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Nise da Silveira

Nise da Silveira Brazilian psychiatrist

Brazilian psychiatrist
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Brazilian psychiatrist
Was Psychologist Psychiatrist
From Brazil
Type Healthcare
Gender female
Birth 15 February 1905, Maceió
Death 30 October 1999, Rio de Janeiro (aged 94 years)
The details

Nise da Silveira (February 15, 1905 – October 30, 1999) was a Brazilian psychiatrist, student of Carl Jung.


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.

In 1952 she founded the Museum of Images of the Unconscious, in Rio de Janeiro, a study and research center that collected the works produced in painting and modeling studios. Through her work, Nise da Silveira introduced Jungian psychology in Brazil.

A few years later, in 1956, Nise da Silveira developed another revolutionary project for her time: the creation of 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.

Nise died on October 30, 1999, in the city of Rio de Janeiro.


  • Jung: vida e obra, Rio de Janeiro: José Álvaro Ed., 1968
  • Imagens do inconsciente Rio de Janeiro: Alhambra, 1981
  • Casa das Palmeiras. A emoção de lidar. Uma experiência em psiquiatria Rio de Janeiro: Alhambra, 1986
  • O mundo das imagens São Paulo: Ática, 1992
  • Nise da Silveira Brasil, COGEAE/PUC-SP 1992
  • Cartas a Spinoza Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves, 1995
  • Gatos, A Emoção de Lidar Rio de Janeiro: Léo Christiano Editorial, 1998

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