Unlocking Creativity Through Psychoanalysis

Lucy Daniels

Lucy Daniels is a writer and clinical psychologist in private practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. Daniels wrote her first novel, Caleb My Son (1956) while hospitalized with anorexia nervosa. A best seller published in several countries, it earned her a Guggenheim fellowship—at 22, she was the youngest recipient—that supported the writing of her second novel, High on a Hill (1961) about life in a mental hospital. But after that Daniels stopped writing. Instead, she raised her four children, went to college, and became a clinical psychologist. Only then did she receive, through psychoanalysis, the assistance she had needed for more than 25 years. This resulted in her memoir, With a Woman’s Voice (2002) and her first novel in over 40 years, The Eyes of the Father (2005) and a chronicle of her psychological journey back to writing, Dreaming Your Way to Creative Freedom (2005).

Daniels is the founder of the Lucy Daniels Foundation and the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood both located in Cary, North Carolina. The LDF has carried out extensive research focused on creative writers undergoing psychoanalysis, the data of which is now also utilized by Emory University. For the past 20 years Daniels has conducted an annual seminar, entitled “Our Problems as the Roots of Our Power,” for individuals in pursuit of creative and emotional freedom.

In 2013 a new documentary, “In So Many Words,” based on the life of Lucy Daniels was released by Oscar-shortlisted documentarian Elisabeth Haviland James at the Full Frame Film Festival. Daniels’ latest book, Walking with Moonshine, a book of stories showing her writing across her life, was released the same year.

Lucy Daniels has four children, eight grandchildren, and one dachshund, Maggie.