In Sex, Drugs, and Creativity: The Search for Magic in a Disenchanted World, Kahoud and Knafo take a close look at omnipotent fantasies in three domains: sex, drugs, and creativity. They demonstrate how these fantasies emerge and how artists draw on them both to create and destroy—sometimes simultaneously – and how understanding this can help psychoanalysts work more effectively with these individuals.

Using the personal statements of influential artists and entertainers, in addition to clinical material, the authors examine the omnipotence of self-destruction as it contends with that of creative artists. The authors argue that creative artists use omnipotent fantasies to imagine the world differently - this enables them to produce their art, but also leaves these artists vulnerable to addiction. Chapters devoted to Stephen King and Anne Sexton demonstrate the ways these authors used drugs and alcohol to fuel imagination and inspire creative output while simultaneously doing harm to themselves. A detailed case study also demonstrates successful clinical work with a creative substance user.

Sex, Drugs, and Creativity will appeal to anyone interested in the links between creativity and substance use, and will be of great use to psychoanalysts and mental health practitioners working with these challenging clients.

chapter |17 pages


The lure of omnipotence

part I|47 pages

The magical imperative

chapter 1|20 pages

The sexual illusionist

20Sleeping with a fantasy

chapter 2|10 pages

Elixirs of immortality

Transformations of intoxication

chapter 3|16 pages

Mightier than the sword

The magic of creativity

part II|64 pages

Messages in a bottle: Literary and clinical applications

chapter 4|19 pages

The black art of Anne Sexton

chapter 5|22 pages

The monsters of Stephen King

chapter 6|13 pages

The sorcerer stoned

Quentin’s case

chapter |9 pages


Omnipotent fantasies for a disenchanted world