Artist Study Group

Historically, a group of WAWI psychoanalysts with a shared special interest in working with people in the arts would meet for a monthly roundtable presentation and discussion to develop a deeper understanding of the interrelatedness of psychoanalysis and creative self-expression.

The Artist Study Group was formed to recognize the universal need for creativity in all people’s lives and the vital role artists’ voices play as educators and mentors in our diverse community.   Attending to the healing engagement of art and psychoanalysis, the study group provides new possibilities of shared meaning, greater emotional aliveness, vitality and wholeness in the face of anxiety, loss and emotional trauma. The study group is interested in various clinical interactions – the influence of psychoanalysis on the creative process, how this manifests consciously or unconsciously in the artist’s creation, how evoked responses to artists and their arts challenge both their identity and art, and particularly, how mutuality impacts the psychoanalytic relationship and process. The group seeks to deepen an understanding of the creative relationship of the artist and the psychoanalyst; an evolving, complex human process articulated through the development of intimacy, sensory capacity, and empathic permeability of boundaries.

From within our study group membership and the international artistic community, we invite psychoanalysts, visual and performance artists, musicians, writers, academics, innovators, and people in the media to demonstrate through their artistic medium, the therapeutic value of creative imagination, authentic self-expression, emotional responsiveness and performance.

The Artist Study Group meets on the first Thursday of the month from 1:30-3:00 pm in hybrid format, online and at the Institute.   The study group joins a continued interest in intersections between the study of creativity and psychoanalytic theory with a more direct focus on the impact and implications of the creative process for and in our clinical practice.

Co-Directors: Eric Dammann, Ph.D., and Fran Dillon, LCSW

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology 20 West 74th Street, New York, NY 10023 | (212) 873-0725