Review: Verena Bertignoll (2006). Kinder leben Märchen [Children Live Fairytales]

Armine Roth


The major concern of the present book is the application of Hans DIECKMANN's concept of the general "Psychological Use of Fairytales" in the specific context of child therapy. Fairytales are introduced as means of access to children's inner realities, and, thus, as potential tools for cure and advancement. In this spirit, the author develops these tools against the background of a descriptive rather than analytic synopsis of pioneering works. Subsequently, she deduces a number of explanations for the effectiveness of fairytale therapy from rather poorly embedded discourses on the relevancy of symbolic language, dreams, and archetypes for this method. By means of semi-structured narrative interviews with nine children from five "intact" families, she analyses potential relations between the motives of the children's favorite fairytales and their psychological conflicts. In doing this she also intends to stress the relevancy of fairytales as a resource for prevention and therapy. After a very detailed description of the fieldwork, the book concludes with a lean discussion of results: according to the author, the favorite-fairytales approach provides us with a plural and multi-level understanding of problems, sorrows, and resources of the children who were interviewed.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901250


fairytales; fairytale therapy; favourite fairytale; depth psychology; interview


Copyright (c) 1970 Armine Roth

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