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Wharton, B. Redfearn, J.T. (1988). Perry, John W. The Self in Psychotic Process: its Symbolization in Schizophrenia. Dallas, Spring Publications, 1987 (revised edition in Jungian Classics series of the book originally published in 1953 by the University of California Press). Pp. 184. $16.. J. Anal. Psychol., 33(2):191-192.

(1988). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 33(2):191-192

Perry, John W. The Self in Psychotic Process: its Symbolization in Schizophrenia. Dallas, Spring Publications, 1987 (revised edition in Jungian Classics series of the book originally published in 1953 by the University of California Press). Pp. 184. $16.

Review by:
Barbara Wharton

J. W. T. Redfearn

This is a book which fully deserves its place as a Jungian classic. It makes a very significant addition to Jung's work on the self and on the mandala as a symbol of the ‘cosmos’ which yet is also felt to have to do with forces within oneself.

In 1949 Dr Perry returned from studies at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich to his psychiatric hospital work. It was his work with his first young woman patient that set him on the line of investigation so absorbingly written about in this the first, and in his subsequent books. His Zürich training caused his attention to be keenly alerted by an opening remark of hers that she was at the centre of her world. She required very little encouragement to make coloured drawings symbolising her world and her own place in it. She felt that the drawings were important to her, and was able to talk to Dr Perry about them, and to be helped by him to regard their content, however psychotic, as symbolic of her inner truths. Together they related the drawings to her delusions and beliefs. A series of twelve coloured pictures is reproduced in the book covering her acute psychotic episode, with its catatonic and manic features, and her recovery from it. More than half of these pictures have features of the mandala, and the others are obvious symbols of the self—tree, plant, death and rebirth symbols, including a baby/cancer. In her psychotic period, she depicts her good/bad self at the centre of the mandala world. She controls the world, but is threatened by persecution and rebellious attempts to take her over and take control of the world.

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