The Psychoanalysis of Art: Freud and the Problem of Art and Science | 3/3/2018


Class size will be limited.
Enrollment closes Thursday, March 1, 2018.
No refunds after class begins.

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

SKU: 8-0303/Berlese Category:


Elizabeth E. Berlese, Ph.D.

March 3, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Course will be held in Instructors Office
22A West Micheltorena Street
Santa Barbara, CA  93101

This Course is Approved for 3 CE/CME’s

Elizabeth E. Berlese, Ph.D.
Extension Program Chair


As is the case with many of Freud’s ideas, his model of art, pathography, has settled into common knowledge amidst high controversy.  A common grievance is the objection that, rather than illuminating art, by an ironic turn, Freud obliterated it, taking “the creative out of creativity” and reducing it to a neutered form.

Despite the criticism, pathography’s essential premise endures.  In fact, Freud’s study of art presents less a failing than a riddle.  He made a vital contribution that he cut off at the knees; he did see art’s essence but looked another way; he expressed misgivings but did not redress them.  One must ask, why was this so?

This course will present Freud’s time-honored and useful insights into creative experience while examining how his aesthetic theory was shaped—and misshaped—by a “quarrel” between humanistic and scientific paradigms that extended from the Ancient world and unsettles questions of validity to the present day.  It will illuminate pathography as a micro-study—and, in ways, a casualty–of an old and persistent debate: is psychoanalysis an art or a science?  Freud was clear.  He admired art but he admired science more.

Freud’s study of Leonardo da Vinci will provide case illustration throughout.


Upon completion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Understand essential premises of Romanticism and of Positivistic Science, including how these are relevant to the present-day argument for accountability and evidence-based therapies.
  • Understand the history of pathography and, most importantly, Freud’s unique model.
  • Utilize the pathographical model in understanding creative process, both in the clinical setting and in critiquing a work of art.
  • Identify the contributions and shortcomings of Freud’s aesthetic theory and how both were influenced by the ongoing debate between art and science.


Important Disclosure: None of the planners or presenters of this CME/CE program has any relevant financial relationship to disclose.

Accreditation and Credit Designation Statement

Accreditation Statement: LAISPS is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical
edu cation for physicians. LAISPS takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Physicians: LAISPS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should only claim credit
commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certificate in Continuing Medical
Psychologists: LAISPS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. LAISPS
maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists: LAISPS is approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences to grant continuing education
credit to those holding LCSW and MFT licenses. (Provider #PCE311) This activity is designated for 3 credit hours.

Please Note:

  • Participants must complete an online evaluation within 2 weeks of completing this CE/CME activity in order to receive credit.
  • According to APA guidelines, CE credit can only be awarded to psychologists for full attendance

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