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Piene, F. (1980). A Picture Book of Internal Events: The Colours of Rage and Love: Drawings by Marion, the patient. Text by Marie Nævestad. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1979. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 3(2):117-120.

(1980). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 3(2):117-120

A Picture Book of Internal Events: The Colours of Rage and Love: Drawings by Marion, the patient. Text by Marie Nævestad. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1979

Review by:
Fiffi Piene

Our first reaction to this book is to open our eyes wide with surpise: Is this a book on psychoanalysis? For years we have grown used to the literature in our field of study being presented in books with small print and on poor quality paper, usually paperbacks containing words and yet more words closely crammed together. But here we have a large-size book on very good quality paper, with excellent colourprints and plenty of free space – truly a “picture book”.

“The Picture Book of Internal Events” takes us on a journey into the internal world of a patient through a therapeutic process as expressed by her via the visualisation of her feelings, reactions and states of mind.

First of all I should like to thank Marion, the patient, for permitting us to share her experiences. Not everyone has the strength to bear having their deepest conflicts and the tragedy of their life, with its pain and despair, published and thereby made accessible to all. Neither does every therapist have the capacity and ability required to describe such special therapeutic material and then to present it in a theoretical context. This book is the result of the meeting between a patient who had a special gift for expressing her inner life through drawings and a therapist who was an artist herself. They were both on the same wavelength as artists and could therefore also communicate in this way.

In addition we meet a therapist emotionally deeply attuned to the patient and in possession of thorough theoretical knowledge, able to master this integration between empathy and emotional participation and, at the same time, retain a constructive intellectual grasp of the material.

Marie Nævestad, the experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, also offers her views on the psychodynamics of puerperal psychosis.

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