It is an essential feature of painting-therapy that the patient himself consciously begins to act, in a manner which is suitable for him, in a field which by its typical characteristics enables him to actualize one of his many possibilities of expression. The concept of 'creativity' is as a rule misapplied in the context of painting-therapy. The cause of this misapplication lies in the tact that, in psychoanalytic theories on art, this concept has assumed a significance which has arisen from views which psychoanalysts hold concerning the pathogenesis of disease symptoms in neurotics. No more than we approach the work of an artist in the same way as a patient's painting must we demand or expect creativity of a patient whose painting is a therapeutic activity.
This study points out the unscientific way in which the knowledge obtained in the study of diseased man has been extrapolated by psychoanalysts to the field of aesthetics. A few examples are presented to demonstrate how consistent application of psychoanalytic views to the realen of art leads to inacceptable conclusions.