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Using Drawings in Clinical Practice: Enhancing Assessments and Interviews
Oster, Gerald
Routledge / Softcover / 2016-02-01 / 1138024066
Expressive Arts Therapies
reg price: $71.95 our price: $ 64.76 (may be subject to change)
184 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

Clinicians are always in need of enticing techniques to engage clients on a daily basis, especially those who are nonverbal or initially opposed to feedback. Using Drawings in Clinical Practice provides a rich variety of drawing directives to enhance the diagnostic process. In this highly illustrated text, clinicians will discover the tools they need to interact effectively with their clients. The book places special emphasis on intake interviewing and psychological testing, where the potential for uncovering hidden conflicts and therapeutic direction is especially poignant. Case studies provide a comprehensive overview of how to introduce simple drawings and gain remarkable insights. Using Drawings in Clinical Practice is a crucial guidebook for professionals who seek new ways to facilitate meaningful communication and interactions in their practice settings.


"Using Drawings in Clinical Practice is a gift to the field. Through a comprehensive approach describing the use of drawings as aids in the cognitive and emotional understanding of clients in mental health practice, Oster provides a valuable counterpoint to highly structured diagnostic and treatment systems that often are unable to provide an in depth understanding of clients' inner lives. This important book should be of value to a diverse group of mental health practitioners."
—Stewart Gabel, MD, former chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Children's Hospital Colorado

"Gerald Oster has written a comprehensive and expansive book that can be used as a teaching tool for mental health professionals and students. The case studies are personalized, pertinent, and thought provoking. The drawings tangibly display worries and concerns so they can be evaluated for the benefit of healthy therapeutic interventions. Throughout the book, Dr. Oster describes methods all mental health professionals can utilize in their everyday practice. From introduction to evaluation to closing, this book gives in-depth insight."
—Marcie Brooks, MA, LPCC, therapist in private practice and adjunct faculty at Southwestern College

"As a psychologist using drawings mainly with my PTSD/DID clients, I appreciate this book’s coverage of reasons to use art forms, case vignettes, historic background, and resources. Therapists of all experience levels will find Using Drawings in Clinical Practice useful; it has encouraged me to offer drawing to other of my adult clientele. Thank you, Dr. Oster!"
—Joan M. Offerle, PhD

"Gerald Oster has written a richly detailed and highly accessible guide to generating and making strategic use of images in assessment and therapy, regardless of one's theoretical orientation. This thoughtfully constructed text empowers clinicians to compassionately elicit drawings and verbal metaphors to support efficient rapport building, emotional expression, and perspective-taking. Clients of all ages and diagnostic histories can benefit from these simple, brief approaches and the conversations that ensue. Plentiful case illustrations aid the reader's learning."
—Joshua Semiatin, PhD, clinical psychologist


Case study – Sarah E.
Using drawings in clinical settings
Why use drawings?
Case study – Cheyenne R.
Drawings can be reassuring
Case study – Paul K.
Case study – Alice W.
Strengthening insight and problem solving
Disclosing temperament
Case study – Sam K.
Identifying goals and motivation
Talking through images
Vital points
Expansion of interpersonal engagement
Stimulating inspiration
Case study – Marcia T.
Concluding remarks

Historical aspects of clinical drawings
Images of psychological maturation
Developmental sequences
Cognitive maturation
Case study – Paul B.
Emotional indicators
Case study – James D.
Symbols of mental illness
Freud and Jung
Creative pursuits in psychotherapy
Case study – Elizabeth G.
Art therapy as a discipline
Interactions of art therapy and psychology
Case study – Lakandra F.
Case study – Charlotte P.
Controversies in drawing interpretation
From psychology to art therapy assessments
Silver drawing tests
Diagnostic drawing series
The person picking an apple from a tree
Enhancement to assessment
Cautionary tales
Concluding comments

Human figures and everyday objects
House drawings
Case study – Keli R.
Case study – Karl C.
The tree
Case study – Sakura R.
Case study – Sierra A.
Human figures
Case study – Joseph S.
Case study – Melissa B.
Case study – Monique W.
Kinetic house-tree-person
Case study – Mandy S.
Case study – Toni N.
Family drawing procedures
Case study – Marla B.
Case study – Arlene G.
Case study – Eddie C.
Case study – Alice W.

Broadening the interpersonal encounter
Case study – Lauren F.
Case study – Nosian H.
Family shield
Case study – Albert J.
Draw your world
Case study – Amku L.
Draw yourself with friends
Kinetic school drawings
Case study – Kesandra B.
Draw your "ideal" self
Case study – Carla S.
Draw your (current) mood
Case study – Consuela L.
Defining and resolving problems
Case study – Alysha G.
Before, during, and after crises
Case study – Loren Y.
Ending remarks

Information gathering
Case study – Jacob D.
Conducting an initial interview
Case study – Lori S.
Behavioral observations
Case study – Eduardo L.
Case study - Randall M.
The crux of the interview
Types of clinical interviews
Intake interviews
Case study – Marilyn C.
Mental status exam
Case study – Breanna P.
Trauma interviews
Case study – Kienna T.
Trauma symptom inventory
Case study – Nina F.
Trauma symptom checklist for children
Case study – Leyanna G.
Sexual abuse indicators in drawings
Case study – Louis T.
Benefits and limitations
Case study – Cheryl N.
Family evaluations
Sharing of conflicts
Case study – Jason A.
An enhancement to practitioners

Case study – Max T.
Case study – Janette B.
Psychological testing within the assessment process
Requests from treating professionals
Case study – Carlos B.
Responding to referral questions
Case study – Malcolm S.
Identifying presenting problems
The role of psychologists
Case study – Deborah M.
Case study - Charles L.
Puzzles that need solutions
Principles of psychological testing
Components of psychological evaluations
Selecting a test battery
Intellectual assessment
Academic achievement
Neuropsychological testing
Personality measures
Behavior rating scales
Projective techniques
Drawings in the test battery
Case study – Janice L.
Case study – John R.
The psychological report
Summaries of psychological evaluations
Marvin S.
Allison T.
Closing words

About the Author

Gerald D. Oster, PhD, has worked in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings for more than 30 years. He is currently providing therapy and assessment services in private practice; he also supervises graduate students in psychological testing. In the past, he held the titles of clinical associate professor of psychiatry and psychology internship director. He has co-authored numerous books and professional publications, including Using Drawings in Assessment and Therapy: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals.

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Expressive Arts Therapies
Taylor and Francis