Available Now



Available Now

I have published a companion book that contains only paintings entitled LAYERS WITHIN, which has 177 illustrations.

It is available for purchase for $35 (includes USA shipping) directly through me at

CHAOS AND CONTROL | A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Unfolding Creative Minds

by Desy Safán-Gerard

HB 288pp, March 2018

This book explores the role of chaos and control in the creative process as well as the difference between talent and creativity.

Part One explores some of the common biases and pitfalls in the analysis of creative people, the role of the accidental in creative work, the nature of creative blocks, passion and its absence, as well as the problem of being able to exercise one’s freedom. The author describes the special needs of creative patients, the common problems arising in therapy, their solutions, and, most importantly, the analyst’s distinctive role when dealing with such patients. She also examines how narcissism, neurosis, and psychosis affect creative work.

Part Two reinforces the themes of the first part by describing the process and history of the author’s own creative path. These are mostly autobiographical accounts of her overall emotional relationship to the arts, reinforcing the themes presented in Part One: the significance of visual artwork; the role of destructiveness; the importance of love and hate during creative work; the role of mistakes, and the special role of music in the author’s paintings based on Pierre Boulez’s music as well as in her overall oeuvre.

The chapter entitled “Music: My First Love” contains an account of the creation of her series of nine paintings based on Le marteau sans maître by Pierre Boulez, which has been posted on Karnac’s blog Karnacology: click here.



1. Chaos and control in the creative process
2. Talent and creativity
3. The role of the accident in the creative act
4. The psychodynamics of creative blocks
5. On not knowing: Discerning the mental and emotional requirements of creative work
6. Why bother?: From indifference to passion
7. Is creativity dangerous?
8. Art and madness

9. Music: My first love
10. How painting became a passion
11. Creativity: From the painting studio to the consulting room
12. The evolution of a painting
13. Love and hate in the creative process
14. Destructiveness & reparation: A retrospective
15. From mistake to mistake: The creative process in four large paintings
16. As in the flesh



DESY SAFÁN-GERARD is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California in Los Angeles. Dr. Safán-Gerard has led a threefold life in music, painting, and psychoanalysis.

Her book is based on papers presented in the USA, Europe and South America on the issues confronting a person engaged in the creative process and on the unique needs of creative patients in treatment.

Book Launch will take place at New Center for Psychoanalysis (NCP) in Los Angeles:

Sunday, May 20th
2-6 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

2014 Sawtelle
Los Angeles, CA

Enjoy wine and cheese wth us!

Attendance is free - no need to pre register

Free parking behind the building

artwork ©Desy Safán-Gerard all rights reserved