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03 Mar 2004

Update on problem child
Hi Cybershrink,
I thought that you might be interested in a quick update on my son. I write to you a few days ago, very concerend and upset because of the report that I received from the psycholoist who evaluated him. It reported that the interpretation of his drawings showed that he perceived emotional deprivation, anger and isolation from him family, and you told me how subjective these interpretations are.
I had a meeting with the shrink myself, and looked at the pictures. He draw me in the kitchen, preparing food and chopping fruit for fruit salad (his favourite). She told me that any drawing of a sharp, knife like instrument, depicts anger and resentment! Also, the fact that I am wearing black and red was a problem (these are the colours of my work clothes!). He drew me in the kitchen, his dad at gym and his brother reading, and this is why she perceived the disengagement. These are all things that we are typically doing each day, so I'm nit sure how much weight that holds either.
So, thank you for being the voice of sanity for me when I needed reassurance that we weren't actually the Addams Family!
I have seen such an improvement in him recently, since we reset the ground rules and started being consistent with punishment. He still have some self-esteem issues, but I'm working on these as well. I'll drop you another line soon if there is anything else of interest to report. Thanks again!
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Ajay,
Many, many thanks for the feedback. This is exactly what I was bothered about --- the interpretations you were given were just plain STUPID, and for any srink to provide such wild interpretations in writing, without having ever discussed the drawing with you, and without getting from you the obvious facts that negate her daft speculations.
Good grief, even Sigmund Freud, who promoted the whole idea of such daft interpretatons, insisted that sometimes "a cigar is just a cigar". And he hadn't even heard of President Clinton.
This shrink sounds like a neanderthal in psychological terms, holding to outmoded ideas from the 1920's, which have been rejected long ago, and for obvious reasons. To say that drawing anything specific ALWAYS "means" X or Y is hazardous. If dad is taller than mom, and a child draws his dad as taller, that means absolutely nothing except that the kid is bright, observant, and pretty good at drawing.
So the interpretation of the knife, the colours, and the activities was pure drivel. if any of my students had turned up with such tripe, I'd have failed them outright. Maybe you should have some fun --- invite the lad to make a drawing of his session with the shrink, and make your own interpretation of that !
Mind you, I rather liked the Addams Family !
Above all, congratulations at how brilliantly you are handling the matter --- and I'm so pleased to hear that you are reaping the rewards you all deserve. Well done !
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