Contemporary Still-life Paintings
Work by Del Grosso Hauptman
Koch Wesselmann and others
Healing The Bruised Soul
Sweet Home Indiana: 1930's Rural
Landscapes of Lawrence McConaha
A Grosse Pointe_psychiatrist says creativi
gives eve one a sense ofwell-being.
FRANK PROVENZANO SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
THE GREAT JOURNEY IN LIFE IS
DISCOVERING WHO YOU ARE
September 15 - October 28
DAVID KLEIN GALLERY
163 TOWNSEND BIRMINGHAM MI 48009
he had sliced both of her
wrists to the bone. But
she was still alive. She
was locked behind heavy
doors in the isolated wards at the
Lafayette Clinic. Her arms and
legs were restrained. The diag-
nosis was all too obvious: deeply
disturbed and suicidal.
Or so it seemed.
Soon after Victor Bloom took
the case, he began to hear the
voice of an incarcerated poet in
the same mental patient who
had been diagnosed as chroni-
cally depressed and a threat to
"Her poetry communicated a
part of her healthy self," said Dr.
food, one-step modem efficiency
and the ubiquitous looming dead-
The modern-day sickness:
stress. Dr. Bloom's response:
therapy — actually, the type of
self-examination strikingly sim-
ilar to the artistic process.
"Uncovering one's own sense
of creativity applies to many
more people than artists," he
said. By tapping into their own
creativity, business executives
can increase their effectiveness
in the workplace, parents can
raise their children better, and
workers threatened with layoffs
can reevaluate their employment
For Dr. Bloom, the uncon-
scious mind holds many secrets.
Explorations of feelings and
"blocked and depressed" screen-
writer/producer, all indecisive ra-
dio and TV producer, a journalist
with terminal anxiety, and a For-
tune 500 executive who survived
"Each person has creative po-
tential," he said. "It could be writ-
ing, needlepoint, pottery. And
you can realize that creativity in
Most of his cases aren't as im-
mediate or life-threatening as
was the pivotal one 35 years ago
with the suicidal patient. But the
psychoanalytical process Dr.
Bloom used three decades ago is
still helping patients help them-
selves, he said.
He begins with a series of
questions to encourage a per-
sonal and family history. Along
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Bloom, a Grosse Pointe Park-
based psychiatrist, recalling one
of his first cases as an intern in
the late 1950s. "As she told more
and more about her life, she
gradually got better."
The patient wasn't destined to
become the next Sylvia Plath.
But with Plath-like candor, her
poetry revealed the unspeakable
demons she feared. Through con-
tinual free-association exercises
to encourage further artistic ex-
pression, Dr. Bloom helped the
patient discover the causes of her
deep psychological malady.
Today, most of Dr. Bloom's pa-
tients report a common malady
affecting the masses in a high-
tech, pop-culture world of fast
thoughts are firmly in Dr. Victor Bloom: the way, the client is en-
the realm of art and the It isn't just artists couraged to free- associ-
field of psychology. Em-
who need to
ate and relate the
images, words and
to help his patients pry
sounds that come im-
open repressed memo-
mediately to mind.
ries, Dr. Bloom is planted in both
"Most people feel a compelling
need to open and liberate their
Some of his clients are strug- lives," he said. And it's precise-
gling artists, while others are just ly that liberation process where
plain struggling. Regardless, art and therapy coincide.
they share one common goal: to
Inherent in many artworks is
cultivate their self-expression the deeply expressive soul of the
abilities as a antidote to healing artist. Vicariously, many art ap-
their bruised psyche.
preciators can deal with their
"Tapping into one's creative own fears and insecurities
abilities is a way for each and through observing art, Dr. Bloom
every person to get a better sense said.
of well-being," he said.
Yet in the continual rush to re-
His clients have included a define what is and isn't "art," the