Shame remains at the core of much psychological distress and can eventuate as physical symptoms, yet experiential approaches to healing shame are sparse. Links between shame and art making have been felt, intuited, and examined, but have not been sufficiently documented by depth psychologists. Shame and the Making of Art addresses this lacuna by surveying depth psychological conceptions of shame, art, and the role of creativity in healing, contemporary and historical shame ideologies, as well as recent psychobiological studies on shame.
Drawing on research conducted with participants in three different countries, the book includes candid discussions of shame experiences. These experiences are accompanied by Cluff’s heuristic inquiry into shame with an interpretative phenomenological analysis that focuses on how participants negotiate the relationship between shame and the making of art. Cluff’s movement through archetypal dimensions, especially Dionysian, is developed and discussed throughout the book. The results of the research are further explicated in terms of comparative studies, wherein the psychological processes and impacts observed by other researchers and effects on self-conscious maladaptive emotions are described.
Shame and the Making of Art should be essential reading for academics, researchers, and postgraduate students engaged in the study of psychology and the arts. It will be of particular interest to psychologists, Jungian psychotherapists, psychiatrists, social workers, creativity researchers, and anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of this shame and self-expression.