Obstacles to Creativity

December 5, 2020, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Desy Safán-Gerard, PhD

This meeting will take place online via Zoom. Once you register, you will receive an email with the link and more information.

*** Registration will close at 4:00 PM the day before the event. No registrations are possible after this time.


In this course participants, both therapists and artists, will examine obstacles to creativity. Among these is the basic reluctance to engage in a creative project due to an unwillingness to face one’s limitations. Often individuals engage in invidious comparisons with accomplished others and the many fears of failure that can block creativity and inspiration. A goal of the workshop is to help therapists recognize the particular problems of the creative patient, including to better tolerate their impatience in resolving the requirements of the work. Dr. Desy Safán-Gerard will explore how artists can "use" their emotional experiences as inspiration for their creative pursuits. She will also help therapists face their own wish to engage in creative work.

Dr. Safán-Gerard will present a psychoanalytic perspective on creativity as outlined in her book, Chaos and Control (Routledge in 2018). She will discuss the importance and use of destructiveness, chaos, and mistakes during creative work.

When you register for this event, you will receive Dr. Safán-Gerard’s paper, “Obstacles to Creativity,” in your Notification of Registration. She hopes you can read the paper prior to attending the course because it might elicit important questions that may enrich the overall discussion. 

This event will be recorded and shared with participants who have registered for the event. The video may also be used for educational purposes. If you do not wish to be recorded, please turn your camera off. By registering for this event, you grant permission to THE NEW CENTER FOR PSYCHOANALYSIS to the rights of your images, in video or still, and of the likeness and sound of your voice as recorded on audio or video.


Learning Objectives:

As a result of attending this course, analysts should be able to (CE/CME Credit):

  • Explain the plight of their creative patients and analyze their own wish to engage in creative work
  • Discuss the value of "using" their own emotional experiences as a source of inspiration
  • Recognize the new significance of the term “integration” as an outcome of the use of one’s internal objects

As a result of attending this course, artists should be able to:

  • Discuss and analyze the requirement of the work in progress as it interacts with messages from within themselves
  • Acknowledge their inner chaos and confusion as an important impetus for new work, as well as gaining the skills to avoid retreating from the work at those times
  • Realize that creativity at work is inherent to the work, and not in the artist’s mind



Desy Safán-Gerard, who earned a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA, is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California (PCC). In addition to her psychoanalytic practice, she has led therapy groups for many years working with creative patients, individually and in groups. Dr. Safán-Gerard is the Chair of the IPA Art Discussion Group, constituted in 2018, with psychoanalysts/ from around the world.

Desy Safán-Gerard is also a painter and has exhibited her work in the United States, Europe and South America. She is the author of Chaos and Control: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Unfolding Creative Minds, published by Routledge (2018).


Target audience: Mental health professionals, artists, and open to the public interested in psychoanalytic perspectives. 

2 CE/CME Credits

General Registration: $45 with credit; Free without credit


"How do I get my CE/CME Credit?"

  1. Pre-Register below
    • If you are registering for the first time you will receive a welcome email. You must follow the directions in this email to complete your registration in order to access your certificates. 
  2. You will receive an email with an evaluation 2 days after the event
  3. Complete the evaluation
  4. Wait 2 business days
  5. Download your Certificate on the NCP website



IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME/CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

PHYSICIANS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for the maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.  

SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE and FAMILY THERAPISTS (LCSW, LMFT, ASW, IMF, LEP, LPCC, PCCI): The New Center for Psychoanalysis is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency. 

REGISTERED NURSES: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.


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