May 1996

The Projective Use of Mother-and-Child Drawings: A Manual for Clinicians

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of South Florida One Davis Blvd Tampa, FL 33606


by Jacquelyn Gillespie, PhD, 156 pp, $28.95, ISBN 0-87630-736-5, New York, NY, Brunner/Mazel Publishers, 1994.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(5):563. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170300117037

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A new projective technique is described that is simple yet rich in potential clinical value.

The child or adult is asked to "Draw a Mother and Child." The rationale for this technique is explained by a brief overview of object relations theory and the historical use of drawings as projective material in psychological assessment and in art therapy. The author uses this technique to demonstrate developmental and sex differences.

Dr Gillespie attempts to broaden our focus to include the attitudes and reactions of the clinician and the wider cultural impact on art production and interpretation. She cautions against the use of her technique by those who have "no affinity for art" and advocates that clinicians seek to understand their own responses to artistic expression as part of their training in this technique. She recommends that clinicians view the work of professional artists, who are the ones most skilled at pictorial

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