The Silver Drawing Test and Draw a Story : Assessing Depression, Aggression, and Cognitive Skills book cover
1st Edition

The Silver Drawing Test and Draw a Story
Assessing Depression, Aggression, and Cognitive Skills

ISBN 9780415955348
Published June 1, 2007 by Routledge
318 Pages

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Book Description

Art can be an invaluable means of communication. It can bypass language and impairment and allow for the expression of thoughts or feelings too difficult to communicate with words. In The Silver Drawing Test and Draw a Story, Rawley Silver draws on her years of experience using therapeutic art with hearing-impaired children, stroke patients, and others with learning disabilities or emotional disturbances. The book’s original art assessments use stimulus drawings to elicit responses that provide access to a patient’s emotions and attitudes toward themselves and others, while also testing for the ability to solve problems and convey ideas. Offering tools to assess cognitive skills that often escape detection on verbal tests of intelligence or achievement, the book helps in identifying those at risk for violent behavior or masked depression. Thoroughly updated from Silver’s earlier works, this new book includes techniques to assess aggression and depression that may lead to violence in schools and suicide among children and adolescents. It also addresses important gender and age differences, incorporating new information and updated studies, and it offers an in-depth look at the developmental procedures involved in these art assessments. As education for mental health professionals now includes art therapy more regularly, Silver has provided an invaluable resource for assessing emotional and cognitive content.

Table of Contents

List of Figures. Turner, Foreword. Acknowledgements. Introduction and Theoretical Background. Part I: Draw a Story, Screening for Depression and Aggression. Background. Reliability, Validity, and Depression. Aggression and Depression. Studies of Clinical and Non-clinical Populations. Part II: The Silver Drawing Test of Cognition and Emotion. Why and How the SDT was Developed and Field Tested. Administering, Scoring, and Examples of Scored Responses. Reliability and Validity. Normative Data. Using the Silver Drawing Test with Clinical and Non-clinical Populations. Part III: Use of Both Assessments by Practitioners in Florida and Abroad. Use of Both Assessments by Art Therapists in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida. Use of Both Assessments by Practitioners Abroad. Part IV: Developmental Techniques and Concluding Observations. Art Techniques for Developing Cognitive Skills. Discussion and Conclusions. Part V: Appendices. Appendix A: Silver Drawing Test Materials. Appendix B: Draw A Story Test Materials. Appendix C: The 50 Drawings in the Stimulus Drawing Assessment. References. Index.

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Rawley Silver, Ed.D, is the former director of the National Institute of Education project. Recognized as one of the early developers of art therapy in the United States, she is a recipient of the Honorary Life Membership Award from the American Art Therapy Association, and has authored more than seventy journal articles, book, and reports. As a nationally recognized painter, Dr Silver has been listed in Who’s Who in American Art since 1980, and has had seventeen solo exhibitions. Her web site is


"Silver’s new book is an indispensable resource for all art therapists, as well anyone who works with at-risk youth. This is an exceptional reworking of her earlier work and includes new research, a wealth of applications in a range of settings, and a dynamic synthesis of Silver’s lifework." - Donna Kaiser, Director of the Graduate Art Therapy Program, Albertus Magnus College, USA

"This new book, which constitutes a compilation of major work by this brilliant author, is stunning in its scope. These assessment methods and research studies offer a unique and balanced blend of art and science that affords an understanding of both individual and universal elements of human emotion and cognition." - Annette Shore, Marylhurst University, Graduate Program in Art Therapy Counseling, USA

"This book is an extraordinary accomplishment! Rawley Silver’s tools for identifying, assessing, and supporting children and adolescents at risk for violent behavior are a model for combining quantitative findings with qualitative analysis. The sum total translates into assessments that will prove useful to classroom teachers, art therapists, psychologists, and other clinicians. I highly recommend this volume." - Amy Ione, author of Innovation and Visualization: Trajectories, Strategies, and Myths

"This is an exceptionally rich and useful book that is on the cutting edge of art therapy quantitative and qualitative research. In this complete and comprehensive book, Silver shares the best of her work thus far. I strongly recommend it be added to every professional library." - Patricia St. John, Immediate past-chair of the AATA Research Committee and Program Coordinator for the graduate art therapy programs at the College of New Rochelle, USA


"[T]he Silver Drawing Test and Draw a Story is a great starting place to get ideas, get stimulated, and get busy finding out what it takes to become a thorough clinician/researcher....any ethical therapist looking at artwork and making assumptions based on projected content needs to keep abreast of empirical findings. You would do well to add this book to your library."

-Diana Millia MA, LCAT, ATR-BC, in The Arts in Psychotherapy, Jan. 2008, 35(4) 296-7