Psychiatric pathologies entail serious human suffering, inhibiting – whether in oneself or others - personal growth and expansion, fragmenting or disintegrating the personality and diminishing the quality of interpersonal relationships. Indeed the etymology of the Greek New Testament word diabolos (= devil, the personification of evil) leads to diaballo (= to tear apart), and Jung writes that in antiquity and the Middle Ages mental diseases were conceived tout court as daemonic possession.
But the antonym of diabolos is symbolos (from synballo = to connect), something which acts as a link uniting the whole, integrating the individual in himself and with his group. So symbolizing is therapeutic, because it manages and transforms the dark strength which stirs in the unconscious (which is potentially pathogenic either when it is repressed or when it overflows), infusing the deepest emotions into works of art.
Through artistic and musical activities the devils, which represent the compressed, subterranean energies that threaten will and self control, can be transformed into daimons, mediators which are able to connect and integrate all parts of the human spirit and its past.
This paper explores the following points: creativity is a desirable trait of personality; fostering creativity means promoting mental health; practising music, writing and visual arts can have rehabilitation effects on psychiatric patients.
|Keywords:||Creativity, Rehabilitation, Psychiatric Pathologies, Unconscious Communication, Expression, Socialization|
Professor, Faculty for Medicine, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
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