Psychotherapy and Sculpture: A Rewarding New Life


In the process of both psychotherapy and sculpture, this psychiatrist discovered there is potential for an exciting and rewarding life. Here, a representative piece from his collection.

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During gradual retirement as an academic psychiatrist, I began to take welding classes at night in order to create nonrepresentational metal sculptures. I also started to collect random discarded metal objects to which I was attracted. Most of these objects remained in piles behind my house. With time, an idea arose about combining chosen parts together to create an interesting welded object. These were left to rust, or sandblasted and powder-coated. Recent sculptures are more formal and are constructed of stainless and Corten steel.

I have always been interested in the creative process and, when I realized early in my career that psychotherapy had tremendous creative potential, I focused on providing psychiatric services with an emphasis on psychotherapy. In the process of both psychotherapy and sculpture, there is potential for an exciting and rewarding new life. In partial retirement, building sculptures now takes up much of my time.

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Having graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in 1968 and completed a psychiatry residency at the Oregon Health Sciences University in 1972, I have provided psychiatric services to emerging adults throughout my career. First I was a psychiatrist at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, then at the University of Nevada School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, where I taught medical students and was a dean of students for 7 years. Later I was the original program director for the psychiatry residency program. Current research interests include medical student professional development, ADHD, functional analytic psychotherapy, and stress while providing psychotherapy.

Title of piece: Red Bull (2013); 13 x 23 inches powder-coated found steel

Sculpture: Grant D. Miller, MD

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