Portrait of the Artist as a Young Patient: Psychodynamic Studies of the Creative Personality


"This book is a fascinating account of a unique patient population: struggling young artists who have come to the artistic center of America to actualize their dreams but, at some point, feel defeated by the overwhelming competitiveness of this subculture. Gerald Alper, a psychotherapist specializing in this heretofore unstudied group, draws upon his own artistic background to form an empathic bond with these troubled, talented individuals. He provides unusual insight into the relationship of the artist to his own creativity, his teacher, his imagined public, and his therapist. Tapping into an unusual array of creative ambitions and burgeoning identities locked within the artistic personality, the author, an expert in treating the creative personality, outlines an original theory linking the artistic process to a special form of narcissism in which the self is in constant need of approval and justification from its audience and itself. Taking into account the parallel struggles and demands of learning one's craft while trying to maintain a semblance of financial stability, Alper has compassionately marked the unique facets of the artist who seeks a therapist's help when self-esteem succumbs to doubt and frustration. The skill of the author in forming an enduring therapeutic alliance with these young men and women enables them to come to terms with the clash between their artistic temperament and the concomitant need to assume a realistic, enduring societal role. Destined to make an invaluable contribution to the psychology of creativity, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Patient will be a vital asset to psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health practitioners, psychoanalysts, social workers, and general readers." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1992