Cheryl Arutt, Psy.D., a frequent psychological expert on CNN, HLN, truTV and Fox News, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, specializing in creative artist issues, trauma recovery, and fertility. She is the author of Healing Together: A Program for Couples, contributor to Mom360 magazine, and a forensic and media consultant.
The creative artist’s drive to create often parallels the experience of gestation and birth, regardless of the gender of the artist. From the first “glimmer in the eye” to the conception of a specific work, the artist embarks on a process that continues to develop and grow even in the absence of conscious attention...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.
Creating art has always been a way to channel emotional intensity. In a world where destructive acting out is all too frequent (and meticulously documented and sensationalized on the news and TMZ), sublimating painful feelings by expressing them in the form of artistic expression allows the artist to choose to “act out” in a way that is constructive. Many creative people carry the belief that their pain is the locus of their creativity, and worry that they will lose their creativity if they work through their inner conflicts or let go of suffering.