Creativity, Psychoanalysis, and the Unconscious

Celebrating the launch of Writing on the Moon at the Creative Salon

Writing on the Moon is an innovative collection of creative writings by psychotherapists – poems, short stories, and creative non-fiction. The themes tap into our most passionate and spontaneous selves, raiding the inarticulate, as we hear the creative voices of psychotherapists as never before. Two questions are implicitly addressed: Why is creativity important to psychoanalysis? And how can a therapist’s analytic mind be receptive to the artistic voice?

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A Guide for Clinicians

I first heard Dr. Habib Davanloo speak when I was a fellow in psychosomatic medicine at Harvard Medical School. It was autumn 2004, and working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital offered me a multitude of rich experiences; most of which focused purely on biological illnesses such as delirium. The psychodynamic realm was not one that I frequented during my work hours as a trainee. As such, I looked forward to hearing Dr. Davanloo, Professor Emeritus at McGill University, speak at his annual Metapsychology meeting in Montreal.

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Dreams, Storytelling, and the Birth of Literature

“We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep”
– Shakespeare, The Tempest

Dreams and literature are closely related. The dream’s essence lies in its storytelling capacity. Dreams are autobiographical fictions that tell the story of the dreamer’s life history, her role in transgenerational family themes, and her ethnic and cultural identity. In that sense dreams are psychosocial depositories and makers, not unlike world literature, which recreates interiority and historicity of a given time period. Literature is a dream gone solid. And the process of fiction writing duplicates the dream’s inherent narrative facility. 

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The Interrelatedness of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Thinking Disorders, and Depression

 

Psychiatric classification

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition, 2013), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the fourth most common mental disorder after depression, alcohol/substance misuse, and social phobia, with a lifetime prevalence in community surveys of 1.6%. The World Health Organization ranks OCD as one of the ten most handicapping conditions by lost income and decreased quality of life (Murray & Lopez, 1996). When the disorder starts in childhood or adolescence, young people may avoid socialising with peers or become unable to live independently.

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How Mind is Embedded in Body which in turn is Embedded in the Interactive Social World

Enrique Pichon Rivière is probably the most important psychoanalyst most of us have never heard of. He wrote little, and all he did publish or that was recorded in the notes of his students and published by them was only – until now – published in Spanish. With the publication of this collection that Roberto Losso of Argentina, Lea Setton of Panama, and I have labored to make available in English, and with the introduction of one of his papers for the first time in English in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis immediately preceding the publication of this book, we hope that Pichon’s prescient and globally influential ideas will be restored to the recognition they so richly deserve.

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My Dinner with Iain McGilchrist: An Interview with producers Cathleen MacDonald and Vanessa Dylyn

Making the film The Divided Brain has been an exciting journey for all involved. Recently, producer Vanessa Dylyn and Dr Iain McGilchrist met for dinner in London to discuss the film and other matters. Vanessa shared her experience in an interview with co-producer and technical lead Cathleen MacDonald.

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