On: Art and Emotion in psychoanalysis/Reply to Dr Rose

By Rose, Gilbert J.; Jurist, Elliot | International Journal of Psychoanalysis, February 2007 | Go to article overview
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On: Art and Emotion in psychoanalysis/Reply to Dr Rose

Rose, Gilbert J., Jurist, Elliot, International Journal of Psychoanalysis

Dear Sirs,

Jurist (2006) deplores the fact that psychoanalysis is not more aware of the positive role that art plays in emotion. He calls for a correction in the negative psychoanalytic slant of art on emotion. 'Freud needs to be updated' (p. 1330).

I would like to call to your attention to the fact that a body of published work long exists on precisely this subject (Rose, 1992, 1996a, 1996b, 2004a, 2004b, 2006, unpublished).

This continuing study of nonverbal aesthetic form in the light of psychoanalysis as well as neuroscience makes clear the mutual relevance of art and psychoanalysis. Affect serves as a biological taproot of art. Art contributes, in turn, to the ongoing developmental task of affect regulation and refinement.

A key theoretical issue is updating the longstanding mantra that secondary process succeeds primary process. Amending this in the light of art reveals that primary process forms interplay with secondary process discharge delay. This leads to an aesthetic experience of heightened awareness of feelingful thought and thoughtful feeling; this in turn enhances the sense of one's wholeness of self.


P.O. Box 215, Rowayton, CT 06853, USA - giljrose@optonline.net

16 November 2006


Jurist EL (2006). Art and emotion in psychoanalysis. Int J Psychoanal 87:1315-34.

Rose GJ (1992). The power of form: A psychoanalytic approach to aesthetic form, 2nd edition. New York, NY: International UP. 262 p.

Rose GJ (1996a). Necessary illusion: Art as witness. Madison, CT.: International UP. 148 p.

Rose GJ (1996b). Trauma and mastery in life and art: Expanded with an original docudrama, 2nd edition. Madison, CT: International UP. 279 p.

Rose GJ (2004a).

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