chapter  3
14 Pages

Borderland territory in developmental creativity

WithRachael Henry

“Creativity” is not just originality. Anything we do can be said, trivially, to be original. Rather than a special faculty, creativity is an aspect of human intelligence in general, grounded in everyday abilities such as conceptual thinking, perception, memory, and reflective self-criticism. It is, put simply, the capacity to see beyond human-constructed borders and recognise more implications. Additionally, creativity needs to be culturally, intellectually or emotionally uplifting; there is a claim to perception of some essential truth, even if that does involve some value judgement; and its rare insights are of the sort that penetrate conventional or institutional received views of a subject. It requires a revolutionary attitude—or attitude from outside a particular discipline—to see relationships denied by the received view. Creativity as mental work is related to the work of psychoanalysis which tackles the major factors inhibiting mental life and emotional growth. This chapter will highlight particular transitions that occurred within the first year of an object relations psychotherapy of a four-year-old child with disturbed imaginative play necessitating therapeutic experimentation with borders, to explore the “symbolic functioning”, “emotional salience”, and “radical challenge” properties of creativity in their developmental origins.