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Telling Without Talking: Art as a Window into the World of Multiple Personality

Telling Without Talking: Art as a Window into the World of Multiple Personality - Barry M. Cohen A picture says a thousand words. Much more than a thousand, in these cases. Over the course of 15 years, these two art therapists collected, interpreted, and catalogued the artwork of their patients with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Through their drawings, these patients communicate their experience of DID in ways they are not yet able to articulate. It is amazing to observe common elements in the art of patients with the same diagnosis, but who otherwise have no reason for such striking similarities. Is this the disease process "speaking"? Does the pathology of DID represent a particular way of organizing images, nonverbal language processing (symbology), representational organization, etc? -and is that what results in these predictable and reproducable features in art? Do these similarities have to do with preferred neural pathways? The book doesn't get into all of that. The book shows the pictures (i.e. the raw data), and gives the authors' interpretations. The interpretations seem reasonable. Could there be other interpretations? (maybe) Same for the categories the authors have devised (the "ten categories", p15) They seem reasonable- could there be another way of organizing them? (maybe) Even if you don't like the interpretations and organizing of the pictures into categories, the book is fascinating for the pictures alone.