Maria Taveras in the Book Fifty Shrinks
Fifty Shrinks is a book that features photographs of and interviews with a variety of prominent psychotherapists in their offices in New York City. Maria Taveras is the only Jungian analyst included in the book.
Other psychotherapists in the book include Martin Bergmann, Michael Eigen, Henry Zvi Lothane, Donnel Stern, Kirkland Vaughans, Anni Bergman, Arnold Richards, Otto Kernberg, Albert Ellis, Donna Bassin, Mark Blechner, and Charles Brenner.
This is the interview with Maria Taveras:
I am a Jungian analyst because of my deeply held belief in the importance of creativity in healing patients and making meaning in their lives. I am drawn to Jung because he interprets conflict through the prism of the creative imagination (unlike Freud, who believes that everything is driven by sexuality). Jung posits a theory of ego that engages with unconscious images that spring forth spontaneously, autonomously, and purposively as we find in dreams.
It is from my training as a Jungian analyst that I have delved into my own creativity through sculpting and painting archetypal images inspired by my own dreams. I first felt compelled to make art twenty years ago upon returning from a visit to the Jung Institute of Zurich. I had a series of dreams of a woman entwined with serpents that I interpreted as a portent of my need for self-transformation. This corresponds with Jung’s own interpretation of snakes as the harbingers of change. In one of my dreams, a voice commanded me to sculpt these images. I had never before made anything in clay but I listened to my unconscious and have continued to create art to this day. I keep several examples in my office of both my sculptures and paintings.
When I started showcasing my artwork in the office, many of my patients responded immediately and a few were even inspired to express themselves creatively. For some, it was through writing poetry or making music. For all of us, myself included, the creative journey is our quest to live a meaningful, authentic life.
Fifty Shrinks is by Sebastian Zimmerman, a psychiatrist who photographed and interviewed all of the psychotherapists in the book. He is an award-winning, widely published photographer.