Art as subjective solution: a Lacanian theory of art therapy

Shirley Sharon-Zisser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lacanian psychoanalysis is not frequently mentioned in discussions of art therapy. Yet its premises offer intriguing possibilities for art therapists. Lacan was engaged with art and artists and often turns to artworks in his essays and seminars, not only as illustration for psychoanalytical concepts but also as sources of new knowledge for psychoanalysis. Lacanian psychoanalysis also highlights the inherent link between creativity and solutions individuals find for their suffering, as do theories of art therapy. This article proceeds upon the recognition that the fields of art therapy and Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, especially in its consideration of creativity and the arts, have much to offer one another. Combining theories of expressive therapies and Lacanian psychoanalysis, this article works towards a systematic articulation of a Lacanian theory of art therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-13
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • Freud
  • Intermodal
  • Lacan
  • polyaesthetics
  • psychoanalysis


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