An Art Based Protocol for Assessing Implicit Aspects of Attachment in Middle Childhood 10/29/16


"Two Elephants" by Amrita Sher-GilUp until recent years our culture as well as mainstream psychotherapy have prized explicit/verbal information and dismissed its implicit/non-verbal counterpart.  Despite this bias, conscious behaviors like talking are actually preceded and influenced by non-conscious elements of mental image formation.  Some of these elements have a physical basis, some have an emotional basis, and some have an intellectual basis.  Many of these elements are revealed through experiential processes rather than conversational transcripts.  For this reason, explicit/verbal measures can only go so far in assessing implicit/non-verbal phenomena such as attachment.  That’s where image-making comes in; if a picture paints a thousand words, can you imagine the wealth of relational information that would be revealed during the creation of an artwork by both parent and child?


This workshop invites participants to simulate the Joint Painting Procedure, a measure developed by Israeli art therapist Tami Gavron at the University of Haifa.  The JPP assesses implicit aspects of attachment between 6- to 12-year-olds and their caregivers.  With respect to parent-child dynamics, the developmental tasks of middle childhood center around (1) the parent’s supportive monitoring of the child’s growing autonomy and self-management in relationships outside the family and (2) the preservation of close and caring relationships within the family during this process.  Participants will be introduced to the JPP as a tool for examining progress toward these tasks, as this valuable information assists clinicians in planning the course of therapy and determining outcomes.  Identifying the Media Dimension Variables of the JPP and conceptualizing these within the framework of the Expressive Therapies Continuum, an assessment and treatment model from the art therapy profession, will help participants understand the structural undergirding of the protocol.  Clinicians will work in dyads as they cultivate a felt sense for the relational pleasures and perils posed by the JPP protocol, experiencing information processing at physical, emotional, and intellectual levels while they create together.



Participants will be able to

  • rehearse and recall the five steps of the JPP protocol and relate these to attachment/relational dynamics.

  • name three scales of the JPP that evaluate progress toward the developmental tasks of middle childhood.

  • identify the Media Dimension Variables of the JPP and explain how these influence information processing.


Date: Saturday, October 29, 2016

Time: 1:00-3:00 pm

Location: Arc of the Arts Studio & Gallery / 4902 Grover Ave. / Austin, TX 78756

CEUs: 2.0 for TX counselors, marriage/family therapists, and social workers

Investment: $55* includes all materials; space is limited—register by October 22 to ensure your spot

*Do you have more time than money?  I’m looking for an assistant to help me with set up & clean up in exchange for a reduced investment.  Contact me for details!

Bring your business cards!  My goal for all workshops is the sharing of knowledge and experience in a safe and supportive atmosphere, so please be prepared to be a co-creator of such an environment.  Thanks!

CEU Information

ABCs for Therapists is an approved provider of continuing education for:

  • The Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, provider #522
  • The Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, provider # 1380
  • The Texas State Board of Social Workers Examiners, provider #5825

Please note that ABCs for Therapists does not assume liability for your clothing or jewelry.  Aprons/smocks will be provided for your convenience, but it is your responsibility to dress accordingly when working with art materials.  Thank you!


cancellations received on or before 10/19:

Your workshop fee will be fully refunded, or you may donate your spot to someone else if you’d like.


cancellations received 10/20-10/24:

Your workshop fee will be 50% refunded, or you may donate your spot to someone else if you’d like.


cancellations received 10/25-10/29:

Your workshop fee will not be refunded, but you may donate your spot to someone else if you’d like.


Art therapy is a regulated mental health profession.  Standards of competent practice in art therapy require a graduate education in art therapy as well as supervised training in art therapy.  Attendees who lack these won't develop the knowledge and skills for competent art therapy practice, but they will enhance their understanding of the use of art in assessment and treatment.


About the Image on This Page

Two Elephants was created by Amrita Sher-Gil in 1940. The original work is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired per US copyright laws; this may or may not apply to other countries as well. Click here for more information.