Psychoanalysis as a creative shaping process.Int J Psychoanal. 2003 Oct; 84(Pt 5):1203-20.IJ
The author first explains the concepts of creativity, play and aesthetic experience. He then outlines the psychoanalytic process as a creative one that shapes reality. Making a link between psychoanalysis and the humanities, he demonstrates that creative play is a fundamental aspect of the human experience of reality. Aesthetic experiences during the psychoanalytic process are comparable to the play by which children structure their world and artists' activity in following their urge to shape. Furthermore it is shown that creative actualisation testifies to a quasi-biological need for coherence and structure. Through modern hermeneutics, the truth claims of aesthetic shaping can be established in epistemological terms. The basic principles of hermeneutics--historicity, linguisticity and communicative experience--find their psychoanalytic counterparts in memory, representational shaping and transference-countertransference. Psychoanalysis is demonstrated to be simultaneously a science and an art. On the basis of a case history, aesthetic experience is shown to constitute a specific and unique form of access to psychic reality. Aesthetic experience and creativity do not only aid recovery from 'bad psychological states', they are also indispensable for the entire understanding of internal and external reality. It is possible to develop this understanding through a creative psychoanalytic attitude.