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June 1955

Psychoneurotic Art: Its Function in Psychotherapy.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(6):769. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110909023

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This small volume describes the role of artistic productions of a patient in the psychotherapeutic process. The drawings are well reproduced, although some suffer from lack of color reproduction.

The text describes the progressive relief of the patient (a young adult woman) from her psychoneurotic symptoms during therapy, as this is portrayed in her drawings. The correlation of her therapeutic progress by Rorschach testing on three occasions supported the therapist's impression that improvement had occurred. This type of correlation might be explored more frequently as evidence of psychotherapeutic gain. A final chapter reviewing the history and development of art in therapy adds to the usefulness of the book.

Although this volume is well-prepared and represents a significant exploration in psychotherapy, its reliance on symbolic interpretations and technical language limits its value to those engaged in psychotherapy. Therefore, it is not recommended for a general pediatric audience.

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