1st Edition

Jazz and Psychotherapy Perspectives on the Complexity of Improvisation

By Simeon Alev Copyright 2020
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    Blending the insights of musicians and psychologists from D.W. Winnicott to Gregory Bateson to Ornette Coleman, Jazz and Psychotherapy is a groundbreaking exploration of improvisation that reveals its potential to transform our experience of ourselves and the challenges we face as a species.

    What we all share with the professional improvisers known as "psychotherapists" and "jazz musicians" is the reality of not knowing what those around us—or even we ourselves—are going to do next. Rather than avoiding it, however, these practitioners have learned to revere our inherent unpredictability as precisely the feature of human living that makes transformative change possible, fully incorporating it into the theories and practices that constitute their disciplines. Jazz and Psychotherapy provides a sophisticated but accessible overview of the revolutionary approaches to human development and creative expression embodied in these two seemingly disparate twentieth-century cultural traditions.

    Readers interested in music, psychotherapy, social psychology and contemporary theories of complexity will find Jazz and Psychotherapy engaging and useful. Its colorful synthesis of perspectives and multidimensional scope make it an essential contribution to our understanding of improvisation in music and in life.


    Jazz and Psychotherapy:

    Perspectives on the Complexity of Improvisation






    1 — Improvisation, Culture, and Play

    2 — Infancy, Childhood, and Transitional Phenomena

    3 — Intersubjectivity and the Unconscious

    4 — Discovering Voice

    5 — Free Association and Improvisational Space

    6 — Complexity, Spontaneity, and Authenticity

    7 — Musical Dynamics of Early Development

    8 — Symbolization and Metaphor

    9 — Loops and Spirals

    10 — Order and Disorder

    11 — Shifting Paradigms

    12 — The Self in an Evolving World





    Simeon Alev is a psychotherapist, a visual artist, a poet and a musician. He earned his doctorate at York University and completed his professional training at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto.