Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Family Drawing in Couple and Family Therapy

  • David A. CrenshawEmail author
  • Eliana Gil
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_561

Name of Concept

Artwork in Couples and Family Therapy

Introduction

Drawings were made in ancient times on walls of caves in Southern Europe and in Egyptian tombs, and they have continued as spontaneous expressions of the human condition throughout history. However, the use of drawings to provide therapeutic understanding of children, couples, and families had its beginnings in the 1920s when Florence Goodenough developed the Draw-A-Man Test as a nonverbal measure of intelligence. Influenced by psychoanalytic concepts, projective tests were developed to study personality traits in children (Handler and Thomas 2014). The administration of figure drawings that included the Draw-A-Person, House-Tree-Person, the Kinetic Family Drawing were commonly used in the early child guidance clinics established in the USA, and they are still in used in child, family, and sometimes couples’ therapy.

Theoretical Context for Concept

One of the pioneers in art therapy, Judith Rubin wrote a book Artful...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Burns, R. C., & Kaufman, S. H. (1970). Kinetic-family-drawings. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  2. Cohen, B. M., & Cox, C. T. (1995). Telling without talking: Art as a window into the world of multiple personality. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  3. Crenshaw, D. A. (2006). Evocative strategies in child and adolescent psychotherapy. Lanham: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  4. Crenshaw, D. A. (2008). Therapeutic engagement of children and adolescents: Play, symbol, drawing and storytelling strategies. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  5. Crenshaw, D. A. (2012). “Stiches are stronger than glue”: A child directs the healing of her shattered heart. In E. Gil (Ed.), Working with children to heal interpersonal trauma: The power of play (pp. 200–219). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gil, E. (2013). Courtship, mating, and a little help from play therapy. Family Therapy, 12(1), 10–13.Google Scholar
  7. Handler, L., & Thomas, A. D. (Eds.). (2014). Drawings in assessment and psychotherapy: Research and application. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
  8. Kwiatkowska, H. Y. (1978). Family therapy and evaluation through art. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas PublisherGoogle Scholar
  9. Rober, P. (2009). Relational drawings in couples’ therapy. Family Process, 48, 117–133.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Rubin, J. A. (2005). Artful therapy. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Snir, S., & Wiseman, H. (2013). Relationship patterns of connectedness and individuality in couples as expressed in the couple joint drawing method. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 40, 501–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Waters, D., & Lawrence, E. (1993). Competence, courage, and change: An approach to family therapy. New York: Norton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children’s Home of PoughkeepsiePoughkeepsieUSA
  2. 2.Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and EducationFairfaxUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HarfordUSA