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


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.

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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.


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