.