Psychology and Art

After Sigmund Freud started psychoanalysis in the field of psychology, André Breton, etc. established surrealism as a school of art. Psychoanalysis and surrealism seemed to influence each other to investigate and express the human subconscious world.

Although Freud's contribution in discovering the "subconscious" must be appreciated, at the same time, the limitation of his methodology to try to find out the cause of psychological traumas in the "no more existing past" was made apparent. Since then, a wide range of psychotherapeutic schools have been started as something which could replace or transcend psychoanalysis, including Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Encounter, Primal, Est, Rebirthing, etc., but they have turned out to have a similar limitation to that of psychoanalysis in the sense that they are content-oriented therapies, and try to make the clients re-experience again and again endlessly their past traumas cognitively (e.g., in Gestalt, transactional analysis, etc.) or emotionally and physically (e.g., in Encounter, Primal, Rebirthing, etc.).

Namely, all of these modern psychotherapeutic schools were unable to go beyond the content level, naively believing that once the causes of the traumas in the (non-existing) past are found and re-experienced, these traumas will be cured for ever.

It was NLP that transcended this content level for the first time in the history of psychology (although the earlier contribution of Milton E. Erickson and of the Palo Alto Group must not be forgotten) to go up to the level of the processes of human behaviour, and began to deal with the patterns and rules governing the unwanted behaviour of the clients, and to change them so that they may feel happier and more satisfied with themselves. (Cf. the metaphors given on the page "Samskara".)

Incidentally, that NLP is something on a totally different level to the traditional psychotherapeutic schools, and transcends all of them, can be known also from the simple fact that we have a real difficulty to find out newly established important and influential psychotherapeutic schools after the advent of NLP - there was no reason why new psychotherapeutic schools with the same limitation would need to be created after the transcendence of the content level by NLP. (In this senses, not only psychoanalysis, but also psychotherapy itself are now becoming "dead words".)

With this background, Guhen Kitaoka's sincere hope is that the artists who are encountering difficulty in making a break-through at the end of 20th century should make recourse to NLP as the most progressive communicational psychology, and that a completely new art will be generated, just as surrealism was inspired heavily by psychoanalysis to create a new art at the time.

Copyright ©1996-2000, by Guhen Kitaoka. All rights reserved internationally.