The Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique: Creative Assessment and Treatment with Children and Adolescents, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique

Creative Assessment and Treatment with Children and Adolescents, 1st Edition

By Susan Parente


136 pages

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Paperback: 9781138574373
pub: 2019-06-05
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Hardback: 9781138574366
pub: 2019-06-05
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This book introduces the multiple self-states drawing technique (MSSTD), a creative, trans-diagnostic, clinical assessment tool and treatment intervention for child and adolescent clients. The MSSTD provides clinicians and patients with a novel opportunity to bridge the gap in youngsters’ selves-awareness of discrete emotional states.

Dr. Parente teaches clinicians how to guide clients through this contemporaneous version of projective figure drawing in order to discover and explore trauma-based, dissociative, and emotionally dysregulated self-states and to focus on adaptive, resilient states of well-being. Specific, step-by-step instructions are provided, and case illustrations demonstrating the proposed clinical advantages of the method are presented. Chapters show how this experiential, psycho-educational, arts-based activity can be flexibly applied to a broad range of ages and clinical populations and how using the MSSDT may support mental health professionals’ clinical work.

Through this manual, clinicians will learn how to help clients foster a beneficial relational encounter, promote therapeutic self-expression, and develop an enhanced self and other awareness.


"Susan Parente's book is a true gift to child and adolescent psychotherapists! It is well-crafted, practical, and based upon decades of clinical experience. If a picture is worth more than 1000 words, then an image-based assessment and treatment method that avoids the cognitive trap is invaluable."

Terry Marks-Tarlow, PhD, author of Play & Creativity in Psychotherapy, Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy, and Awakening Clinical Intuition

The reader is in for a treat – a creative blend of art therapy, affect regulation therapy, CBT and psychodynamic models by a master clinician. The result is a tool for ongoing assessment and a therapeutic playground in which the self is recognized and given agency and in which everyone can play without shame. This is an important contribution for which both clinicians and patients will be grateful.

Daniel Hill, PhD, author of Affect Regulation Theory: a Clinical Model

"The MSSDT is imminently useful for therapists of diverse orientations who want to help children and adolescents better understand themselves and their emotions in a way that depathologizes dysregulation, capitalizes on strengths, and engages young people creatively in finding a path forward—one built on the knowledge that who they are at their worst moments is not all they are or who they’re destined to be in the future. I’ve utilized this practical and illuminating technique in my own practice, and highly recommend it to other clinicians."

Craig Haen, PhD, RDT, CGP, LCAT, FAGPA, co-editor of the Handbook of Child and Adolescent Group Therapy and Creative-Arts Based Group Therapy with Adolescents

Table of Contents

About the Author Acknowledgments Chapter 1. Drawings—A Way of Understanding: An Introduction Chapter 2. Projective Drawing Measures in the Assessment of Children and Adolescents Chapter 3. The Multiple Self-States Model Chapter 4. Development of the Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique Chapter 5. The Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique Procedure Chapter 6. Proposed Values of the MSSDT Chapter 7. Early Childhood Case Study—Child With OCD Chapter 8. Early Adolescent Case Study—Teen With Relational Trauma History Chapter 9. Late Adolescent Case Study—College Student With Social Anxiety Summary and Conclusions References

About the Author

Susan C. Parente, PsyD is a licensed psychologist and a psychodynamic and relational practitioner. Dr. Parente has provided child, adolescent, family and adult psychological treatment services, comprehensive psycho-diagnostic assessment, consultation to schools and families, and creative arts and play therapy in multiple settings. She has maintained a private practice in her Montclair, NJ office for over 25 years.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Child & Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health
PSYCHOLOGY / Assessment, Testing & Measurement