The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoe Frenzy to Love and Creativity

by Susan Kavaler-Adler
Foreword by Bergmann, Martin S.
ISBN: 9780984870011 (soft)

Through the life stories of women such as Camille Claudel, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Anne Sexton, Suzanne Farrell and others, and through clinical case studies, Susan Kavaler-Adler offers penetrating insights into the nature of the creative process. Kavaler-Adler contrasts unsuccessful psychological treatments with object-relations therapy that is able to resolve the pathological narcissism of creative addiction and allow the emergence of healthy modes of self-expression. This book will be of interest to anyone interested in the creative process and its psychological and psychoanalytic underpinnings.


The Creative Mystique maintains the fascination and profundity of the author’s earlier work. Dr. Kavaler-Adler has uniquely integrated the “Otherness” of the creative process with the chimerical male figure in the female artist’s internal mental world to create the concept of the “demon lover.” The author spans the horizon of the Kleinian, Object Relations, and Developmental literature, on one hand, and the artistic/literary biographical literature on the other. The effect is compelling and riveting.

— James S. Grotstein, MD