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

The Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique
Creative Assessment and Treatment with Children and Adolescents

ISBN 9781138574373
Published June 25, 2019 by Routledge
142 Pages

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Book Description

This book introduces the Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique (MSSDT), a creative, transdiagnostic, clinical assessment tool and treatment intervention for child and adolescent clients. The MSSDT 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.

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

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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.


"Solidly based in recent neuroscience research on the right brain, current psychodynamic understandings of self-states, and modern conceptualizations of projective drawings, Susan Parente offers a creative, pragmatic model of both assessment and treatment. I highly recommend this important clinical contribution for working with a variety of self-states in a spectrum of clinical and adolescent disorders."
Allan N. Schore, PhD, author of Right Brain Psychotherapy, The Development of the Unconscious Mind, and The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy

"Based on years of experience in evaluating children as a school-based psychologist and private practitioner, this book demonstrates Dr. Parente’s passionate commitment to the idea that children’s drawings may provide unique access to psychological understandings and serve as a foundation for self-discovery and therapeutic healing. Filled with beautiful figurative examples and compelling case vignettes of how this can be achieved, the manual sets out a highly creative approach to using the drawing process in assessment and treatment of children, integrating the latest ideas from neuroscience, formulations of dissociation and multiple self-states, and attachment theory. Building upon earlier traditions of projective figure drawing techniques, Dr. Parente's MSSDT offers a novel, playful, reassuring method for exploring the emotional states and psychological lives of children, in a way that can be used by a wide-range of child and adolescent clinicians." 
Nick Midgley, co-director of the Child Attachment and Psychological Therapies Research Unit (ChAPTRe), UCL and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, London; author of Mentalization-Based Treatment: A Time-Limited Approach

"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

"The Multiple Self States Drawing Technique is an invaluable addition to clinicians’ tools for working with children and teens. Parente’s uniquely creative approach is well documented in theory and practice that she articulates clearly. An engaging approach, it will serve clinicians and their clients extremely well."
Nina K. Thomas, PhD, ABPP, assistant associate professor, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and Co-Chair, Advanced Specialization in Trauma and Disaster Studies

"The MSSDT joins therapeutic creative procedures with state-of-the-art psychodynamic theory. Susan Parente details current ideas about attachment, self-states, dissociation, body memory, trauma and affect-regulation while also exploring the psychological use of drawings. What is unique here is the integration of these ideas into a collaborative model for growth and healing for clinicians working with children and adolescents. Parente’s clinical vignettes demonstrate how to use the MSSDT to reveal in-depth psychodynamic issues and create bridges for integrating multiple self-states."
Osna Haller, PhD, past president, New Jersey Psychological Association, Certified EMDR Therapist, APA Certification in Proficiency of Treatment of Substance Abuse

"Parente’s manual introduces us to the integrative thought processes of a master clinician. Creatively weaving a tapestry of multiple theoretical strands, she offers the reader an in-depth introduction to each of the theories that inform her thinking. She provides the best sort of approach to assessment, one which is not technique driven, but is grounded in a theoretical approach to conceptualizing the child’s experience of self and leads directly to engagement and intervention."
Susan C. Warshaw, EdD, ABPP, editor in chief, Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy