The study examined the Bird’s Nest Drawing (BND) of 14 adults who experienced child sexual abuse perpetrated by females, primarily their mothers. Descriptive analysis revealed the prevalence of insecure attachment and mainly an ambivalent representation. The drawings reflected vulnerability and under-protectiveness. Almost one-third of the drawings did not include caregiving and were suggestive of loneliness, abandonment, and rejection. When maternal caregiving was depicted, it was intrusive and characterized by a lack of separation, abandonment, or unsatisfying caregiving. The survivors’ narratives (n = 4) revealed themes of sadness, lack of protection, and vulnerability related to their mothers’ lack of competence. These findings suggest that the BND can serve as a valuable art therapy assessment tool to better understand attachment representations.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Attachment representations
- birds nest drawing
- female child sexual abuse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and Manual Therapy
- Clinical Psychology