The Artist’s Unconscious

By Cheryl Arutt, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, specializing in creative artist issues, trauma recovery, and fertility.

I am continually amazed at the work of the unconscious in the minds of creative artists.

The capacity to hold many details in the conscious, wakeful mind may seem limited; the unconscious is capable of holding far more.

An actor prepares for a new role, learning to truthfully inhabit the imaginary circumstances under which the character lives.

Many actors will attest that their best performances are borne out of careful preparation, followed by a period of incubating (or gestating) the new information, and then “throwing it all away” – meaning letting go of the need to hold all the details in the conscious mind, freeing the actor to be fully present, alive and spontaneous in performance.

This is an excellent example of preparation and gestation leading to a multilayered unconscious processing that allows for a fresh, spontaneous flow state in performance.

Psychologists have long made the connections between the unconscious material communicated to us through our patients’ dreams and fantasies, and the conscious intentions, thoughts and feelings of waking life.

Continued in article The Artist’s Unconscious and the Metaphor of Birth.

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Originally posted 2011-07-27 10:04:06.


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