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Images of a Russian Psychotherapist's Surreal Methods

Take a glimpse of Russian photographer Katya Rezvaya's new series about Dr. Andrei Gnezdilov, a therapist and author of scientific studies and books on the therapeutic values of fairy tales.

by Katya Rezvaya
21 November 2016, 12:00am

This story appeared in the November issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.

Andrei Gnezdilov (76) or Doctor Baloo is a Russian psychotherapist, devoted life to his work, co-founder of the first hospice for cancer patients in Saint Petersburg. He practices unusual methods of psychotherapy — fairy tale therapy, theatrical (image) therapy, doll therapy, sound therapy, etc. Doctor is an author of numerous scientific studies and books with therapeutical fairy tales, characters of which are prototypes of real people: his patients and friends.

Baloo has created an atmosphere of mysticism and fairy tales in his dwelling on the top floor of old building in St.Petersburg. He calls his house the Castle. People come here in the search for support and answers to their life questions. Now he performs unusual psychotherapy sessions in his house for everyone who is interested. Psychotherapists from all over Russia are visiting Doctor to learn and to adopt his methods.

Baloo compares problems to the closed doors, and the answers are sometimes hidden deep in the subconsciousness. Everyone who is entering the Castle becomes a storyteller for himself in the search for the matching key.