The use of “The Talking Mask” in prison: an example case report.

Margherita Dahò


Studies state that prisoners adapt to an environment usually depicted as painful, fearful and aggressive by wearing emotional “masks” of “hyper-masculinity”, which hide their vulnerabilities and the true self. These masks may also generate behaviours, thoughts or a self-perception that are dysfunctional for the post-prison adjustment. “The Talking Mask” is a new useful art-therapy tool that has been created recently by the author of this paper. It uses pictures to improve the self-awareness of inmates and help to shape a post-prison identity. The goal of the technique is to help prisoners to watch within themselves without masks, while the aim of this paper is to introduce the technique and to show its working principles with a single case. 

art therapy, prison, forensic psychology, offender rehabilitation, defence mechanisms; psychodynamic psychology


art therapy; offender rehabilitation; defence mechanisms; psychodynamic psychology

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ISSN: 2035-4630, Open-acess, peer-reviewed Journal, Tribunale di Roma 142/09, 04/05/09 - dir. responsabile: G. Colajacomo

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