The Effectiveness of Clinical Colloquium Established by the “Drawing Recall” Technique in University Counselling Services for Student Mental Health

DOI: 10.4236/health.2015.75062   PDF   HTML   XML   2,809 Downloads   3,326 Views   Citations


An experimental assessment of the effectiveness of university counselling was conducted through the “Stress Drawing Recall” Technique applied before and after a clinical colloquium with 70 university students of both genders, aged 18 - 35 years, who had requested this service. Another 70 students waiting to undergo the colloquium were interviewed as a control group. Two parallel series of drawings depicting personal stress situations were collected and, after evaluation by three expert judges in “double-blind” conditions, led to establishing five forms of development of the graphic language from the first to second drawing, defined as follows: a) distension, with a reduction in stress indicators and increase in comfort indicators; b) explicit representation of conflict resolution; c) appearance of new elements, with persisting conflict; d) increase in stress indicators; e) invariant or equivalent repetition of the stress drawing. Results showed that students who underwent the clinical colloquium (experimental group) changed their stress drawings mainly in the direction of distension and conflict resolution, while the control group had more invariant or equivalent repetition of the stress situation ( = 62.77; p < 0.001). The events depicted in the stress drawings were divided into three categories: a) limited short-term stressful situations due to mainly external agents; b) externally induced stressful situations with intense emotional resonance; c) wide-ranging long-lasting stressful situations with great involvement of the self. The participants were divided into: a) very anxious subjects; b) averagely anxious subjects; c) not very anxious subjects, on the basis of their scores on two questionnaires: the MPI (1959) and the STAI (1970). There is a correspondence between the subjects’ level of conflict and extension of the depicted stress. This confirms the usefulness of the Stress Drawing Recall Technique in psychological counselling.

Share and Cite:

Biasi, V. , Bonaiuto, P. , Patrizi, N. and Levin, J. (2015) The Effectiveness of Clinical Colloquium Established by the “Drawing Recall” Technique in University Counselling Services for Student Mental Health. Health, 7, 521-532. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.75062.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] von Helmholtz, H. (1856-1866) Handbuck der phisiologischen Optik. Voss, Leipzig.
[2] Bonaiuto, P., Biasi, V., Giannini, A.M., Bonaiuto, M. and Bartoli, G. (1992) Stress, Comfort and Self-Appraisal: A Panoramic Investigation of the Dynamics of Cognitive Processes. In: Forgays, D.G., Sosnowski, T. and Wrzesniewski, K., Eds., Anxiety: Recent Developments in Cognitive, Psychophysiological and Health Research, Hemisphere, Washington DC, 75-107.
[3] Bonaiuto, P., Biasi, V., Bonaiuto, G. and Giannini, A.M. (2011) A Description of Incongruous Architectures and Related Observations. In: Bonaiuto, M., Bonnes, M., Nenci, A.M. and Carrus, G., Eds., Urban Diversity-Environmental and Social Issues, Hogrefe, Gottingen, 109-121.
[4] Biasi, V. and Bonaiuto, P. (2012) The Scientific Contribution of the Clinical Method in Educational Research (Il portatoscientifico del metodocliniconelleapplicazioni educative: Uno studio di caso). Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies, 6, 107-127.
[5] Saraval, A. (1988) La tecnicaclassica e la suaevoluzione. In: Semi, A.A. (a cura di), Trattato di Psicoanalisi. Volume Primo. Teoria e Tecnica, Cortina, Milano, 533-613.
[6] Biasi, V., Bonaiuto, P. and Levin, J. (2015) Relation between Stress Conditions, Uncertainty and Incongruity Intolerance, Rigidity and Mental Health: Experimental Demonstrations. Health, 7, 71-84.
[7] Bolton, D. and Hill, J. (1997) On the Causal Role of Meaning. In: Power, M. and Brewin, C.R., Eds., The Transformation of Meaning in Psychological Therapies, Wiley, New York, 15-31.
[8] Biasi, V. and Bonaiuto, P. (1997) Colour and the Experimental Representation of Stress and Comfort. In: Sivik, L., Ed., Colour & Psychology, Scandinavian Colour Institute, Stockholm, 54-65.
[9] Biasi, V. and Bonaiuto, P. (2007) Stress or Comfort Drawings. A Technique for Activating and Evaluating Real Emotional States and for Detecting Emotional Meanings. In: Zammuner, V.L. and Galli, C., Eds., Giornata di Studio sulleEmozioni, Padova, 19 Novembre 2007, 66-69.
[10] Biasi, V., Bonaiuto, P. and Giannini, A.M. (2010) Measures of Emotional and Motivational Processes Activated by Stress or Comfort Conditions. Key Engineering Materials, 437, 540-544.
[11] Bonaiuto, P., Giannini, A.M. and Biasi, V. (2003) Perception Theories and the Environmental Experience. In: Bonnes, M., Lee, T. and Bonaiuto, M., Eds., Psychological Theories for Environmental Issues, Ashgate, Aldershot, 95-136.
[12] Arnheim, R. (1949) The Gestalt Theory of Expression. Psychological Review, 56, 156-171.
[13] Biasi, V., Bonaiuto, P. and Levin, J. (2014) The “Colour Family Drawing Test”: A Comparison between Children of “Harmonious” or “Very Conflictual Families”. Psychology, 5, 2099-2108.
[14] Rorschach, H. (1921) Psychodiagnostik Talfen. Huber, Bern.
[15] Biasi, V. and Bonaiuto, P. (2014) Negative Emotions and Defence Mechanisms in Obese People. Psychology, 5, 1979-1988.
[16] Eysenck, H.J. (1959) Maudsley Personality Inventory. University of London Press, London.
[17] Spielberger, C.D., Gorsuch, R.L. and Lushene, R.E. (1970) Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto.
[18] Hyun, J.K., Quinn, B.C., Madon, T. and Lustig, S. (2006) Graduate Student Mental Health: Needs Assessment and Utilization of Counseling Services. Journal of College Student Development, 47, 247-266.
[19] Russell, J., Thomson, G. and Rosenthal, D. (2008) International Student Use of University Health and Counselling Services. The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 56, 59-75.
[20] Samuolis, J. and Griffin, K.W. (2014) Identity Distress and Negative Affect in College Students. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 14, 246-254.
[21] Biasi, V., Mallia, L., Menozzi, F. and Patrizi, N. (2015) Adaptive Functioning and Behavioral, Emotional and Social Problems of Italian University Students: Indications for the University Counseling Services. Paper to Be Presented at the 6th World Conference on Psychology, Counselling and Guidance, Antalya.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.