Re-animating the Symbolic Function of Art Making

Speaker: Dougherty, Mary
Product Code: Dougherty-FD2013-2-3GP
Availability: Available

Mary Dougherty, MFA, ATR, NCPsyA. 47 minutes. Video & Audio Download.

Topics: Active Imagination, Art and Art Therapy, Society and Culture.

Re-animating the Symbolic Function of Art Making

"In my classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, there was no discussion of the meaning of the images we were making other than on the grounds of formal technical considerations or art historical innovations within the work.  During one of my frequent haunts of the AIC Book Store, I found a copy of Jung’s “Man and His Symbols” – my initial introduction to Jung’s thought that eventually led to my becoming an Art Psychotherapist and then a Jungian Psychoanalyst.  Reflecting on my own experience at the Art Institute and as an exhibiting artist, I have empathy for how artists can feel caught in a conflict between having their work valued in the context of cultural and artistic achievement as well as having the symbolic significance of their work devalued in their own lives.  The purpose of my presentation is to address this conflict."

This talk explores Jung’s understanding of the symbolic function and his thoughts about the artist’s creative process.   Contemporary perspectives that value the formal and cultural demands facing the creative artist will also be considered.  Mary Dougherty then reflects on how the practice of making art can lay the ground for the emergence of synchronistic revelations that may have symbolic significance in the life of the maker and the larger culture.

PowerPoint: No slides for this talk.

Audio: This download includes an audio MP3 of the lecture that can be played on smartphones, tablets, and laptops for listening on the go.

The conference The Healing Power of Art in Everyday Life includes the following lectures:

  1. Revisioning Jung and the Healing Power of the Symbol in Art - Susan Rowland, PhD
  2. Re-animating the Symbolic Function of Art Making - Mary Dougherty, MFA, ATR, NCPsyA
  3. Healing by Looking: Making Art Accessible - Eileen Daily, JD, PhD
  4. When Standing in the Doorway Heals, and When it Doesn’t - Don Fredericksen, PhD
  5. Panel Discussion moderated by Ashok Bedi, MD


Learning Objectives
This video will help you be able to discuss Jung’s understanding of the symbolic attitude in relationship to the art making process

Mary Dougherty, MFA, ATR, NCPsyA is a Jungian psychoanalyst and art psychotherapist in private practice in Chicago.  She is the former President of the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and former Director of Training.  She teaches in the Analyst Training Program in Chicago and elsewhere, and has numerous articles published on analytical psychology. As a printmaker and performance artist she exhibited nationally and internationally, with venues including The George Eastman House, NY; Franklin Furnace, NYC; University of Chicago; Museo Contemporaneo, Sao Paolo.  In 2001, she was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement in the Arts” award by the Chicago Women’s Caucus for the Arts.

© 2013 Mary Dougherty
℗ 2013 CG Jung Institute of Chicago

Audio Format 1 MP3 File: 16MB
Video Format 1 3GP File: 152MB
Video Resolution 640x480