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Ratatouille and Freud

On November 11th 1 Comment covering ,

In Brian Bird’s lovely film Ratatouille, the gastronomically inspired rat Rémy creates virtuoso improvisations in the kitchen of Auguste Gusteau’s restaurant. The other cooks insist on rote repetition of the deceased great chef’s recipes as their attempt at continuing his legacy. Rémy is visited by Gusteau’s ghost, who urges him to innovate and take risks. It is clear that Rémy is far truer to — literally — the spirit of Gusteau than the other cooks, ironically by deviating from his recipes. The other cooks are well-intentioned in their desire to follow Gusteau, but instead of emulating his love of creation and discovery, they make his legacy a dead thing — a fetish. Read more »

Creative process in 8 stages

On November 10th 2 Comments covering

I am not a huge fan of the Kubler-Ross “stages of grief” and theories of “stages of …. ” derived from it. People mourn in bits and pieces and don’t march through neat stages. But the Huffington Post has this short article by painter Kimberly Brooks on the 8 stages of the creative process, and it rings true. In my clinical work with creative persons I have heard so much about this. It can really be useful for people to know that the painful, confusing, discouraging parts are just a stage in the process. It can help people, strangely, not be too discouraged by their discouragement.

Loooong hiatus

On October 29th covering ,

I’m reviving my blog in a new form after ten months of silence. I’ve copied the few posts I still like from the old location and I’m changing my approach. At the regional meeting of ISPSO, Annette Clancy asked me what happened my blog, which I kept up for a couple of months until it fell by the wayside. It was more than run-of-the-mill laziness and competing interests. It really made me uneasy in a way I couldn’t identify. I was blogging anonymously, or so I thought until a helpful commentator pointed out it was easy to discover my name. I felt it was important to do be anonymous until I found my way, but I also felt it was a bit cheesy and dishonest to comment on the world from a comfortable hiding place.

Annette’s question Read more »


On July 19th

This is a place to develop some of my thoughts about leadership and conflict as it occurs in bands and other music groups. I’ll probably contrast this with items about other kinds of groups and organizations.

I’ll be drawing from my experience as a clinical psychologist and a fully trained psychoanalyst as well as my background as a musician, my clinical work with musicians and my consulting work to performing groups. I’m working on writing the book I’d like to read on the topic, and I hope to keep you posted.

Humility and Humiliation

On December 11th 1 Comment covering

It’s funny how these two closely related words mean such distinct things.

Humiliation is a terribly painful and destructive emotional state. It ranks very high among the things that people are afraid of. It is an overwhelming experience of shame and being degraded, usually in the eyes of others. Sometimes a person can be intentionally humiliated by another, in a sadistic attack that is intended to strip away all dignity and self-esteem.

Humility, on the other hand, is a relief. Read more »