This volume brings together some of the papers presented by leading scholars, artists and psychoanalysts at an annual Creativity Seminar organised by the Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center. Looking at creativity through a psychoanalytic lens - and very importantly, vice versa - the authors examine great works, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Mahler's Eighth Symphony, and William Gibson's The Miracle Worker; as well as great artists, such as Van Gogh and Lennon and McCartney, for what we might learn about the creative process itself. Deepening this conversation are a number of clinical studies and other reflections on the creative process - in sickness and in health, so to speak. A central theme is that of "deep play", the level at which the artist may be unconsciously playing out, on behalf of all of us, the deepest dynamics of human emotion in order that we may leave the encounter not only emotionally spent, but profoundly informed as well.
M. Gerard Fromm, PhD, directed the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center for many years, where he is currently Senior Consultant. He teaches at a number of psychoanalytic institutes and is on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Yale Child Study Center. He is the editor of 'The Facilitating Environment: Clinical Applications of Winnicott's Theory' (with Bruce L. Smith, PhD) and 'Lost in Transmission: Studies of Trauma across the Generations'. His most recent book, 'Taking the Transference, Reaching toward Dreams', reports on his clinical work at the Center.