The Language of Drawings: A New Finding in Psychodynamic Work

Author(s) : A.H. Brafman

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The Language of Drawings: A New Finding in Psychodynamic Work

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2012
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 128
  • Category :
    Child and Adolescent Studies
  • Catalogue No : 31957
  • ISBN 13 : 9781780490175
  • ISBN 10 : 1780490178

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If a person is struggling with feeling that involve pain or anxiety, then we find a complex network of difficulties affecting that person’s capacity to express what torments him. Whatever the person’s age, they very often have no access to the words that might convey their internal conflicts. People interacting with that person may believe he is deliberately refusing to express what affects him, but it is certainly true that most times this is not the case. When dealing with children, these difficulties are even more acute. However, children often express in their drawings elements of the conflicts they are experiencing in themselves and the world in which they live.

A.H. Brafman applied these findings in his work – not only with children and adolescents, but at times also with adults.This fascinating book arose from the discovery that single drawings could at times represent only a part of an underlying emotional experience that "completed" its expression in another picture drawn after that first one. At first, it seemed a mere coincidence, but time came to show that this was a "strategy" similar to what we find in ordinary verbal language, and that drawings clearly constituted a language of their own. Brafman therefore subjected the phenomenon he now found to further investigation, and his hope is that his subsequent findings may prove to be a valuable clinical tool for colleagues in their work. This research should give closer and more detailed understanding of this splitting mechanism, so well known in actual words, but apparently not previously describe in drawings.

About the Author(s)

A. H. Brafman trained as a psychoanalyst of adults and children. In his NHS career he worked as a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and for many years ran a group for parents and under-fives. He ran Infant Observation courses at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and also seminars on psychodynamic work with children, adolescents and adults for the British Society of Psychoanalysis and several other training organizations. He was also Honorary Lecturer at University Hospital Medical School, where he taught students and psychotherapy trainees. He has published a number of books, including Untying the Knot, Fostering Independence: Helping and Caring in Psychodynamic Therapies, and The Language of Drawings: A New Finding in Psychodynamic Work.

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