Nise da Silveira was born in Maceió, in the northeastern state of Alagoas, Brazil, in 1905. After graduating from the Medical School of Bahia in 1926 (the only woman among 157 men), she devoted her life to psychiatry and never was in agreement with the aggressive forms of treatment of her time such as commitment to psychiatric hospitals, electroshock, insulin therapy and lobotomy. Her method was basically to treat patient which she refused to call them patients instead she called them “Clients” and called the doctor and nursing staff. The hospital ward where she was supposed to work at was dirty and in absolute mess which she arrived, she and one nurse took by their own the job of cleaning the ward to make it appropriate place to live for the clients AKA patients. It is worth mentioning that the male nurse (nurse) hired to work with her was aggressive to patients and used to abuse them and beat them not only that he refused to clean up the ward with the doctor claiming that its not his job. She managed after a while to transform this person into very kind human that treat patients with love and compassion.
After that a male nurse (Murse) who was interested in painting suggested to Dr. Nise to start bringing basic drawing instruments and let the patients draw. They first refused and acted aggressively towar this concept, she actually fought other nurses not gave patients medicine to calm them down and asked them to leave the patients be them selves only few of them refused to participate in drawings and art work, by time they all got very interested and started drawing what’s in their subconscious and one single man chose to sculpt using clay (none of the patients had art back ground) After that Dr Nise with her nursing staff started getting stray dogs for each patients, of course male doctors along with the head of the hospital refused. They claimed that dogs will bring dirt and infections to the patients although they helped patients to get better massively starting to regain their feelings of love and be loved and the dogs were kept in the outer yard/garden and was taken to vets from time to time. Eventually evil men “doctors” killed the dogs which devastated and traumatized the poor patients who were already half way cured or at least act normally (not aggressive anymore even the most dangerous one who was actually captured in isolated cell and tortured) killing the dogs made the patients conditions worse Dr Nise with her staff had to start from point zero.
Even for normal people dogs give unconditional love and compassion.
The pictures above shows the brutual ways used to treat patients back then and they are still in use for some patients.
Doctor Nise Refused to participate in aggressiveness and brutal method which never improved patients conditions actually it killed their emotions and senses. She fought 157 male doctors to stop this bullshit of treatments, and tried to convince them that her methods actually work and never gave up her dream to stop brutality treatments to stop the hospital dominated by men doctors using aggressive methods that are unproven, she even risked being fired. At the very bottom of this page I will list the reasons why did male doctors refused and fought back to show that her methods aren’t scientifically proven.
She then came to a genius idea to arrange a gallery in Rio de Janeiro which also serves as a study and research center that collected the works produced in painting and modeling studio. Through her work, Nise da Silveira introduced the only art gallery of psychology ill people in Brazil that includes patients art works and invited one of the most respected artists and critiques, he was stunned and helped her arrange fund for the Museum of Images and art work of the Unconscious and he invited the elite people, psychiatrists and family that have patients thrown and prisoned in the wrong clinics those who suffer from cases related to unconscious and described that these art works created by the patients matches or even exceed the best artists in South America or maybe the world.
A few years later, in 1956, Nise da Silveira developed another revolutionary project for her time from the funds generated from the previous gallery, she created the “Casa das Palmeiras” (Palms House), a clinic for former patients of psychiatric institutions, where they could freely express their art and be treated as outpatients on a daily basis. She also formed the C.G. Jung Study Group, which she chaired until 1968.
Her research on occupational therapy and the understanding of the psychotic process through images of the unconscious gave origin, along the years, to exhibitions, films, documentaries, audiovisuals, courses, symposiums, publications and conferences. She was also a pioneer in researching emotional relations between patients and animals, whom she used to call co-therapists.
In recognition of her work, Nise da Silveira was awarded decorations, titles and prizes in different areas of knowledge. She was a founding member of the International Society for Psychopathological Expression headquartered in Paris, France. Her work and ideas inspired the creation of Museums, Cultural Centers and Therapeutic Institutions in Brazil and overseas. “The Casa das Palmeiras” Is still open to visitors in Rio as a museum.
Reasons why she was never awarded the Noble Prize or her story been recognized all over the world as she absolutely deserves it in my OPINION:
1. She is a woman and sexism is still practiced in every single in the world.
2. Psychiatrist Medicine industry will go bankrupt if these free drug medications was applied.
3. The so claimed psychiatrics ” AKA drug dealers ” at least some of them” who have gigantic contacts with medicine manufacturers will also go vanished. Also the want people to get hooked and addicted to their medicines for ever to make these drug dealers and manufacturers make more and more money convince people believe that they are actually sick or even crazy.
4. Most of the patients cases suffered from lack of love or separation from their loved ones and these two factors (majorly) causes trauma which can heal by time or push the patients to make them self busy through various activities like art in general or working out, taking care of a pet (specially dogs).
I am very sad for her not to receive the recognition she deserved.
DR. Nise died on October 30, 1999, in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
There is a real story movie documenting her live (never edited) every thing in the movie was true. It is available on Netflix called (Nise the heart of madness) its in Portuguese you can use subtitles though. BELIEVE ME IT WORTHS EVERY SECOND.
The movie poster & trailer are below then below the a slideshow its a mix of real events/pictures and from the movie.