The Eight Frame Colored Squiggle: An Informal Art Therapy Assessment Technique

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Leonore F. Steinhardt


The Eight Frame Colored Squiggle Technique (Steinhardt, 2006) is an art-based procedure that can be used as an informal assessment in a first session. On a single sheet of white paper folded three times into 8 rectangles, colored squiggles are drawn and completed, and titles written on each frame can be used to write stories. This technique evolved in the early 1980’s as an art- based, interactive, intervention when art therapy was a new and unknown treatment option in Israel. As the first art therapist in a public children’s clinic I began to invent ways to artistically engage children from varied socio-economic and ethnic groups in an enjoyable manner. I hoped that “playing” with art would enable gradual emergence of personal unconscious imagery and lead towards an art therapy process.

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