Mended by the Muse: Creative Transformations of Traumais an in-depth exploration of the relationship between trauma and creativity. It is about art in the service of healing, mourning, and memorialization. This book addresses the questions of how artistic expression facilitates the healing process; what the therapeutic action of art is, and if there is a relationship between mental instability and creativity. It also asks how self-analysis through art-making can be integrated with psychoanalytic work in order to enrich and facilitate emotional growth.
Drawing on four decades of clinical practice and a critical reading of creativity literature,Sophia Richman presents a new theory of the creative process whose core components are relational conceptualizations of dissociation and witnessing. This is an interdisciplinary book which draws inspiration from life histories, clinical case material, neuroscience, and interviews with creators, as well as from various art forms such as film, literature, paintings, and music. Some areas of discussion include: art born of genocide, confrontation with mortality in illness and aging, and the clinical implications of memoirs written by psychoanalysts. Visual images are interspersed throughout the text that illustrate the reverberations of trauma and its creative transformation in the work of featured artists.
Mended by the Muse: Creative Transformations of Traumapowerfully articulates how creative action is one of the most effective ways of coping with trauma and its aftershocks - it is in art, in all its forms, that sorrow is given shape and meaning. Here,Sophia Richman shows how art helps to master the chaos that follows in the wake of tragedy, how it restores continuity, connection and the will for a more fully lived life. This book is written for psychoanalysts as well as for other mental health professionals who practice and teach in academic settings. It will also be of interest to graduate and post-graduate students and will be relevant for artists who seek a better understanding of the creative process.
About the Author:
Sophia Richman is a psychoanalyst and psychologist in private practice for over forty years. She is affiliated with the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis where she supervises. She is the author of the award winning memoir,A Wolf in the Attic: The legacy of a hidden child of the Holocaust(Routledge, 2002) and she is a painter.