Thesis Title

Partner Drawing With Seriously Emotionally Disturbed Children

Graduation Date

Spring 1988

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 paper was an exploration of the use of partner drawing with seriously emotionally disturbed children to see how they related to an adult and, additionally, what projective material could be accessed. The research showed various examples of interactive techniques used with children, but none focused on how a partner drawing could be used to assess the quality of relating. This pilot study was an attempt to explore usefulness of partner drawing with children as an indicator of ability to relate.

An additional way this exploration differed from others was that the children were given a choice as to a structured or a non-structured interactive task. In this way the researcher was able to assess the child s need for structure.

This researcher found in her work with ten seriously emotionally disturbed children that the partner drawing provided opportunities to establish relationship, to assess the child's need for structure, their ability to relate to an adult authority figure and, finally, to obtain additional clinical information.