Thesis Title

Finish the Picture An Art-Based/Projective Technique Used With Children

Graduation Date

Fall 1994

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


This study evaluates the Finish the Picture (FTP) as a therapeutic and diagnostic art-based tool, used with children. Therapeutically, Finish the Picture, reduces anxiety, allowing the child to speak more freely and openly about him or herself. The hypothesis is that children who complete a Finish the Picture task will talk longer and reveal more about themselves than children who do not perform a Finish the Picture task. Results were drawn from children in two third grade classrooms. Three measurements were taken: 1) The number of times each child referred to the art based task, "Book About Me," or to a specific picture in the "Book About Me."

2) The length of time each child talked about him/herself. 3) The number of times each child made a statement about him/herself.

From the results it may be ascertained that the FTP exercise increases a child's verbalization about themselves. Those children who completed the Finish the Picture task "Book About Me" referred back to each picture, talked longer about themselves and had a greater number of spoken indicators about themselves than those children who did not complete the Finish the Picture task, "Book About Me."

The Finish the Picture can be used diagnostically since its content can be tailored to obtain a response from a specific area of concern. Two sited case examples support the diagnostic advantage of the Finish the Picture art based, projective technique.