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Diagnostic Drawing Series April 27-28

April 27, 2013

Columbia, MD • April 27 & 28, 2013

A Standardized Three-picture Clinical Art Interview

30 Years of Assessment and Research. Tested Reliability and Validity. Internationally Recognized.

Barry M. Cohen, ATR-BC • Anne Mills, ATR-BC, LPC

For art therapists and other interested mental health professionals who wish to incorporate drawings into their assessment options, familiarity with the DDS is essential.  Originally designed for use by clinicians in adult psychiatric settings, the DDS has been studied continuously in an international collaborative research project.  With its standardized procedure and materials, administration, rating, and assessment skills are readily learned in a single weekend training. Knowledge of the DSM is essential.

• Highlights the structure, not the content, of drawings
• Not tied to any particular psychological or theoretical model
• Cost-effective, simple, and quick to administer (20 - 50 minutes)
• Features a clearly-defined common language for describing therapeutic artwork
• Backed by a research base that validates the tool and supports the clinicians who use it

9:30 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday April 27-28, 2013 – 12 CE Credits Available
Learn the history, administration, and rating of the DDS, as well as research-based assessment skills.

Co-developed by art therapist Barry M. Cohen in 1982, the DDS was the first art therapy assessment for adults (age 13 and older) to be systematically correlated with the nomenclature of the DSM through research. It is one of the best-known and most commonly taught art therapy assessments. In 1985, the assessment was profiled in the American Psychological Association’s newsletter, Monitor. Since then, more than 50 DDS studies have been completed, making the DDS the most concentrated area of research in the field of art therapy, internationally. Most studies norm different DSM diagnostic groups.


LOCATION:DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbia, 5485 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, Maryland, 21045-3247, USA

Early Bird Registration $295 for MATA and PATA members, $330 for non-members paid in full on or before March 15, 2013.
Regular Registration $330 for MATA and PATA members, $365 for non-members for registrations through April 27, 2013, pending available space. Learning materials and continental breakfast will be provided. Lunch on your own. Continuing Education Credits included with registration.


For further information on the Diagnostic Drawing Series, including a comprehensive bibliography of references and resources, visit or

Questions?  or 202-455-5894

This event is co-sponsored by the Potomac Art Therapy Association (NBCC provider #6500) and the Maryland Art Therapy Association. Potomac Art Therapy Association may award NBCC approved clock hours for events or programs that meet NBCC requirements. The Maryland Art Therapy Association and the Potomac Art Therapy Association maintain responsibility for the content of this event. Registration fees are non-refundable.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to identify 5 benefits of using this valid and reliable art interview.
2. Participants will be able to describe 3 opportunities for using The DDS in clinical practice.
3. Participants will be able to report results from at least 3 normative DDS studies of psychiatric diagnostic groups.

Day #1

9:30 The DDS: What it is and why it was developed, including research design, reliability & validity. 

10:30 Cohen’s Trilevel Model for understanding a DDS, with an emphasis on the structural language of the DDS and the newly revised Drawing Analysis Form.

11:30 How to rate a DDS, practicing in dyads

12:30 LUNCH

2:00 Normative studies, differential diagnosis, and graphic profiles:  Schizophrenia, Major Depression, Dysthymia, Bipolar Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Organicity, Substance Abuse.

3:00 Looking at the sequelae of trauma using the DDS:  Graphic profiles of Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD & Dissociative Identity Disorder.

4:00 Progression in the DDS. Rating and applying the findings, as a group.

Day #2

9:30 How to write up a DDS. Issues of administration.

10:30 Dyad practice in the clinical approach to the using the research data.

11:30 From Drawing Analysis Form to Diagnosis.  Self-test and discussion.

12:30 LUNCH

2:00 Cross-cultural studies.Translations and other rating guides; adaptations of the DDS. Using the DDS on a day-to-day basis for research or in clinical practice. JCAHO; expert witness cases.

3:00 Treatment planning using the DDS; small group treatment planning.

4:00 Current and unpublished DDS studies. Collecting DDSs for research. Setting up a DDS study:  Meeting the needs of the IRB. Working in the Archive.