By Noh Hyun-gi
In many suspense movies or TV shows, we often see a child character offering critical information (usually ugly truths) for a case through art. Be it an absent father in a drawing of a family or a rough sketch of crime scene, the simple images disclose troubled young minds.
Psychoanalysis of drawings and paintings such as these are only a part of art therapy. “People usually think of identifying children’s problems through artwork when they talk about art therapy,” said Yeo Im-gyeong, an art therapist at Cham-Bit Center for Children with Special Needs at Kwangwoon University, on Wednesday. “But that is only the beginning; art therapy gets children to communicate, gain self-confidence and even overcome their disabilities.”
Yeo may prescribe the widely used Draw-A-Person test developed by American psychologist Florence Laura Goodenough in the 1920s, which can hint at a child’s condition. A small figure may represent low self-esteem. Failure to include basic anatomical features such as hands or odd images showing the intestines may imply schizophrenic tendencies.