15 1/4” x 15 1/4”
At the time I made this linocut, I had been treating Catherine for five years, and she was on her way to recovery.
But her silent, tortured agony while in the the hospital haunted me. Her image had been lodged in my mind
from the moment I met her. Training programs in psychiatry and psychology emphasize that the therapist
should be neutral, just reflecting back his opinions, “interpretations” they are called. I am convinced that the
therapist must not deny his humanity. That is part of the cure.
Catherine Penney's art
Catherine was encouraged to participate in occupational therapy while she was in treatment. She created these drawings, each addressed to Dr. Dorman.
May She Rest In Peace 1971
The drawings represent my states of mind when I was in the depths of
psychosis. The disembodied head with tears meant that: I had no sense
of substance. I felt detached and separated. I was at the mercy of
chaotic unstable forces and I experienced a profound sense of "not being." I
was asking for help. The picture of the hand coming out of the water meant
that I was drowning-dying-sinking down into the abyss, yet a small
part of me still hung onto some hope. The third picture of the graveyard
represented shattered hope. I had succumbed to the relentless battle of
trying to outwit the voices, of trying to survive on my own terms. Not
even intervention from the outside (Dr. Dorman or the hospital) could