Book Signing: Psychoanalytic perspectives on unfolding creative minds with Desy Safan-Gerard

2:00 PM, May 20, 2018


Join our celebration in honor of PCC member Desy Safan-Gerard, PhD, who will present on her two new books, Layers Within and Chaos and Control: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Unfolding Creative Minds, at 3PM.

This book signing is co-sponsored by the Psychoanalytic Center of California and the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

Wine and Cheese Reception beginning at 2PM.

Chaos and Control, published by Karnac, explores the role of chaos and control in the creative process as well as the difference between talent and creativity. Part One describes explores some of the common biases and pitfalls in the analysis and therapy of creative people, the role of the accidental in creative work, the nature of creative blocks, passion and its absence, as well as the problem of being able to exercise one’s freedom. The author describes the special needs of creative patients, the common problems arising in therapy, its solutions, and, most importantly, the analyst’s distinctive role when dealing with such patients. She also probes into the role of narcissism, neurosis, and psychosis on creative work.

Part Two reinforces the themes of the first part by describing the process and history of the author's own creative path. These are mostly autobiographical accounts of her overall emotional relationship to the arts, reinforcing the themes presented in Part One: the significance of visual artwork; the role of destructiveness; the importance of love and hate during creative work; the role of mistakes, and the special role of music in the author's later paintings based on Pierre Boulez’s music.

Layers Within is a companion book that contains 177 illustrations.

Desy Safán-Gerard, PhD, was born in Santiago, Chile, where she did her initial training in psychology. She studied musical composition with composers Leon Schidlowski and Gustavo Becerra and held a position as a therapist and researcher in the Faculty of Music of the University of Chile. She created and conducted an a capella choir that won her a scholarship for a four month residency in Israel. Back in Chile, she taught about groups in the Psychology Department of the Univeristy and psychology of art in the Art Department of the Catholic University. A Fulbright fellowship allowed her to pursue graduate studies at UC Berkeley where she obtained an MA in psychology. Her dissertation dealt with the psychological determinants of musical taste.

Some years later, she continued graduate work in the Department of Psychology at UCLA and obtained a PhD in clinical psychology in 1974. Because of her longstanding interest in psychoanalysis, she pursued psychoanalytic training at the PCC (Psychoanalytic Center of California) in Los Angeles where she is currently a Training and Supervising Analyst. Desy has led a threefold life in music, painting, and psychoanalysis since childhood. Her book is a compilation of papers presented in Los Angeles, CA and abroad on the issues confronting a person engaged in the creative process and on the unique needs of creative patients in treatment.