The integrative power of the creative spirit

Barbara Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Making use of my observing ego, I, an octogenarian psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and photographer, take note of the way the organizing function of my creative spirit serves as an integrating force, binding myself together in the face of the anxieties that accompany getting old. My thoughts drift back to the time when I was temporarily lost after graduating from the analytic institute: "What will my future be?" By taking time to immerse myself in nature-awakening the spirit of my happy childhood when I had accompanied my father to the woods-my creative Eye sprang into existence. I became a pioneer in the acceptance of color photography as fine art. My photography has played a crucial role in the treatment of several of my patients. In a number of vignettes, I illustrate how my creativity has also been at work in the way I have adapted each patient's therapy to meet his or her individual needs. I feel that the humane therapy I have received from my own analysts helped to solidify my own shaky foundations caused by a serious family crisis when I was 1 to 3. With camera or pen in hand, I have been able to experience and express my feelings, whether they be happiness or the inevitable loss of dear ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-283
Number of pages8
JournalPsychoanalytic Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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