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


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...

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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