The Projective Use Of Mother-And- Child Drawings: A Manual A Manual For Clinicians
A unique and powerful new projective technique is now available to mental health professionals. Based on the most primary of human relationships that between mother and child this technique is able to foster projections and identify perceptions of self and others that carry an unusually strong component of unconscious material. Strikingly clear and accessible, The Projective Use of Mother-and-Child Drawings is one of the few books on projective techniques to provide a consistent theoretical outlook and to address the very significant issues of transference and countertransference as they relate to this technique. While firmly grounded in a psychodynamic view of personality development, the volume also conveys a clinical outlook with applications suitable to a variety of theoretical paradigms. The author comprehensively considers the theoretical and practical aspects of mother-and-child drawings and how to both use and assess them to gain insight into the most fundamental reaches of the self. She consistently cautions against overly simplified interpretations of the drawings and stresses the importance of using conclusions drawn from them only as indications for further assessment, confirmation, or rejection. The book is replete with examples of mother-and-child drawings from all age groups in both average populations and those with both mental and physical pathologies. The volume opens with a careful discussion of the theoretical considerations behind mother-and-child drawings, as well as the development and validation of projective drawing techniques in general. The next section, on research issues, discourages diagnostic labeling in favor of making optimum use of the highly personal and idiosyncratic nature of these drawings. This chapter features an interesting attempt to classify mother-and-child drawings in relation to size of the figures. A particularly fascinating chapter on the impact of art on the therapist focuses on artwork done by professional artists who have addressed the mother-and-child theme. The author explores and analyzes several thematic works of art from varying time periods and cultures. It is her intent to help mental health professionals to explore their responses to pictorial art as individuals and thereby gain new understandings of related transference and countertransference issues with clients. Chapter four provides clear instructions for administering mother-and-child drawings as a projective technique and guidelines for their interpretation. This section provides samples and analyses of age-typical drawings from the general population. They vary greatly in style and artistic proficiency and are included to provide an idea of the usual developmental sequence of drawing characteristics from early childhood through the adult years. Drawings of groups with demonstrated psychological pathologies or physical and developmental abnormalities comprise the final chapter. This section approaches the interpretation of drawings by asking questions about how they communicate basic self and object relations issues. This commanding volume, of interest, to students and professionals alike, will provide art therapists, school psychologists and mental health practitioners of all stripes with a powerful new projective technique to add to their professional armamentarium.