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Telling Without Talking: Art as a Window Into the World of Multiple Personalityby Barry Cohen
Synopses & Reviews
People who have been abused as children often keep their memories locked in a strongbox of dissociation, hidden even from themselves. Since "Don't tell!" is the pledge exacted from them in words and actions by their perpetrators, adults who have suffered significant trauma as children create art that externalizes unspoken rage and grief. Their highly personal inner worlds and the experiences from which these worlds developed are revealed and concealed in startling images. This extensively illustrated book examines how creative expression can simultaneously disclose and camouflage information in artwork - especially information that is repressed and dissociated. Following the principles outlined here, readers can learn to recognize and decipher such graphic communications, characteristic of those with dissociative identity disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder). The authors, registered art therapists, begin with a concise examination of the essential ingredients of therapeutic artmaking, emphasizing the importance of visual literacy. They introduce their integrative method for helping viewers comprehend the many levels of meaning in these pictorial communications.
Book News Annotation:
Art therapists explain how a patient's drawings can both reveal and camouflage repressed and dissociated information. They summarize the essential ingredients of therapeutic artmaking, introduce their integrative method for comprehending the levels of meaning in pictorial communications, and analyze about 180 drawings, paintings, and collages by more than two dozen adults diagnosed with dissociative identity.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This extensively illustrated book shows how abused individuals simultaneously express and camouflage dissociated and repressed information in drawings.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 299-304) and index.
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