Taking Freud's seminal paper, “Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming” (1908) as a starting point, this conference will offer reflections on psychoanalytic understandings of creative processes as they have evolved over time, and as they relate to our inner and outer worlds today.
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Saturday, February 27, 2021
8:30 AM EST Online Lecture & Discussion
Online registration is required for this program. All registrants will receive a Zoom Meeting Link.
To receive Continuing Education, registration must be completed by Friday, February 26, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST.
Fantasy, Creativity and the World We Live In: Responses to Freud's 'Creative Writers and Daydreaming' (1908)
In Honor of Christopher Bullock, MD
Taking Freud's seminal paper, “Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming” (1908) as a starting point, this conference will offer reflections on psychoanalytic understandings of creative processes as they have evolved over time, and as they relate to our inner and outer worlds today. Freud recognized a wishful continuity of childhood play, phantasy, daydreaming and creation of literary fiction. “Thus past present and future are strung together, as it were, on the thread of the wish that runs through them,” he wrote. And he puzzled over the writer's power to absorb our imaginations, but he also thought play was “a correction of unsatisfying reality.” “The opposite of play is not what is serious,” he wrote, “but what is real.”
Since Freud, many other psychoanalytic writers have added their reflections on the nature and functions of creativity (e.g. Paula Heimann, Marion Milner, Adrian Stokes, Anton Ehrenzweig, D. W. Winnicott, Christopher Bollas, Gilbert Rose), questioning the compensatory function of art. How can we understand creative processes today? How are fantasy and creative imagination related to one another, to therapeutic processes, and to our shared outer worlds? As artists and clinicians confront “the world we live in,” how are the potential spaces of creativity promoted or inhibited by our social and political conditions? These are the kinds of questions our three invited speakers will explore in this conference.
Each of our speakers brings special interests and achievements to the dialogues among psychoanalytic ideas, clinical experience and the arts, including literature, film, and the visual arts.
This program is designed to enhance understanding of the roles of phantasy and creative processes in both the arts and in the psychoanalytic process. Speakers will address the ways in which the capacity for imaginative activity is promoted or inhibited in the clinical setting. Practitioners will learn to identify, in their clinical work, factors that both facilitate and inhibit creative processes in their patients.
Lucy LaFarge, MD (Panelist) is the Regional Editor for North America of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College. She has written about the interface between psychoanalysis and literature, exploring the work of Balzac, Dickens and Henry James. Most recently she has been writing about the frame and the role played by the sense of a frame in literature and in the analytic process.
Patricia Townsend, PhD (Panelist) is an artist and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Recent exhibitions include a solo show Black Sun, Blue Light, at Brantwood, John Ruskin’s former home in Cumbria, UK. Her research now focuses on the contribution of psychoanalytic thinking to an understanding of the creative process of visual artists. Her recent book is, Creative States of Mind: Psychoanalysis and the Artist’s Process (Routledge, 2019). Patricia’s artwork can be seen at www.patriciatownsend.net.
John Rosegrant, PhD (Panelist) is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New Orleans-Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center and the Contemporary Freudian Society of New York City and Washington, D.C. He has written about play therapy, dreams, fairy tales, Harry Potter, and the World of Warcraft computer game, and edited a special issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology on “Adolescents, Children, & Technology”. He has developed a psychoanalytic understanding of J.R.R. Tolkien and his works.
Murray Schwartz, PhD (Moderator) For over fifty years, Murray Schwartz has taught Shakespeare, psychoanalysis and Holocaust literature. His interdisciplinary writing includes essays on Shakespeare’s last plays, the work of Erik Erikson, applied psychoanalysis, modern poetry and trauma studies. He co-edited Representing Shakespeare: New Psychoanalytic Essays (1980), Memory and Desire: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Aging (1985). He is Coordinator of BPSI’s Center for Multi-Disciplinary Psychoanalytic Studies (COMPASS) and editor of American Imago.
8:30-9:00; Moderator’s Introduction & Tribute to Christopher Bullock, MD; Presentation #1, 9:00-9:30; Presentation #2, 9:30 –10:00; Presentation #3, 10:00 – 10:30; Discussion with Panelists & Audience 10:30 –11:00
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:
|Licensed Mental Health Clinicians: The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6913. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This program offers 2 NBCC Clock Hours.|
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