Psychological Oddities Among Performing Artists

  • Vincent EganEmail author
  • Anthony Beech
  • Laurence Burrow
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


This chapter discusses from biographical, academic, and psychotherapeutic perspectives the psychological challenges that inform creative work in some performing musicians. We integrate views from academic, forensic, and clinical psychology, and the unique perspective of an “expert by experience” professional popular musician who is also a trained art psychotherapist. Creative work is aided by loosened associations and affective availability expressed in an accessible, structured way. If these qualities unravel, an individual may decompensate into a less productive mental state where illness dominates and disrupts the creative process. However, if the balance of difference and expression maintains, popular artworks that touch an audience can be produced, and with it, a greater empathic understanding of psychological differences for the person being entertained.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Forensic and Family PsychologyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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