Couples: Two Art Evaluations

Harriet Wadeson, Ph.D., ATR-BC, HLM; Carole Kunkle-Miller, Ph.D., ATR

Two art therapists, Carole Kunkle-Miller and Harriet Wadeson, conduct art therapy assessments with couples. In the first portion of the videotape, a young couple is asked to draw a picture together on the same piece of paper without talking. They are then invited to describe what it felt like to do the task and what each intended to express as well as what they thought their partner was saying with their part of the drawing. The exercise enables them to discuss issues around a recent decision and the move to a new home. In the second part of the tape, Dr. Wadeson begins her demonstration session with the same task, but because there is more time available the couple works together silently on a larger piece of paper. This exercise and reflection is followed by a two-part task where each person first draws a large portrait of themselves, after which they exchange the drawings and are invited to modify their partner’s image however they wish. After that they are invited to discuss the sequence of drawing tasks. Dr. Wadeson is the originator of both exercises, one of which is used by Dr. Kunkle-Miller in the first part of the tape. Both are powerful examples of the usefulness of specific tasks regarding how members of a couple can work nonverbally as well as how they perceive each other and wish their partner to be.  The reflections elicited by the therapists are at least as important as the drawing tasks in their ability to evoke awareness on the part of the couples involved.

Total Running Time: 58 minutes, 41 seconds



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